Focus on the Field
MilUary IliJlOl"}' om..-e FOrl:f:I Command William 1':. Slaey, Command
education mission In Rxus Command. There simply would not be I viable military history prt)glllm belo'"
the corps level ",ithout1hcse
The command cu rrently
ForCl:S Command (FORSCOM) is the eOlllincmal
clvlllan historian positions in the nCId. AU three
IJoase for the comb.Jl arms. combal!IUPO
po.,. and combal service SIIppon unil.5- bott1 AClivc and Reserve Componen1. As I Joint Chiefs of specified rommand. II 5UPPOru; \he oyerseas rom mandcl'!l in chief, as "'as done recemJy during J UST
the corps headqtilncrs level. In addition. the 101$1. Alrbome t>i"ision hi, appoinlCd a uniformed offi= 10 be iu; full-time historian. "These fOlir hisloriansSCTVC
only their own Oliani lati0l'l5, but o len pn>vitle 81afT 5Uppon 10 subonJinatc commands. Along with their hlSlOric;al WU. each corps historian has program
As mi&hl be C"PI'Cled In such a large and dlVCfllC:
lCSpOnSibilitic._a very full plate for a
command. the mHilary hi5lory
is both large
anddlvel'llC.11 ;also3I1imenpP;;IIlOOlllracjiclory. For e. amplc. oneof lhc besll'ORSCOM museum CUralnrs has a doclOrllC in hl$tory, and one of the best
off;as an AmlY museum
euralor. 1lle Military History lktachmer'll$ Irt not a1..ays IIlfTed by professiOlWly trained hiSIOrians. "'hile OIIr addltlon.al.duty historians OnCTt MVC ad
f'on.:o.::s Command has an OIIlSlandi", poolof talenl
In its AClive Amly and Reserve Component Mi litary HislOry Detachments (MHo!;). TrJined and re.1dy ..hen c;alled upon ror a comlngency or war, they support ma/!)' 0liani..ation$ and $p('cial projects duro log pneetime-onen farbeyond lheirnormaltrainlng
vanced delll'lX:S in
To orchestrate and syn
major with the historian
a 46Q Public
such I divcl'lIC group is;m interesting chal lenge.
Traclillooa1ly. FORSCOM commandcllhl...c been
supponlvc of the mi1ilary history program, btll rarely has this suppon been tr:uulated into JlCmlanc:T11profes sional The oommandclll presume llw the FORSCOM histOrical community ",ill 00 its job in I professional manner. just as they praumc Wt soldien;can shoot straillhl and mechanlescan maintain 131\ks. So ho'" doc:I one ''make something OIIt of nothing at all",/ Es.'lemially.lllrou&h the dcd!calion and profclJISion.alism of Ihc FORSCOM histork;al communily. the mimoo is acromplished-oo one hides behind I jobllescription and 5lI)'S1hat il is 001 his
or her business 10 00 such·and·such,
AfTalrs NCO. Ind . 71C Execut.lve Admioistralive Assishnl. This range ortalent m»:C$ the OctacIvnCOI.5 panicularty effcClive in nontraditiorUl or comprehensive military hlSiory miuiQns. 1lIcir <Ie.
playability make them the team.
utlilty play(:B on the
The ;Jdditional-i1uty historians m»:c upthc largea Ind provide I wide rangeorhi5l0rl cal services. Fint, thcy ",rite theorpl'liutions' annual
historical revic",s, and in !he pmccu gw.:r ..
fe ' "
get relin:d in most units. Secood,
Ihcy ",rve as the organization'li point o f comact for hi5l.oricaJ staffqUC:$tions. Some FORSCOM unilS also condUCI milit.ry hil10ry education projects such as mrr rides.. batlle analysis oonfcn:noes. and military
The fOlindation of the f'om:s Command military
history program isthe FORSCOM museum at the unit and inst;allalion level. Most orthe already ove rworked museum ClIllIlOtS been designated as the installa lion historian iII'od. io some Insunoes, 1$ the unit hislOrian as This resull$ from the fact lhat- uccPl for 1hc 10ist Airhome t>ivision-nonc: of the FORSCOM unilS belo'" the corps level has a
In lIddilion,the curators and their
"'ith special pmjcCI5 omeers. The qualilicalions of lhc!;C par'l·time
very impressive. and the level of military
hlJ:tOry i\CIiviti(:5 IcncnlCd for thcir uniu; is amuing ..,hen one considers Ihat they all hive lUll-time jobs io
In JUmmation. thl: challcnl:C or Ihc forces Com· mand military history program is to nourish this hybrid plant. prune thc dysfunctional paM. and encourage
surfs ;wvmc the lion',
of the miliwy history
healthy gro..-\h when: appropriate.