FALLS CHURCH, Va., June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A ceremony was held in Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 16, 2017, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Office of Strategic Services' (OSS) founding. OSS was the World War II predecessor to CIA, the US Special Operations Command, and the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. It was created on June 13, 1942, by President Franklin Roosevelt.
OSS was led by Maj. Gen. William Donovan, a World War I Medal of Honor recipient who is considered the founding father of the US intelligence and special operations communities. The ceremony was held on Navy Hill in Washington, D.C., which was the site of the OSS and first CIA headquarters. This site was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. Several OSS veterans attended the ceremony.
Representatives of three agencies that trace their lineage to the OSS spoke at the ceremony: The Hon. Mike Pompeo, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Amb. Daniel Smith, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research; and Lt. Gen. Thomas Trask, USAF, Vice Commander of the US Special Operations Command.
Director Pompeo said that "in drawing up plans for a central intelligence agency, [Donovan] envisioned a service that would help prevent another world war, and that would contribute directly to the security of our citizens. At CIA, we are all under General Donovan's watch. We seek to do justice to his vision every day. We will always endeavor to live up to the magnificent example he set, and to be worthy successors to the men and women of OSS that he so ably led."
Amb. Daniel Smith saluted "the sacrifices and contributions made by our predecessors in the OSS in defense of our nation. This history and tradition continues to inspire and motivate us to provide the best possible policy support to our decision makers."
Gen. Trask said that "we at SOCOM feel a sense of pride in having carried on the traditions and the mantle of responsibility that our forebears in the OSS so gallantly bore."
Charles Pinck, The OSS Society's president, said the OSS' most lasting legacy was best expressed by General Donovan in his 1945 farewell address to OSS personnel: "Only by decisions of national policy based upon accurate information do we have a chance of a peace that will endure."
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SOURCE The OSS Society, Inc.