The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) has been awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation. Assigned service members and employees will be formally recognized during a ceremony at the NHHC headquarters June 27.
“I’m exceedingly proud of every member of the command who, in their own way, has put us on the path to success. When I got here two years ago, I was more than troubled by the conditions. We’re not close to perfect yet – but now we’re on course and coming up to speed, and we’re making dramatic improvements to get this command where we need to be,” said Capt. Henry J. Hendrix, Ph.D., who assumed responsibilities as director of NHHC two years ago. He will retire at month’s end.
The citation, signed by the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, indicates that personnel assigned at to the headquarters staff and its nine museums “first stabilized and then systematically improved the Navy’s historical and heritage assets that were in jeopardy in 2011.”
It recognizes meritorious service from December 2011 to January 2014.
NHHC was the subject of a Navy Inspector General inspection in 2011 that revealed its archives, artifacts, art and other historic holdings were at high risk or, in some cases, already deteriorating under substandard conditions and care. The citation indicates the staff had arrested the degradation of Navy’s irreplaceable heritage assets.
The citation cites a number of improvements. Among them it indicates that NHHC attacked its archival backlog, reducing 11,000 cubic feet of unprocessed material by 85 percent, while developing programs to address challenges in artifact cataloging and documentary history compilations. Staff also improved environmental and facilities deficiencies, for example initiating renovation of the operational archives to ensure proper temperature and humidity controls to meet professional standards.
The NHHC, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy’s unique and enduring contributions through the nation’s history, and supports the Fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services.
Press Release, June 13, 2014; Image: US Navy