Inducted October 2020
In recognition of Dale P. Bennett for pioneering a global military training paradigm shift providing turnkey training solutions, an approach that delivered integrated, performance-based solutions focused on training outcomes – enhancing warfighter readiness at reduced cost and risk. His leadership was also essential to the development and fielding of the effective and affordable F35 training system. He is also recognized for more than 40 years of visionary leadership and customer-focused solutions with lasting impact to simulation and the MS&T industry and military training. His work as an executive at Lockheed Martin became a driving force for reinventing the way simulation was used. Additionally, Dale Bennett is recognized for his work in advancing visual simulation software for game-based training, and for his leadership during Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing a quick and effective convoy simulation program for the Army and Marine Corps to help save lives threatened by improvised explosive devices.
Dale Bennett served in the U.S. Air Force and studied for his bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He later received his master’s degree in engineering from John Hopkins University, and his MBA from the Sloan Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Mr. Bennett became a systems engineer for Lockheed Marting in 1981 and worked his way up as he advanced through several assignments that contributed to the modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) community’s advancement and increased warfighter readiness. Projects he oversaw as an executive at Lockheed Martin advanced visual simulation software for game-based training and led to customer-focused solutions that continue to impact the MS&T industry years later.
His team at Lockheed developed and fielded the F-35 Lightning II simulator. This “turnkey” training solution not only benefitted the American warfighters, but also allies in Israel, Japan and the U.K., among others. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his team produced an effective convoy-based simulation program for the Army and Marines to increase safety against improvised explosive devices. The first prototype was completed in 60 days after Bennett learned of the need. Over 200,000 Soldiers and Marines received training on the simulator, with several previously deployed troops later crediting the simulator with saving their lives.
Mr. Bennett’s philosophy has always been: “It’s our responsibility on the industry side to bring solutions forward for the warfighter, so they can train like they fight. Our job is to train the warfighter to fully exploit the capabilities and tools we put in their hands to conduct their missions safely and come home to their families.”
He retired as an executive vice president after working for Lockheed Martin for over 38 years. Mr. Bennett is still actively involved with the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and has served as executive champion for Lockheed Martin’s relationship with MIT in its STEM development programs for underrepresented students.