Mr. Roy J. Autry was born April 2, 1919. He graduated from Tucson High School in January 1936 and went to work for the government the same year.
Autry came to White Sands in 1960 as the range's civilian personnel officer. One of his first actions was to reorganize the office and institute a system for program review and analysis that was unique at the time. It served as a model for the systems now commonplace throughout the Army. He then went on to automate the production of personnel documents and evaluation data. This move anticipated later Army action and eventually became standard for the Ordnance Corps.
In 1963 Autry directed the largest reduction-in-force in the history of the range. Over 2,000 employee notices were issued but only 205 employees were involuntarily separated. He arranged to have hundreds of employees retrained for work in the electronics field by having the instructors and materials shipped to White Sands. He also asked for and received placement assistance from distant installations like Redstone Arsenal, Alabama and China Lake, California that was unusual at the time but is the norm today.
Autry is credited with starting many of the special employment programs currently existing at the range. Before Federal regulations spelled out definite handicap programs, Autry built local programs for the mentally handicapped, physically handicapped and disadvantaged youth. His Worker Trainee Program (WTO) served as a prototype for the rest of the Army. In addition, he was responsible for the range's being designated as a training center for command career program interns in the supply, procurement and civilian personnel fields and for developing the first local engineer and scientist intern program.
Autry retired from White Sands in 1974. He died in January 1977.