Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Martin Named as Executive Director of the Battleship North Carolina; Bragg to Retire After 15 Years

May 15, 2024

Dr. Jay Martin has been appointed as the new executive director of the Battleship North Carolina effective May 31, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced today. Martin takes over the role from Captain Terry Bragg, who will retire June 1.

“Dr. Martin’s extensive background in maritime history, historic preservation and archaeology will bring an enhanced focus to telling the Battleship’s story for its thousands of annual visitors,” said Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “We thank Captain Bragg for his service to the Battleship for the past 15 years, and we wish him well in his retirement.”

Dr. Martin is a 40-year veteran of historical endeavors and a specialist in maritime history. He has served as the chief administrator for several museums, and most recently served as director and curator of the Central Michigan University Museum of Cultural and Natural History/Gerald Poor School House Museum and director of the Museum Studies Program.

Dr. Martin has taught American, maritime, military, and public history at various institutions and his specialty in historic preservation and cultural resource management has included the research, restoration, and interpretation of multiple historic ships, overland vehicles, and structures.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in public history from Western Michigan University along with a master’s degree in American Studies and a Ph.D. in history from Bowling Green State University.

Captain Terry Bragg has served as executive director of the Battleship North Carolina since March 2009. Before joining the Battleship as executive director, Captain Bragg spent 30 years in the naval services with sub-specialties in financial management, procurement, and anti-submarine warfare.

During his time as executive director, Bragg spearheaded projects that repaired extensive corrosion damage to the battleship hull, built the cofferdam to ensure continuous hull maintenance, built the public SECU Memorial walkway that encircles the Battleship, and started the Living with Water project to counter the effects of climate change.

The U.S.S. North Carolina is a decommissioned World War II battleship, permanently moored as a memorial and state historic site in Wilmington on the Cape Fear River. The retired battleship commemorates the heroism of U.S. sailors and soldiers from North Carolina during World War II. Learn more at

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

Related Topics: