Adequate and pleasant office space had been assigned to Defense Affairs on the west corner of the sixth floor of FOB 6 when I reported for work. We managed to remain in this location during my entire tenure.
The early supporting complement of the Office of Defense Affairs consisted of five people, all assigned from within the Headquarters organization:
It was obvious that the complement would have to be augmented to handle the workload, and I had no difficulty in obtaining the assignment of a space for an additional professional. A search for a suitable candidate was begun. We looked for someone with a knowledge of the Defense Department and some technical background. These specifications pointed, once again, to a retired officer. On April 15, 1963, Col. John C. Damon, U.S. Army (Ret.), joined our office from the General Electric TEMPO organization and was given the title of Technical Coordinator. He had had some experience in R&D work while on active duty.
Later, we felt the need for additional assistance in handling our interface with the Air Force. I wanted a man with a technical background who had had R&D experience and who possessed a current knowledge of the organization, activities, and personalities of the Air Force Systems Command. These qualifications were likely to be found only in an active duty officer at AFSC or a retired officer who had had recent duty with AFSC. I presented the case to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, stating my view that it would be to the advantage of the Air Force to find an outstanding man for the position. ;The Air Force detailed Col Harold B. Ebbeler, USAF, then on duty with the Office of` Aerospace Research. Colonel Ebbeler joined Defense Affairs as an active duty detailee on July 20, 1964, and was given the title of Technical Coordinator.
 On September 16, 1965, Colonel Ebbeler was relieved by another military detailee, Col. John M. Coulter, USAF, who came to us from duty with the OMSF extension of the Office of the Deputy Commander for Manned Space Flight, AFSC. On September 1, 1967, Colonel Coulter retired from active duty but stayed on as a Civil Service appointee.
A Special Programs Office, headed by Lt. Col. Floyd J. Sweet, USAFR, and previously under the NASA Executive Secretary, was transferred to Defense Affairs on December 20, 1964. Colonel Sweet's functions were concerned primarily with the collection and dissemination of information on foreign aerospace technology and operations. Dr. Seamans desired to place this activity under one of his Deputies for administrative purposes, and Defense Affairs seemed to be a logical choice. Sweet was given the title of Technical Assistant.
Mr. Green was transferred to a technical position in the Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) on May 8, 1966. His place was taken by Mr. Thomas Bell from the NASA Secretariat, who had reported on May 2, 1966.
Other than the addition of two more secretarial positions under Miss Hass and several changes in personnel in these positions, the above listed additions and reliefs were the only changes in the staff of Defense Affairs during my tenure. It was a source of strength in the Office that our turnover of personnel was minimal. It was a source of pardonable pride, too, that when we did lose a secretary it was usually to one of the "front offices. " We came to regard our office as a training ground for senior secretaries, and for this much credit must be given to the exceptionally capable and dedicated Miss Haas.
There was no break-in period. When I sat down at my desk on the morning of December 1, several action items were before me. We went right to work. Having a staff immediately available who were thoroughly conversant with Headquarters procedures, functional responsibilities, and personalities was of inestimable help to me. As time permitted, I read the NASA manuals, orders, instructions, and other issuances pertinent to my office. I promptly scheduled get-acquainted calls on the heads of the Program Offices and other Headquarters offices. These revealed that there were some internal problems to be overcome, as well as differences between NASA and the DOD to be resolved.
Mr. Webb, Dr. Dryden, and Dr. Seamans each made me feel that his door was open to me at any time that I needed guidance or backing, or otherwise to discuss a matter directly and personally with top management. However, under the influence of many years of indoctrination in the Navy, I chose to follow the practice of operating with maximum independence and initiative and minimum recourse to top management for guidance, acting within the framework of the known policies and desires of the Administrator.
 My staff and I prepared a charter for the new office which was approved by Dr. Seamans, Dr. Dryden, and Mr. Webb with little change, but not formally issued until considerably later. (See Attachments III-A and III-B)
The functions and responsibilities of the new office, as we initially understood them, were as follows:
One of my early actions was to call on the Chief of each of the four Services, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, and the Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Research and Development of each Service. In each case, I outlined the functions of the Office of Defense Affairs and expressed the hope that I might be considered as working for " both sides of the river" in strengthening coordination, cooperation, and mutual support. I urged that the Department of Defense make full use of my Office in taking advantage of the technical competence and the R&D facilities support available in NASA for the asking. Later, I extended this round of calls to include the Commander, Air Force Systems Command; the Assistant Chiefs Of Staff of the Services for R&D; and heads of other technical bureaus and commands of the Military Services.
On most of these visits I was warmly received, with apparently genuine appreciation for my offer; on some the reaction was one of` reserve.
After being in office about three months, and beginning to feel that I had a reasonably good grasp of the NASA organization and programs from the Headquarters point of view, I scheduled a series of field trips which took me to every NASA Center and lesser field activity, to several Air Force aerospace laboratories, and to the plants of the principal NASA contractors. One or more members of my office staff usually accompanied me.
[30-31] Attachment III-A. Management Manual: Subject: Functions and Authority- Office of Defense Affairs. February 14, 1964.
[32-33] Attachment III-B. Management Instruction: Functions and Authority- Office of Defense Affairs. September 24, 1965.