NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMEMORATION – BATTLE OF MIDWAY

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R 292216Z APR 10
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SUBJ/NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMEMORATION - BATTLE OF MIDWAY//



RMKS/1.  ON 4 JUNE 1942, A JAPANESE ARMADA STEAMED TOWARDS MIDWAY WITH 
INTENT TO DESTROY ALL U.S. FORCES ON THE ATOLL, ESTABLISH ITS OWN BASE, 
AND DRAW OUT AND DESTROY U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING UNCHECKED 
SINCE FEBRUARY 1942.  UNBEKNOWNST TO JAPAN, HOWEVER, THEIR NAVAL CODE 
HAD BEEN BROKEN, AND THE UNITED STATES WAS PREPARED FOR THE ATTACK.  
WHEN A NAVY FLYING BOAT PILOT SPOTTED JAPANESE SHIPS ON
3 JUNE, U.S. FORCES DEPLOYED TO COUNTER THE THRUST AND SURPRISED THE 
ENEMY.  THE ENSUING BATTLE OF MIDWAY (4-6 JUNE 1942) WOULD SPELL THE 
BEGINNING OF THE END FOR THE ENEMY AND HELPED SET THE UNITED STATES AND 
ITS ALLIES ON THE ROAD TO VICTORY IN WORLD WAR II.

2.  THE VICTORY AT MIDWAY WAS BORN OUT OF THE METTLE OF AMERICAN 
SAILORS, MARINES, AND AIRMEN.  THEY ENTERED THIS BATTLE WITH INFERIOR 
NUMBERS, AIRCRAFT, TORPEDOES, AND WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL BACKUP FORCES.
THEY COMPENSATED FOR THEIR MATERIAL SHORTCOMINGS WITH COURAGE, 
DISCIPLINE, AND COMMITMENT TO MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT - FROM THE BRAVE 
TORPEDO ATTACKS AGAINST JAPANESE CARRIERS BY TORPEDO SQUADRONS FROM 
HORNET, ENTERPRISE, AND YORKTOWN; TO THE COURAGEOUS DEFENSE OF THE 
ISLAND ITSELF BY MARINE PILOTS WHO VALIANTLY ATTACKED THE INCOMING 
FORMATION OF ENEMY BOMBERS AND FIGHTERS; TO THE AVIATORS OF TASK FORCES 
16 AND 17 AND THE SAILORS WHO FOUGHT OFF ENEMY COUNTERATTACKS.

3.  SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES R. SCHLESINGER SURMISED, "MIDWAY WAS FAR 
MORE THAN A DECISIVE NAVAL VICTORY.  IT WAS FAR MORE THAN THE TURNING 
OF THE TIDE IN THE PACIFIC WAR.  IN A STRATEGIC SENSE, MIDWAY 
REPRESENTS ONE OF THE TURNING POINTS OF WORLD HISTORY - AND IN THAT 
ROLE IT REMAINS UNDER-APPRECIATED."  WITH THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE 
OF MIDWAY QUICKLY APPROACHING, IT IS TIME TO RENEW OUR COMMITMENT TO 
APPRECIATE AND PRESERVE OUR MIDWAY NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE.  AS 
WORLD WAR II VETERANS PASS FROM OUR LIVES, WE MUST CARRY THEIR LEGACY 
FORWARD BY SPEAKING TO OUR SAILORS AND TO THE PUBLIC ABOUT THEIR 
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE NAVY AND THE NATION.  AS WE BUILD UPON LAST YEAR'S 
EFFORTS, I DIRECT THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS:
A.  COMMANDING OFFICERS AND OFFICERS IN CHARGE:  USE NAVY HISTORY AND 
THE NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND (NHHC) PRODUCTS TO EDUCATE AND 
MOTIVATE OUR SAILORS.  EXECUTE CHIEF OF INFORMATION (CHINFO) PUBLIC 
AFFAIRS PLAN AND PARTICIPATE IN PLANNED COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AS 
OPERATIONALLY FEASIBLE.
B.  NHHC:  DEVELOP AND MAKE AVAILABLE TO COMMANDING OFFICERS A BODY OF 
LESSONS LEARNED AT THE TACTICAL, OPERATIONAL, AND STRATEGIC LEVELS FROM 
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY; PLAN OF THE DAY HISTORICAL NOTES FOR EACH WARFARE 
COMMUNITY FOR THE WEEK LEADING UP TO THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY; THE TEMPLATE 
FOR THE 2009 NAVAL DISTRICT WASHINGTON (NDW) COMMEMORATIONS CEREMONY 
FOR USE BY COMMANDER, NAVY INSTALLATIONS COMMAND AND HIS REGIONAL 
COMMANDERS.  POST THESE DOCUMENTS AND ASSOCIATED POINTS OF CONTACT ON 
THE NHHC WEB SITE, WWW.HISTORY.NAVY.MIL.
C.  CHINFO:  DEVELOP A BATTLE OF MIDWAY PUBLIC AFFAIRS PLAN AND 
PROMULGATE TO SHORE AND AFLOAT COMMANDS BY 10 MAY 2010.  THIS PLAN 
SHOULD INCLUDE NAVY'S STRATEGIC MESSAGE AND TALKING POINTS FOR THIS 
EVENT; A COORDINATED WREATH LAYING CEREMONY AROUND THE WORLD ON
4 JUNE 2010; AND PLANNED COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES IN EACH FLEET 
CONCENTRATION AREA THAT COMMANDERS CAN PARTICIPATE IN.
D.  NDW:  CONTINUE TRADITION OF SPONSORING A WREATH LAYING CEREMONY TO 
HONOR THE HEROES OF MIDWAY.  COORDINATE YOUR LESSONS LEARNED FROM THIS 
CEREMONY WITH NHHC FOR OTHER NAVY REGIONS TO FOLLOW.  NDW'S CEREMONY 
WILL SERVE AS THE MODEL FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW, AND AS THE OFFICIAL 
CEREMONY OF THIS OFFICE.
E.  AS A FOCAL POINT FOR THE COMMANDS IN THEIR AREA AND THE COMMUNITY 
AT LARGE, EACH REGIONAL COMMANDER SHALL HOST A WREATH LAYING CEREMONY 
IN THEIR REGION.  REGIONAL COMMANDERS COORDINATE YOUR ACTIVITIES WITH 
CHINFO TO SUPPORT THE REQUIREMENT FOR SIMULTANEOUS CEREMONIES, TIME 
ZONE PERMITTING.

4.  UNDERSTANDING OUR PAST IS IMPORTANT IN BUILDING OUR FUTURE.
KNOW NAVY'S HERITAGE, RESPECT IT, AND BUILD UPON OUR TRADITIONS WITH 
YOUR SERVICE TODAY.

5.  RELEASED BY ADMIRAL G. ROUGHEAD, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.//

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