HALL OF FAME
E-Mail: Museum Director
Mr. Gabriel J. Brillante
Chief of Public Affairs Office
Mr. Gabriel J. Brillante first joined the White Sands
Missile Range Public Affairs Office in August 1953. From that time until his
1974 retirement, he held all the positions within the Office, including chief
of Command Information, chief of Public Affairs, Historian and Information
Officer. He was the founder, and later curator, of "Missile Park." He was
instrumental in implementing much of the Range’s off- range public relations
program, as well as improving it and developing it into what is considered one
of the Army’s best long-range public relations endeavors. The project included
explanations to the public of the necessity for missile flights over populated
One of Mr. Brillante’s most singular achievements was
his role in commissioning interpreters to explain the over-flight program to
Navajo Indians in their own language. The results of this intensive public
relations campaign were wholehearted support and cooperation from the
communities affected, as well as from others. During this time Mr. Brillante
was responsible for a number of steps taken to inform travelers of roadblocks
on US Highway 70 and why they were necessary for national defense testing.
The off-range public relations program, called "Project
Understanding," was considered so outstanding that in 1968 WSMR was selected
as one of the Department of the Army entries in the Silver Anvil competition.
This competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America, is
regarded as the most prestigious recognition of public service and affairs
efforts in the United States.
In addition, he was the initiator of one of DARCOM’s
most effective Command Information programs, including the use of
closed-circuit television at the Range for Troop Information presentations,
and the "Dial-the-News" feature that allows WSMR personnel to dial and receive
the latest news via telephone.
Mr. Brillante was the recipient of the TECOM "Special
Award for Excellence in Improving Communications and Services" in connection
with his work in the field of employee communications. He always believed in a
well-informed workforce and directed much of his attention and efforts to this
area of work.