Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Battle of Midway

78th Anniversary Commemoration

Communication Plan

How to Use This Communication Plan:

This plan aims to streamline and align Navy communication efforts commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. It is designed to support Navy staff as they share stories in speeches, in social media and written materials, and in discussions with colleagues, Sailors, partners and other key stakeholders.


June 2020 will mark the 78th anniversary of America’s most historically significant naval victory: the Battle of Midway, a multi-day engagement fought between 3-7 June 1942. Widely considered a turning point in World War II’s Pacific theater, the U.S. victory at the Battle of Midway significantly curbed Japan’s offensive capabilities, shifting the tide of the war strictly in the Allies’ favor.

Timing of Communication Campaign:

3-7 June 2020

Communication Goals:

  • Honor our Sailors by sharing stories of their sacrifice and valor.
  • Through our communication products, show how superior intelligence gathering and analysis, the ability to adjust to new modes of air-sea warfare, and the skill and courage of Sailors contributed to the U.S. Navy’s victory at Midway.
  • Ensure all communications are accurate, engaging, and illustrative of the U.S. Navy’s enduring contributions to national security.


  • Internal: Navy Sailors, Navy Families, Navy Veterans and Retirees
  • Secondary Internal: Senior Navy and DoD Leadership
  • External: USMC and Army Veterans and Retirees, Military Historians, American Public

Messaging Framework:

Key Message

Supporting Talking Points

The Battle of Midway was a decisive moment in the history of information superiority

● Superior intelligence helped the Navy seize victory at Midway and shift the naval power dynamic.

● The seminal efforts of the U.S. Navy’s codebreakers – predecessors of today’s Information Dominance Corps – were key to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s decision, as U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, to engage the Japanese at Midway.

  • In early 1942, cryptologists under then-Cmdr. Joe Rochefort at Pearl Harbor’s Station Hypo detected Japanese references to a pending operation against an objective designated “AF.” Fleet intelligence officer Capt. Edwin Layton and Rochefort were able to confirm “AF” meant Midway.
  • Having penetrated Japanese naval codes as far back as the 1930s, U.S. Navy radio intelligence specialists and Japanese linguists combined radio traffic analysis techniques and a deep understanding of Imperial Japanese Navy tactics to provide predictive awareness at Midway.

The Battle of Midway demonstrated the Navy’s ability to  flexibly adjust to new modes of air-sea warfare

● The Battle of Midway marked the culmination of a technical revolution in which carrier airpower displaced gunnery as the primary means of delivering naval ordnance.

  • Midway was a contest of air power; there were no contacts of surface vessels in the entire action.
  • At the Battle of Midway, naval aviators — such as Torpedo Squadron Eight pilot Ensign George Gay; Comander Torpedo Squadron Eight LCDR John C. Waldron; and Commander (Enterprise) Air Group LCDR Clarence Wade McClusky Jr.— demonstrated skill and boldness against great odds.

At the heart of every victory in naval history is the sacrifice and valor of American Sailors

● Intelligence set the stage for victory, but the Battle of Midway was fought and won by the skill, courage and blood of those who flew the planes, manned the antiaircraft batteries, and peered through the periscopes.

Communication Resources and Channels:

NHHC Measurements of Effectiveness:

Objective Key Performance Indicator


Use key messages to connect events from the Battle of Midway to the readiness and resiliency of today’s Navy, reaching no fewer than 300,000 people digitally across Navy social platforms.


● Monitor and track 1) unique website visitors to pages featuring Midway-related content; and 2) reach of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels



Achieve an average Twitter engagement rate of 4% with stories of the sacrifice and valor demonstrated by Sailors during the Battle of Midway.

● Feature, promote, and/or link to NBC's live-Tweets of key Midway events; monitor and track engagement



Create an inclusive web presence highlighting the Navy’s role during the Battle of Midway that showcases the Navy’s history of success in areas necessary to winning future wars.

● Post Midway-related content on Navy web pages and blogs NLT than 25 April 2020


Suggested Tactics for PAOs and MCs:

**NOTE: Check out available resources in the NHHC Battle of Midway Toolkit

Tactic Objective Met

Use hashtags #Midway78 and #NavyReadiness in all shared social content Navy-wide.

1, 2

Actively share Battle of Midway content and stories on your web pages and social properties from 1-7 June 2020

1, 2, 3

Use socially optimized graphics to share content across online platforms

1, 2

Live-tweet key events of the Battle of Midway, using relevant images and links to encourage engagement

1, 2

Conduct Navy leadership speeches to crew/public — available in either full or excerpted form via digital channels — that provide historical context and link events to the missions and capabilities of today’s Sailors

1, 2, 3 

Amplify stories shared from Navy-owned social platforms about Sailors who persevered during the Battle of Midway in spite of extreme challenges and changing battle conditions.

1, 2, 3

Solicit stories from surviving veterans of Midway to share on Navy digital platforms

1, 2, 3

Published: Wed May 27 20:03:56 EDT 2020