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Frank M. Snyder papers

Biographical note

Captain Francis “Frank” Maurice Snyder, USN (Ret.) was born on March 28, 1926 in Sayre, Pennsylvania to Abraham Frank (1896-1994) and Mildred (Harrington) Snyder (1896-1984). Frank Snyder married Margaret “Maggie” Kelly (d. 2013) of Chicago, Illinois in 1950 and they had one child, Anne Louise

In May 1943, Snyder was selected for enlistment in the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Cornell University, transferring in February 1944 to continue his training at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. On 13 July 1944, Snyder was discharged from the V-12 program and entered the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) to complete his undergraduate education.

Following his graduation from the USNA in 1947, Snyder was commissioned as an ensign and advanced to the rank of Captain in 1969. On active duty in the Navy, Snyder specialized in surface warfare with a subspecialty in command and control. His duties at sea included assignments on nine ships and on the staff of Commander Sixth Fleet (twice an executive officer and twice in command). Ashore he served at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, twice on the staffs of Naval Forces Europe, three times on the Chief of Naval Operations staff with his last assignment there as the Naval Command and Control System Architect, and in the office of the Secretary of Defense as Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary (Telecommunications). During his naval career, Snyder earned a Masters’ degree from Stanford University in 1953 and received five personal decorations. He retired from active duty on 1 July 1976.

After his retirement from the Navy, Snyder worked in Washington, D.C. at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, on its Committee on Telecommunications and Computer Applications staff, and with the Mitre Corporation. Around 1980, the Synders moved to Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island, and Frank joined the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), as a member of its Operations Department. In 1985 he became Head of the Planning and Decision Making Division.

While on the faculty, Snyder created an elective course on Command and Control, which he taught annually for fourteen years. In 1987, at the request of the President of the National Defense University, he developed his elective course on Command and Control as a course that could be used by all war and staff colleges in the United States. His Command and Control course curriculum was first published in 1988 by the Center for Information Policy Research at Harvard University and, after some revisions, was republished by the National Defense University in 1993. Frank Snyder retired from the Naval War College in 1990 and at that time he was named the Raymond A. Spruance Professor Emeritus of Command and Control.


1926Born in Sayre, Pennsylvania
1943Joined Navy in V-12 program at Cornell University
1944Transferred to NROTC at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute
1944-1947Attended and graduated from U.S. Navy Academy
1947-1949USS Princeton
1949-1950USS John W. Weeks
1950-1951Instructor, NAPS, Newport, R.I.
1952USS Adirondack, Legal Officer and Communications Watch Officer
1953M.A., Stanford University
1953-1955CO, USS Gull and CO Mine Division 33
1955-1957Communications Plans Officer, CINCNELM, London, England
1957-1958XO, USS Henley
1958-1960USS Northampton
1960-1961Placement officer, BUPERS
1961-1962XO, USS Henley
1963-1965Office of the CNO, Manpower Plans Division
1965-1968USS Springfield; Sixth Fleet
1968-1971Manpower Plan Officer and Inspector General, Naval Communications Command
1971-1973Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications, CIC Naval Forces Europe
1973Assistant to the Secretary of State, Telecommunications
1974Office of the Secretary of Defense
1974Staff, CO, Telecommunications
1975Office of the CNO
1976Retirement from active duty
1976-1981Employed by Mitre Corporation
19981-1990Naval Operations Faculty, Naval War College
1990Retired from NWC, named Raymond A. Spruance Professor Emeritus of Command and Control