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Torch Bearers, Trees and Time Capsules: Honoring 50 Years of Tradition
Bringing a year of anniversary celebrations to a close, the Defense Intelligence Agency unveiled a new Torch Bearers Hall and dedicated a 50th Anniversary Tree Grove and Time Capsule at the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington D.C. Sept. 30.
"The new hallway and the induction of its inaugural members honor our agency's commitment to excellence and our professional obligation to recognize those individuals who have made truly outstanding contributions to the agency's success," said DIA Director Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess Jr. to an audience of inductees, their family members and agency employees. "In recognizing those individuals, we affirm the attributes, ethic and skills required to achieve excellence in defense of the nation."
DIA inducted eight distinguished former employees to the Torch Bearers Hall located on the facility's second floor. The inductees distinguished themselves with accomplishments that were clearly identifiable in a historical context, changed the direction and scope of defense intelligence operations, or increased the value of the activities for national decision-makers or military commanders. The inaugural Torch Bearers are Louis Andre III, John Hughes, Richard LaDue, Gordon Negus, Maj. Gen. Homer Smith, Barbara Streb, Jack Vorona and Lt. Gen. Vernon Walters.
A seven-member panel selected the first eight inductees from a list of candidates nominated by Department of Defense or intelligence community employees.
Earlier in the day, the director dedicated on the south lawn of the DIAC a commemorative tree grove of 50 trees and a time capsule containing more than 20 historical items honoring the half century of DIA history.
"If cared for properly, these trees, our mission and the advantage that we provide to commanders and policymakers will outlive everyone attending today," said the director "It underscores one of our critical responsibilities as we look to the agency's next half century of contributions to national security. What we do today prepares us for tomorrow's uncertainty."
The director planted the last tree in the grove with Judi Demulling, Defense Intel Alumni Association president, and DIA's longest and newest serving employees —Frederica Weaver, who has been with the agency for 47 years, and Shavaughn Garnett, who was sworn in just four days prior to the event. During the ceremony, Burgess also cut the ribbon on the site of the 50th Anniversary Time Capsule, marked with a copper plaque in the center of the tree grove. Items in the time capsule include a sealed letter from the director, a DIA identification badge, a 50th Anniversary coin and logo, SD cards with videos and photographs of DIA personnel and events, a 50th Anniversary coffee book and commemoration video, the Sept. 11 Congressional Resolution and the Congressional Resolution Commemorating DIA's 50th Anniversary, directorate coins, newspapers and a laptop. The capsule will remain sealed at the burial site for another 50 years when future generations of DIA employees can look back on 100 years of accomplishments.
After reflecting on the agency's last five decades, the director chose to end the festivities with a forward-looking message. "Today, we honor the past. Tomorrow — together — we forge an even greater future on behalf of the American people."
DIA is the nation’s premier all-source military intelligence organization.
It provides the nation’s most authoritative assessments of foreign military intentions and capabilities. The agency’s four core competencies -- human intelligence, all-source analysis, counterintelligence and technical intelligence -- enable military operations while also informing policy-makers at the defense and national levels.
DIA’s mission is unique and no other agency matches its military expertise across such a broad range of intelligence disciplines.
This page was last updated March 21, 2013.