We Are Launching Memoir Program
Among the promising new initiatives taking shape here at Beach Hall, we are excited about the impending launch of the Naval Institute Memoir Program, which will be a significant enhancement to the Institute’s commitment in our new Strategic Plan to preserve naval history. Many are those who have served in uniform, and for a great number of them, those military years—whether on the front lines of combat or down in the trenches of the great Pentagon policy debates—stand out as the most vital and unforgettable parts of their lives.
The Institute’s Memoir Program will provide veterans and their families with a trusted place to archive electronically their autobiographical accounts, their letters, their vignettes—all the elements embodying the treasure trove of their experiences. This ever-growing online, searchable memoir collection will provide historians and researchers with a priceless bounty of primary-source material, recounted by those who were there—quite literally, the first draft of history. For future generations, a crucial perspective on military history will be preserved. For those veterans and their loved ones who become part of the program, bound copies of the memoir for family-and-friends distribution will be available as well.
In the first quarter of 2017, the word will be going out to veterans’ groups, the Naval Institute membership, and beyond—through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, email blasts, the Institute’s website, and sundry cross-marketing approaches—that there now is a repository where your personal experiences in the service of our nation can become a permanent part of the historical record. There will be some modest fee to bring the program online and manage it, but it will be within reach of all our members.
This undertaking in memoir preservation is being spearheaded by the U.S. Naval Institute Oral History Program, which itself is enjoying a new phase of increased effort and greater output. Eric Mills, the newly appointed Oral History Program Manager, is a longtime member of the Institute’s staff, having served as an acquisitions editor in the Press and later as senior editor of Proceedings and Naval History. The author of various books and an adjunct professor of history at some of our area’s colleges, Eric also has prior experience in the oral history realm, making him just the right person for his new billet.
Between a ramped-up Oral History Program and a forthcoming Memoir Program, the Institute’s endeavor to preserve our precious naval heritage is under way and making way. For more information on these programs, contact [email protected].
Attend Defense Forum Washington
The Institute will host Defense Forum Washington (DFW) 2016 on Wednesday, 7 December, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
The conference will address “Competing Global Threats: What Are the Priorities?” The speaking program begins at 0830 and will end at approximately 1215.
Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps General Robert Neller and Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Nick Rasmussen are confirmed as speakers. In addition, Admiral James G. Foggo III, newly appointed Director of Navy Staff, will share insights on global security challenges and threats in relation to Russia based on his most recent experience as commander of Sixth Fleet. Admiral Foggo recently published in Proceedings, “The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic” (June), an article that was widely referenced in media around the world. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT), a retired Navy SEAL, also will participate as a speaker.
To attend, register on the DFW 2016 website: www.defenseforumwashington.com. Admission is free.
Congratulations to Essay Contest Winners
The first prize winners of the Leadership Essay Contest, sponsored with Dr. J. Phillip London and CACI International, and the Enlisted Prize Essay Contest, sponsored with Textron Systems, are published in this issue. All the winners of these essays are identified on the Editor’s Page.
I would like to make one final comment with respect to the essay contests. The Naval Institute’s longest-running contest, launched in 1878, the General Prize Essay Contest is now underwritten by Andrew and Barbara Taylor & the Crawford Taylor Foundation. The deadline for this contest is 31 December. See the ad on page 7. I encourage those of you who have something to share to make the naval profession stronger to enter this contest.
I wish all our members a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holiday Season!
Peter H. Daly, VADM, USN (Ret.)
Life Member and Member since 1978