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DoD Plans 50th Anniversary Celebration

By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 8, 1997 – DoD officials began preparations to celebrate the department's golden anniversary with observances slated Sept. 15-19 at the Pentagon.

The 50th Anniversary Observance Committee will plan activities marking the National Security Act of 1947. That act -- which President Harry S. Truman signed Sept. 17, 1947 -- merged the War Department and Navy Department into the Defense Department, created the U.S. Air Force and built the foundation for a modern national security structure. The act also created the Central Intelligence Agency.

Robert A. Jackson, deputy director of the Pentagon's Real Estate and Facilities Branch, is the committee chair. He said the committee will make all efforts to provide a "festive atmosphere for Pentagon occupants and visitors during the week of the event."

Committee spokesperson Jennifer Blakeney said DoD plans to keep its celebration conservative and contained in and around the Pentagon. "This is an internal celebration for those of us who work here in the Pentagon and for those DoD workers around Washington," she said. "We're not out make this something massive; just something for folks here to attend and remember."

Blakeney said some activities are tentatively set. These include a military review hosted by Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, a joint service flyover and concerts by Washington area military bands.

She said celebrations will also include an extensive exhibit depicting DoD's 50-year history.

Blakeney also said the committee is working with the Pentagon's concession committee and morale, welfare and recreation officials to sell DoD 50th anniversary commemorative items during the week on the Pentagon Concourse. Plans call for T-shirts, coffee mugs and other small items labeled with the 50th anniversary logo.

Those with questions and information about DoD's 50th anniversary celebration can call the committee at (703) 693-3768 or DSN 223-3768. They can also e-mail comments and inquiries to #dod50th@ccmailgw.ref.osd.mil.

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