Don’t reinvent the wheel: visit the Research Center
The next time you’re planning a project, conference or an event of any kind, before you spend countless hours planning and developing what you feel are original ideas, stop. Take a deep breath, get up from your desk and head down to the USTRANSCOM history office, officially called the Research Center, or TCRC.
Chances are your ideas have been already been developed and filed in the office run by Dr. Jay Smith, command historian and Peg Nigra, staff historian.
“With more than 25,000 electronic and paper files, classified and unclassified, TCRC has files on nearly everything the command has done since its establishment in 1987,” said Nigra. “If you need to find information on a project that was hot three or ten years ago, but no one knows much about it now, and it’s hot again, TCRC can help you.”
Smith and Nigra collect information from many sources and attend upper-level meetings around the command. Additionally, Smith interviews the command’s senior leaders, then he and Nigra transform the interviews into polished publications. These oral histories provide a unique look at the command through the eyes of its leaders.
The Research Center isn’t just about collecting and disseminating information. “TCRC is responsible for the artwork and artifacts in all the USTRANSCOM areas, including the Transportation Plaza,” Nigra said. “Currently, the command art holdings number nearly 2,000 framed photos and limited edition prints and museum quality artifacts.”
There is also a small library of approximately 1,500 books that range in topics from almanacs and quotations to wars, leadership, management, supply chain management and current biographies.
The office even offers an annual road trip, the Vicksburg Staff Ride, led by Smith as part of the TRANSCOM professional training program.
Smith and Nigra feel their office is much more than a collection of facts, figures and reams of printed material.
“We are the corporate memory,” Smith said. “Consult us before you begin your next project or tackle ‘new’ issues. Check with us first and possibly save a lot of legwork. Don’t reinvent the wheel.”