National Infantry Association honors Army researcher
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (June 6, 2016) — The National Infantry Association recognized an Army researcher for nearly five decades of bringing science and technology solutions to Soldiers.
The group bestowed the Order of Saint Maurice to Timothy Brosseau for “exceptional meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding 48 years of service to the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.”
Awardees must have served the infantry community with distinction; demonstrated a significant contribution in support of the infantry and represent the highest standards of integrity, moral character, professional competence and dedication to duty.
Brosseau’s 48 years of public service focused on the understanding and advancement of small caliber weapon and ammunition systems.
He began his Army service in August 1967. In 1968, then-1st Lt. Brosseau began his career at the former Ballistic Research Laboratory, now the Army Research Laboratory. He helped to identify and research solutions for problems with the M16 rifle.
“This rifle has been the primary individual weapon for the Soldier from the 1960s to present,” he said.
Brosseau developed a research methodology, experimental procedure and the necessary measuring equipment to conduct in-depth kinematic experiments on the rifle and ammunition system performance.
“The experiments provided the understanding to enable a solution to be implemented in the field,” Brosseau said.
In the 1970s, Brosseau designed and developed the M231 Firing Port Weapon. This weapon provided the Soldier with a platform to provide suppressive fire from inside the confined space of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
In the late 1970s, he designed and developed the XM106 machine gun. This weapon was a candidate in the competition to replace the machine gun with a new Squad Automatic Weapon. The XM106 was the only government-designed and sponsored candidate in the SAW competition.
Brosseau expanded his small caliber research into the 1990s when he successfully helped develop the Inertial Reticle Technology research program. This program used a video camera for sighting and a stabilized reticle for aiming a remotely-controlled weapon.
“This system was successfully applied to the Remington 700 sniper rifle, an Ml6A2 rifle, and a .50-caliber M2 machine gun,” he said.
In the 2000s, Brosseau provided key experimental hardware to the successful demonstration of several smart guided projectiles.
“He designed and fabricated a laser muzzle velocity measuring device that was successfully used throughout the testing of the 40mm scorpion smart projectile,” said Dr. Joseph South, Ballistics Structures and Launch Dynamics branch chief. “Over the past 20 years, Mr. Brosseau has conducted displacement versus time measurements and recoil impulse measurements on all of the new weapons and ammunitions being tested by the U.S. Army Test Center. His measurements are vital in allowing a safety release for the Soldier to safely fire them from the shoulder.”
From 2009 to 2015, Brosseau performed critical experiments to support the fielding and full rate production of the M855Al 5.56mm ammunitions systems, South said. The M855A1 replaces the nearly 30-year-old Soviet-era M855 projectile and is the mainstay ammunition for all of the uniform services.
“Mr. Brosseau’s research was vital to the understanding of the interaction of the ammunition with the weapon systems,” South said. “His experiments quantified the effects of the ammunition performance at extreme hot and cold temperatures, when conditioned with excess lubrication, and demonstrated how the M855A1 cartridge functions in the family of M4/M16 and M249 weapon systems.”
Brosseau received a patent in 2010 for his work on an innovative rifle launcher for unmanned aerial vehicles.
From 2013 to 2015, Brosseau co-conceived, co-developed and co-evaluated a modified 5.56mm magazine for use in the M4, M16, and M249 family of weapons.
“The solution co-developed by Mr. Brosseau provided the Soldier with a low-cost materiel solution, which maintains the terminal performance of the M855Al, did not require weapon modifications, and was the enabling technology to increase the reliability of the M4A1 to levels that have never been achieved before,” South said.
The infantry is the main land combat force and “backbone of the U.S. Army.” Soldiers serving as infantrymen are responsible for “defending our country against any threat by land, as well as capturing, destroying and repelling enemy ground forces,” according to Army recruiters.
The NIA awarded Brosseau with the Order of Saint Maurice Civis level, which is reserved for civilian personnel who have supported the U.S. Infantry.
“During his career he has demonstrated exceptional initiative and skill, and his research has directly impacted the Soldier,” South said.
Brosseau said he’s still enjoying his work.
“There’s still a lot to do,” he said. “Every year there’s something new. What we do impacts the Soldier.”
Editor’s note: The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.