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News | Oct. 9, 2014

Former DIA director joins shipmates in celebration of Navy’s 239th birthday

By Navy Lt. Jeff Prunera, DIA

Retired Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby joined sailors assigned to DIA in celebration of the Navy’s 239th birthday at DIA Headquarters, Oct. 9.

Jacoby, the 15th DIA director from 2002 to 2005, gave his remarks as the keynote speaker about junior responsibility, mentorship and lessons learned from his 37-year naval career.

We have a tradition of giving larger amounts of responsibility to junior people than many services do; it’s part of a Navy tradition,” said Jacoby. “And we bring that kind of background as we come into joint environments also.”

“There’s a responsibility of your leading petty officer, your chief, your division officer. All of those people in that chain have a responsibility to provide mentoring,” added Jacoby. “For me, mentoring means reprising the next generation and passing on the tradecraft of our work. That’s embedded in the Navy culture.”

On Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels and send them on a cruise to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the Navy.

“I think naval intelligence and the Navy in a broader sense has done very well over these 239 years with respect to credibility, integrity and relevance to decision-making and operational focus,” said Jacoby.

In 1882, the Department of the Navy issued a general order that established an office of intelligence.

“The Navy’s marriage with maritime intelligence is a natural one; we operate forward,” said Capt. Heidi Berg, commanding officer of DIA’s Navy element.
“We, in the Navy, take this time every year to pause and reflect on the richness of our Navy heritage, our centuries of Navy heritage.”

More than 500 sailors serve within DIA and its components, filling roles across the intelligence spectrum as well as many support functions.

“Regardless of what designation you have, what rating you have, be proud of the fact that you’re in the Navy in a joint environment,” said Jacoby. “For your involvement and contribution in joint operations, I thank you, and I congratulate you.”

The ceremony featured a time-honored tradition of formally cutting a cake with a decorative sword by the oldest and youngest sailors in the command.

“I brought that was passed down to me in truly what this event symbolizes, which is to pass down and mentor our junior sailors who are going to be leading the fleet,” said Berg as she presented her family’s sword to the senior sailor.

 “In the Navy, we operate forward; we don’t play home games, we play away games. That’s where we operate, that’s where we do our best,” remarked Berg. “Our culture and our training reinforce that we will be ready for the fight of the future.”