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1999 Sylvanus Thayer Award

Norman R. Augustine

As a distinguished public servant and leader of industry, Norman R. Augustine has rendered a lifetime of outstanding service to the United States and its citizens. In government service and in multiple fields of aerospace engineering and industrial production, he has exemplified the ideals of West Point, as expressed in its motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.”

As a public servant, first in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and, later, at the highest levels of the Department of the Army, Mr. Augustine helped revitalize the post–Viet Nam Army and led the development and fielding of the M-1 Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley Infantry fighting vehicle, the Patriot air defense system, and the Apache attack helicopter. His efforts in the 1970s ensured the materiel excellence of the Army that routed Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm.

Upon leaving the Pentagon in 1977, Mr. Augustine joined Martin Marietta as vice president for Aerospace Technical Operations. Within a decade, he rose to become president of the corporation’s Denver Aerospace unit, the organization that produced Titan missiles and external fuel tanks for the Space Shuttle. In 1986, he became Denver Aerospace’s president and CEO and, two years later, its chairman and CEO, assuming corporate leadership just as the Cold War ended and the era of downsizing the military establishment began. Adapting to this new paradigm, he diversified corporate operations and commenced an aggressive campaign of acquisitions and mergers. The most significant of these was the merger with Lockheed that produced the new defense contracting giant, Lockheed Martin. This corporate creation of Norman Augustine has produced marked gains in efficiency, productivity, and cost savings in the development and fielding of equipment and materiel for the Armed Services.

Norman Augustine retired from active corporate leadership in 1997, staying on as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board. He then ventured into the field of higher education, joining the faculty of the Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science.

During his spectacular rise to corporate prominence, Mr. Augustine also continued serving the nation through public service, chairing numerous White House, Senatorial, Department of Defense, Army, Air Force, Treasury, Energy, and NASA advisory boards and committees. Additionally, he chaired or served on an even greater number of public service and aerospace industry panels and organizations. He is the former president of the Boy Scouts of America, former national chairman of the U.S. Savings Bond Campaign, former chairman of the National Academy of Engineering, the chairman of the Council of Trustees of the Association of the United States Army, and for the past seven years, Chairman of the American Red Cross.

Norman Augustine’s more than seventy-five governmental, civil, academic, and industry awards and citations certify his lifetime of accomplishment. He is the recipient of the nation’s highest technological achievement award, the National Medal of Technology. He has been cited five times with the Defense Department’s highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal. He is the recipient of similar awards from the Departments of the Army, Air Force, Treasury, Transportation, Energy, NASA, and NATO.

In 1998, the Association of the United States Army awarded Norman Augustine its highest honor, the George Catlett Marshall Medal. He has been cited by the Library of Congress as one of ”Fifty Great Americans.”

Norman Augustine has given selflessly of his time, energy, and enormous talent to the national community. His extraordinary contributions to the aerospace industry, to higher education, to the United States Space Program, to national security, and to his fellow citizens symbolize and reflect the principles and ideals of West Point. Accordingly, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy hereby presents the 1999 Sylvanus Thayer Award to Norman R. Augustine.
Norman Augustine's Acceptance Speech