Peace Time: March 21, 2003


American military commanders have long recognized the value of well researched military history, especially for campaigns they participated in. The war with Iraq is no different. The navy, for example, sent out specific instructions to commanders on how to capture and preserve information the historians would need to sort out exactly what happened and why. Part of those instructions went like this, 

"Save all official records, including messages, e-mails, and chat Room transcripts. 

Keep a daily chronology of your operations, including as much Detail as circumstances permit. 

As the opportunity presents, record your personal reflections on your unit's operations, with emphasis on the circumstances that led to operational decisions. Include specific contributions of members of your command to mission accomplishment.

We will pass at a later date more detailed instructions on what to do with the records, chronology, and reflections described above.

Though your first priority is combat readiness and operational execution, a comprehensive record of future events will play an important role in the analysis of our performance and in telling our story to the American people."

Note the attention paid to gathering email and chat room activity. Both are an increasingly important part of naval operations.


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