Can CMH provide lists and photographs of current and former unit commanders and senior NCOs?
The Center of Military History does not maintain or compile lists and photographs of current and former unit commanders and senior NCOs. Units or individuals wishing to locate information on former unit leaders are encouraged to consult the following official and unofficial sources:
- Organizational History File – Currently active U.S. Army units should start by consulting their Organizational History File, which per AR 870-5, paragraph 6-6 (Military History: Responsibilities, Policies, and Procedures) unit commanders are responsible for establishing and maintaining. The Organizational History File is the location where units should keep the documentary evidence of its history, heritage, and traditions. Some Organizational History Files for inactive units are available at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.
- Master Index of Army Records – The Master Index of Army Records lists the locations where official US Army records and photographs are located. Unit Morning Reports (maintained by the US Army until 1974) are particularly helpful for compiling a list of unit commanders because unit commanders were required to submit them every morning. For information after 1974 researchers will need to consult official unit records, provided they were properly retired. Please be aware that the location and disposition of such records will vary by time period and conflicts.
- Published Unit Histories – Some U.S. Army units have published semi-official unit histories which frequently contain lists and photographs of senior unit personnel. The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center maintains a large collection of such unofficial materials. A local library should also be able to assist with locating published unit histories which can often be borrowed by Inter-Library Loan.
- Press Releases and Newspaper Articles – Announcements of change of command ceremonies for larger units are frequently published in installation and/or local newspapers and on social media websites.
- Branch and Unit Associations – Many branch and unit associations maintain historical information and/or have members who might be of assistance.