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The Hathcock Award is presented to recognize an individual who, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made significant contributions in operational employment and tactics of small arms weapons systems which have impacted the readiness and capabilities of the U.S. military or law enforcement. A significant contribution is considered to be a superior performance of duties in an operational environment or the development of tactics or training.
The Hathcock Award is named in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Carlos N. Hathcock, II, USMC, a career Marine who dedicated his life to the service of this country in both the military and law enforcement communities. He was honest, tactful, considerate, courageous, quietly proud and determined in all things and all places from the range to the battlefield. “The Gunny” not only distinguished himself in combat as a scout-sniper, but also as a competitive marksman and trainer. In his capacity as a trainer, he not only significantly impacted the current United States Marine Corps Scout-Sniper Program, but also influenced the sniper programs of the other military services and similar law enforcement programs nationwide.
The Chinn Award is presented annually to honor a government or industry individual who, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made significant contributions to the field of small arms and/or infantry weapons systems. A significant contribution is considered to be a creative invention, new design or innovative concept in small arms weapons, ammunition or ancillary equipment that provides an advancement in the state-of-the art or capability enhancement that clearly benefits the warfighting or general military capability of the U.S. The Chinn Award may also be conferred as recognition to an individual who has performed sustained superior service in a career field of science, engineering, test and evaluation, manufacturing program management, academic study and research, publishing or maintenance relating to military small arms or infantry weapons.
The Chinn Award is named in honor of LtCol George M. Chinn, USMC, a career Marine who dedicated his life to the study, development and refinement of machine gun mechanisms. LtCol Chinn is remembered for his work as a gun designer and for having compiled a five volume reference work entitled, “The Machine Gun.”
Ambrose Industry Award
The Ambrose Award is established and presented periodically to recognize an Industrial Firm which, in the opinion of the Small Arms Committee Executive Board, has made outstanding contributions to the field of small arms systems. An outstanding contribution is characterized by exemplary commitment and contribution to the Armed Forces by delivering superior materiel that meets required operational capabilities and supports a high level of force readiness in the conduct of warfighting activities or homeland defense. Such contributions may be shown through a record of continual demonstration of emerging technologies, development of products and systems, establishment of enhanced production capabilities and integration of innovative weapons systems and supporting products and services required by the DoD and Allied countries. Such contributions would be easily recognized as “excellence” in industry leadership and responsiveness in cases where National security priorities require attention to meet urgent needs in either peace or war time.
The Industry Award is named in honor of former Under Secretary of the Army, James R. Ambrose because of his recognition of the value and contribution of industry in meeting the needs of our National Defense. This was made unmistakably clear during his tenure from 1981-1988 as Under Secretary of the Army during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. He was a major force in the post Vietnam modernization of all small arms weaponry where new and improved versions of the M16, M249 and M9 were purchased in large quantities as a result of industry competitions. Under Secretary of the Army Ambrose was a strong supporter of investing in the Future Rifle Program, later known as the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) Program. His emphasis on the need for competition could not be clearer here, as there were as many as six contractor systems in various phases of the program and 4 firms ultimately participated in the 9-month long ACR Field Experiment, the premier rifle evaluation of all time. For his support of small arms development and procurement and his strong emphasis and actions in involving industry at every step of the way, the NDIA Small Arms Committee believes it entirely appropriate to name this award in his honor.