Thursday, March 28, 2013

Office Of Naval Intelligence, America's Longest-Serving Intelligence Agency, Celebrates 131st Anniversary

The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) released the below information today:

SUITLAND, Md. (NNS) -- Office of Naval Intelligence personnel paused to mark a milestone for America's longest-serving intelligence agency during a ceremony for the 131st anniversary of ONI's establishment, March 22.

Presiding at the event, Rear Adm. Samuel J. Cox, commander, ONI praised the command's intelligence professionals for their long record of accomplishments.

He said the ceremony offered an opportunity to celebrate the shared experiences of everyone who participated in some way to naval intelligence. Cox said the achievements include the sacrifices, hardships and all the great work that have built the legacy that has been handed down over the years.

Seventeen civilian and military awards were presented at the ceremony during which Cox lauded ONI's civilians for providing the long-term, in-depth expertise that he said has always been critical to successful intelligence production.

Cox noted historical examples of strong relationships between commander and intelligence officer.

"When Julius Caesar established the first military intelligence organization, he was very clear that 'the spy reports to me,'" said Cox.

The death last October of retired Rear Adm. Donald Showers marked the end of an era in naval intelligence, Cox said. As a junior officer, Showers played an important role in the World War II Battle of Midway as one of the Navy's "Station Hypo" code breakers at Pearl Harbor who warned Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz that a Japanese attack was imminent. Under the command of Cmdr. James Rochefort, then-Ensign Showers helped predict the Japanese navy's moves.

"That bond of trust in intelligence was present at the Battle of Midway, and it was the key factor in Nimitz being able to take the proper action based on intelligence," Cox said. "I would argue that that relationship between the military intelligence personnel and the commander held true through the Cold War, through today, and is still the fundamental issue of what this is all about."

"Our primary purpose today is to provide recognition and honor to some of our stellar performers at ONI, both military and civilian, who are building on the legacy of all that came before," he continued. "In the military, we roll in and out, back and forth, and the way you achieve the long dwell time on the target is through our civilian analysts.

"I would actually argue that in our particular case, these (civilian) analysts who have been working the targets for 20, 30 years in some cases, (are) the main battery of ONI, and that's what makes this organization really work," he said.

Military members honored at the ONI anniversary ceremony were:

- Lt. Jeffrey Vanak, ONI Junior Officer of the Year

- Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (IDW/EXW/SA) Bryan Judicki, ONI Sailor of the Year (Sea)

- Yeoman 1st Class (IDW/SW/AW) Tanja Smith, ONI Sailor of the Year (Shore)

- Intelligence Specialist 1st Class (EXW) Abby Randleman, ONI Reserve Sailor of the Year

- Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class (IDW) Billy Kingry, ONI Junior Sailor of the Year (Sea)

- Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (IDW/SW/AW) Geneva Hume, ONI Junior Sailor of the Year (Shore)

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