By Suzanne Scott, Processing Archivist, Naval History and Heritage Command, Histories and Archives Division
Command Operations Reports (CORs) are among the most important records commands create. These reports have many different types of information and can be used to help a variety of people. Submitting them to the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) with the right information means they can be used by Sailors, their families, and national and international scholars to understand and improve our Navy.
Good news: NHHC is making the experience more user-friendly. An update to the instruction is in its final approval stages and will be available soon.
The submission deadline is close – less than one month away – so NHHC Archives Branch is allowing commands to continue to use OPNAVINST 5750.12K CH-1 and its corresponding template for their 2017 reports. NHHC asks that commands adhere to the following upcoming changes, regardless of the template used or when the report is submitted:
- Every sea and shore command with a Unit Identification Code (UIC) will continue to submit its own report. However, immediate superiors in command (ISIC) can submit on behalf of their subordinate units with 25 or fewer full-time employees – military, civilian, and contractor combined.
- Only digital submissions will be accepted. Reports can be sent via email, FTP, or CD (unless the material is TS//SCI). Submissions should be the original digital material and not scanned copies. There is no need for a separate cover letter. Instead of the commanding officer signing off on the report, command approval for the completed COR can be shown by CCing the CO or XO on the submission.
- NHHC not only accepts but encourages classified submissions. They accept material up to and including TS and SCI, so keep this in mind while you are writing your report. Your command should document the full range of your operations within the annual report.
Remember to include what went well and what could have gone better. Knowing that it took three times to pass a certification/exam or that it took two extra years for a building to be completed is incredibly helpful for research.
CORs are commonly used for the following:
- Verifying service dates, specific events, and awards for veterans;
- Providing memorabilia like photographs and documents;
- Justifying commands’ budget increases for things like training and housing improvements;
- Researching operations and improving the fleet:
- Vietnam-era CORs were used while planning operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) because of their extensive documentation about brown water ops;
- Program Executive Offices (PEOs) review CORs and their supporting reports to help build new classes of ships;
The NHHC website for is always the most up-to-date resource for CORs. It includes the OPNAV Instruction, a template with guidance in each section, and examples of reports. The new Instruction will be added when available. All of this information, as well as contact information for the NHHC COR Program, is online here: https://www.history.navy.mil/about-us/instructions-and-forms/submit-a-command-operations-report.html.
The Naval History and Heritage Command, 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 our nation’s history, and supports the fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.
For more news from Naval History and Heritage Command, visit www.history.navy.mil.