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Annual Symposium

September 21 | 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

The University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus

Retama Room, Student Union Building, 1 UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249

Saturday, September 21, 2019

This year’s Symposium will focus on Operational Command and Control in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  It will be held on 21 September 2019 from 9am to 5pm at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Main Campus Student Union, Retama Auditorium, and is hosted by the UTSA History Department

Tickets are $60 for Admiral Nimitz Foundation Members and $70 for non-members.  Members need to log-in to the website in order to register at the discounted price. A fully catered lunch on the UTSA campus is included in the cost of your ticket.

 A closing reception in the Student Union Denman Ballroom will immediately follow the conclusion of the symposium. Refreshments will be served and is also included in your registration. Come meet the days’ speakers to get all your questions answered and learn even more from your fellow attendees.

Operational command and control is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission.  This is unique from policy direction of prosecuting the war which originates from the capital cities of the belligerents.  After a general policy has been established, it then falls to a system whereby war objectives are fashioned to a chain of command connected to the resources necessary for war.  This system is typically in place in theater, but not exclusively. Variables such as individual personalities and personal relationships potentially influence each commander’s decision to instruct and direct subordinate behavior. Other factors such as culture, military custom, training and education, and national philosophical orientation can also potentially play a role.

In our 2019 Symposium, we will examine with acute focus the methods and styles chosen by four command and control centers in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of War.  Particular attention will be given to the three individuals whose presence in their command and control structure was most profound: General MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz and Lord Mountbatten. In the case of Japan, the focus is mostly on the system of command and control rather than through an individual.


The schedule is subject to change.   

8:55 am - Opening Remarks and Pledge of Allegiance 

9:00 am - Introduction to Operational Command and Control: Dr. Branden Little, Associate Professor, History Department, We­ber State University

9:30 am - A Vast and Efficient Organism: Art of Command in the Pacific Fleet During World War II: Trent Hone, award-winning naval historian and a Fellow with Excella, Arlington, VA

This talk will assess the atmosphere of effective collaboration created by Nimitz, describe how it developed and was refined, and illustrate how Nimitz used it during World War II. Mr. Hone is an expert on U.S. Navy tactics and doctrine. He co-authored Battle Line: The United States Navy, 1919-1939. His latest book, Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898–1945 was pub­lished in June 2018 by the U.S. Naval Institute

10:30 am -  Break  

10:45 am - Operational Control in the U.S. Army Forces Far East, Southwest Pacific Area, and U.S. Army Forces Pacific Com­mands during World  War II: The Evolution of General Douglas MacArthur, 1941 – 1945: Jim Zobel, Archivist, MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk Virginia 

Prior to the war he was known as the brilliant, energetic brigade and division commander of the First World War, 1917-1918.  Always at the front, he gained first-hand the information necessary to know every facet and detail of his command. After evacuation to Australia, from 1942-1945 MacArthur prosecuted the victorious drive from New Guinea, back through the Philippines to the doorstep of Japan.  His operational control of forces was one of the main factors that led to the enormous success of the SWPA and USAFPAC commands in the Pacific.  After defeat in the Philippines, MacArthur underwent an evolution in his style and method of operational control and the result was victory.  He evolved into the man of 1918 again.

 11:45 am - Lunch—On site 

12:45 pm - Command and Control; Primary Causes of Imperial Japanese Navy’s Failure in the Second World War in the Pacific: Yoji Koda, VAdm. JMSDF (Ret.) Former CINC, Self Defense Fleet

He is a graduate of National Defense Academy (NDA: 1972) and in 1991-1992 he was a student of Naval Command College at the U.S. Naval War College. After 40 years’ service in NDA and JMSDF, he served as Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet, from 2007 until his retirement in 2008.

1:30 pm - Break & Book Signing 

Please consider supporting the museum with your advance purchase of books thru our museum store website. Select Symposium Pick Up as your delivery method and receive FREE SHIPPING.  Your purchase will be waiting upon your arrival at the Symposium.  Skip the lines and be prepared to meet the speakers and have your books signed! Advance purchases may also be made by calling Krista Gratigni at 830-997-8600 ext. 210 or emailing Deadline for advance purchases is Thursday, September 19, 2019.

2:00 pm - The China, Burma, India Region in World War II: The Masters and Disasters of Command: Richard B. Frank

This presentation will emphasize how the most prominent commanders in this theater ranged from a true "Great Captain" of warfare, down a spectrum through the middling to the catastrophically unfit.  There is triumph, tragedy and unintended comedy along the war.

3:00 pm - Conclusion: National Security Act of 1947 and the future of Operational Command and Control: Dr. Sam J. Tangredi, Captain, USN (Ret.), Leidos Chair of Future Studies & Director, Institute for Future Warfare Studies, US Naval War College.

Followed by 

      Roundtable Discussion 

New Location! 

With a new venue, in a new town, we want to make planning for your trip to Symposium this year is as easy as possible.  Below you will find details on how to get to San Antonio, where to stay, and what to expect when you get here.

How to Get there

Air service is available to San Antonio on major carriers into San Antonio International Airport.   SAT averages 260 daily departures and arrivals at its 25 gates, which serve 12 airlines flying non-stop to 53 destinations in the US and Mexico.  The airport is 13 miles from the venue and surrounding hotels. For more information about the city please call the San Antonio Visitors Bureau at Telephone: (210) 244-2000 or

The address for the venue is Student Union Building, 1 UTSA CIRCLE, SAN ANTONIO, TX 78249

From Loop 1604

Exit Chase Hill / La Cantera / John Peace Blvd. If westbound turn left under 1604 to John Peace Blvd. If eastbound turn right onto John Peace Blvd. Take your first right on Margaret Tobin Ave. your second left on to Brenan Avenue. Follow Brenan Avenue past UTSA housing on your right and left and follow the street around the tennis courts. Continue until you enter the Brackenridge Lot. Turn left on to Brackenridge Avenue, which is the roadway that bisects the Brackenridge lot. Cross Ximenes Avenue and park in the Ximenes Avenue Garage.

From I-10

Exit UTSA Blvd., and if eastbound turn right on UTSA Blvd. If westbound turn left and cross over I-10. Turn right on Edward Ximenes Avenue; turn right on George Brackenridge and park in the Ximenes Avenue Garage in an unmarked space and pay at the cashier's window on the first floor of the garage.


Where to Stay

Book your room


15806 IH-10 West
San Antonio, TX 78249
P: 210-696-0800

Please make your reservations by Friday, August 30, 2019 to receive your group rate.  Reservations made after this date will be subject to prevailing rate and availability.   Reservations may also be made by calling 1-800-325-0720 and refer to your group number 2375325.

Book your room


5730 Rim Pass
San Antonio, Texas 78257
Tel: +1-210-696-3500

A block of rooms has been reserved for September 20, 2019 - September 22, 2019. The special room rate will be available until September 1st or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. Use the code Admiral Nimitz Foundation when calling the above number to make a reservation.  Our website will also feature a link from which you can book a room at the group’s preferred rate.

What to expect

Museum Volunteers will be on campus that day to help you park and find your way to the Student Union and into the Retama Auditorium. The room can be cool so bring a jacket or sweater.

Parking on Campus:

University patrons can take advantage of permit-free parking options in Employee A, Employee B, and unmarked Commuter spaces only during the following times: Friday: 5 pm - 6 am the following Monday. Parking garages throughout campus also available for hourly rates. Ximenes Av­enue Garage and surrounding lots are the closest to the HEB Student Union where the event will be held. Here is a map of the UTSA campus to help you find your way around. 

Register Now


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