In our line of work we often find ourselves serving on Army or Air Force bases.  For us cryptologists, it is a well-known fact that the Navy likesto “mark its territory” on these bases with the proud display of an anchor.  NIOC Maryland and NIOC Colorado serve as two examples.  What is often lesser known is the story behind the acquisition and placement of these symbols of pride.

Station HYPO is proud to share the following dispatch from LT Harry Rakfeldt, USN, Retired, that tells the story of one such anchor.

“I arrived at DLI JULY 1972 for duty as the NSG Liaison Officer. I also maintained a vault at NPS where NSG officers, studying at NPS could keep up on classified general cryptologic events and CT’s could study for advancement exams. 

On arrival there were 68 Navy personnel studying at DLI.  And we grew and grew.  Our entry level language personnel were integrated into Army barracks.  And as the Navy had only admin control, prospective NSG’ers were otherwise under Army control (argh!). There were difficulties… (aside: growth  over the next few years finally dictated that the Army give us our own building. Great!)

 In the fall of 1975 CNSG, RADM George P. March made a (quiet) visit to see us.  We did not inform the Army. I brought RADM March onto the post in my own vehicle and he, CTACS James Kent, my very capable ‘right hand,’  and I met in my office for discussion.  RADM March was not happy about ‘his’ sailors standing inspection and performing duties by and for the Army.  Jim Kent elaborated on some of the Army demands on the sailors, and RADM March said, “That’s bullshit.” After his return to WASHDC the wheels began moving toward NSGD designation.

In JAN 1976 I was alerted to an anchor, sitting idly on the beach at NPS. I went to the beach to check it out and was surprised by its large size (I think, 16,000 lbs)!  We began formulating a plan. I formally requested that as part of the forthcoming NSGD, would like to ‘borrow’ the anchor.  Took some time before the request was approved.

My retirement ceremony was slated for 31 JUL 76. On the afternoon of 14 JUL, a big Navy flatbed tractor trailer combo with one big anchor chained down tightly dead center and a NAVY crane came on board DLI.  Shortly thereafter the first ever anchor on the Presidio of Monterey (or any Army post I’m aware of?) was set into a bed of concrete in front of the barracks! The United States Navy was here…to stay…and firmly anchored!  (Oh, somewhere along the way I also forgot to tell the Army an anchor was coming…think it was the beginning of STML = Short Term Memory Loss.) 

As the famed radio commentator, Paul Harvey would say:  “And now, the rest of the story…”  The Change of Command took place alongside the Navy barracks Friday afternoon, 31JUL76. After I was piped over the side and walked to the anchor for pictures with my family,  the Commandant of the Presidio came over to me and said, “Now, can we get rid of that damn thing?” Not only did it stay, but I learned some years later – and, Chuck, you may be able to verify — another anchor was brought up to share the duty.

How sweet it was…and for me, still is!

Pic’s 2 and 3 same event:  The very first DLI ORGANIZATION DAY competition.  I’m on the left and CTACS James Kent, right.  We’re holding the “COMMANDANT’S TROPHY, 1st PLACE, TEAM COMPETITION, DLI ORGANIZATION DAY” ( June 1976).  NAVY won big time.  Even though the Army and Air Force had larger contingents to draw upon, Navy spirit/can do shone very brightly.

Harry Rakfeldt, LT, USN, Retired
AUG 1955 – AUG 1976″

 Thank you for your service, Harry!  
And thanks for sharing this fantastic story! 
The anchor you acquired and placed continues to proudly stand watch to this day!
Pictured are (right) CDR Andrew Newsome, Commanding Officer and (left) CTICM Joseph Wachtler, Senior Enlisted Leader, Information Warfare Training Center Monterey