The DISA and JFHQ-DoDIN workforce and guests celebrated the Navy’s birthday during a cake-cutting ceremony hosted by DISA Director and JFHQ-DoDIN Commander Navy Vice Adm. Nancy A. Norton, at DISA Headquarters Oct. 11. The official Navy birthday was Oct. 13.
Guest speaker Navy Vice Adm. Timothy "T.J." White, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. 10th Fleet, took the opportunity to share the history of this year’s Navy birthday theme: “No Higher Honor.”
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Robert Copeland, captain of the USS Samuel B. Roberts, stated he could think of, “no higher honor than to have served with these men,” referring to the Sailors who fought during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of World War II. Copeland’s ship was sunk in the battle.
In 1988, the admiral explained, USS Samuel B. Roberts (a different ship) struck a contact mine in the Arabian Gulf. The ship’s captain, Navy Cmdr. Paul Rinn transmitted a message that said he did not intend to abandon the ship, closing his transmission with the ship’s motto, “No Higher Honor.”
“Every branch of the military has these attributes,” White said.
During the battle off Samar, in the Philippine Sea, White explained that American Naval forces, outnumbered and unprepared, fought tenaciously to defeat the Japanese fleet, ultimately paving the way for U.S. victory in the Pacific.
The unpreparedness of American Naval forces led to some aircrews flying unarmed aircraft into battle.
“They went into the fight as multiple targets presented to the enemy, knowing that they would very likely not come home. They went unarmed into combat to draw fire so [their] wingmen, who had munitions, would have a higher probability of lethality – making a decision to make the last full sacrifice. This is what it took,” White said.
White explained the planning of joint operations between the Army, Navy, and Marines during World War II paved the way for joint military organizations, such as DISA and JFHQ-DoDIN.
As the head of the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command, White’s organization regularly accesses data on the DoDIN.
“It is very clear to me that the fundamental business of [DISA and JFHQ-DoDIN] is assured command, control, and communications, and you are excellent and there is no one better at doing that than you,” White said.
Following White’s remarks, Norton and White — assisted by the oldest and youngest Sailors present — cut a Navy birthday cake with a ceremonial sword.
Navy Cmdr. Paul Hughes, an illustrator in the DISA Operations Center, and the oldest Sailor present, served a slice of cake to the youngest Sailor present, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Ferm, a systems control officer in the DISA Operations Center.
The passing of the cake signifies the passing of experience and knowledge and emphasizes the core belief that senior Sailors care for junior Sailors before they care for their own needs.
The ceremony concluded with a recital of the Sailor’s Creed, and a singing of the official Navy song, “Anchors Aweigh.”