Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Whole Navy is turning Salamander ...

OK, excuse my enthusiasm - but this is one of the best thing I have read all year.
The Navy has a “culture problem” with its past, the service’s top historian says.

Neither sailors nor leaders have enough appreciation for how useful history could be in their day-to-day decision-making, said retired Rear Adm. Jay DeLoach. But he hopes to change that.

DeLoach said he has big plans for the newly renamed Naval History and Heritage Command, formerly known as the Naval Historical Center, at the Washington Navy Yard. It owns more than 1 million historical artifacts and hundreds of thousands of documents and pieces of art; runs a dozen museums; has control of every sunken Navy ship and aircraft in the world; and even owns two patches of forest from which engineers get the wood to repair the frigate Constitution — which the command also oversees. He wants to put all of those resources to work.

“Instead of being introverted, we need to be extroverted,” DeLoach said. “We need to deliver history to the fleet and the Marine Corps.”
I know it's a short year - but I am as giddy as a schoolgirl. This is a step in the right direction to help addresses a problem I have been bleating about from Day 1 of CDR Salamander; as a Navy our historical ignorance is costing us real blood and real treasure. From Riverine Warfare to the damage control reality that LCS will have to deal with even if the Navy desires to wish it away. We have to listen what history tells us from the need for ASW redundancy to Cruiser development between the World Wars. Can you ask for more than this?
Naval History and Heritage Command has gone by that name only since Dec. 1, but DeLoach already has a concise phrase for what he wants out of the new operation: “Forward-looking historians.”

In his vision, Navy leaders in the Pentagon could call to get a custom report on historical precedents to aid in making a difficult decision. Naval Education and Training Command would have access to primary sources and historical information. And there would be a single place for the outside world to get authoritative Navy history.
Someone pinch me! Bravo Zulu to all involved.

Hat Tip Sid.

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