New Executive Director at Battleship North Carolina

by May 31, 2024Attractions & Entertainment, People

As Captain Terry Bragg retires, Dr. Jay Martin steps in as executive director.

Dr. Jay Martin has been appointed as the new Battleship North Carolina executive director. Effective May 31, Martin takes over the role from Captain Terry Bragg, who will retire June 1.

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. He 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.

Battleship Executive Director

“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,” says 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.”

Captain Terry Bragg has served as the Battleship North Carolina executive director 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.

Executive Director Dr Martin NC Battleship

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 serves as commemoration of the heroism of U.S. sailors and soldiers from North Carolina during World War II. Learn more at

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