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U.S. Army Center of Military History

CMH Sponsors Military History Detachment Training

Maj. Douglas McBride, 317th Military History Detachment trains on interviewing skills during the FTX portion of the MHD Course on April 19.

The Military History Detachment Course, FY18-002, graduated eight Soldiers April 20, at the U.S. Army Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The course, sponsored by the Center of Military History, teaches students MHD operations, collection of documents, and preparing for and conducting interviews.

The students go through a week of instruction and hands on historical training conducted by subject matter experts from CMH. The culmination of the training and highlight of the course for the students comes during the field training exercise when the students apply their newly acquired skills by conducting interviews in a field scenario using the 2002 Operation Anaconda in the Shahi Kowt Valley Afghanistan as the foundation of the training event.

"The best part of the MHD Course was by far the FTX interviews. No amount of classroom instruction could replicate the valuable lessons learned there," said Ronald A. Bonomo, 201st MHD Theater Historian.

The FTX scenario interviewees of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF-180) ‘notional' leadership from the 10th Mountain Division back in 2002 which comprised much of the Army's leadership during the operation, are played by the senior NCOs from the NCO Academy. The NCO's study the operation prior to the MHD Course and are knowledgeable about the specific leadership role they are playing. They are also asked to make the students think and react during the interviews. With FTXs, war -fighters and deployments on the near horizon for many of the students the training is intended to be as realistic as possible.

"The MHD FTX pushed me past my comfort level. I know because of this training I will go downrange confident that I am technically prepared to collect history," said Lt. Col. Lora Neal, 29th MHD Deputy Theater Historian.

Society for Military History aids CMH professional development

Members of the Center of Military History took advantage of professional development offered at the Society for Military History Annual Meeting, April 5-8, in Louisville, Kentucky.

The society is the leading professional organization for military historians in the United States and the British Commonwealth and also draws members from the rest of the world.

The Executive Director, Director of Histories, ten historians, one editor, one intern, and five graduate research assistants attended the annual meeting. The event is an opportunity for CMH attendees to give and hear presentations and trade ideas with others in the field on military history and is critical to the professional development of historians, museum curators, and archivists in Career Program 61.

Of the attendees, eight CMH historians and two GRA's participated as presenters, chairs, or commentators on panels dealing with such subjects as the Army of the 1990s, population control in Vietnam, warfare and the media from World War II to the Persian Gulf, militarized landscapes of Cold War Central Europe, and British and American experiences in World War I. All took advantage of the opportunity to hear papers from across the diverse fields of military history.

All CMH attendees devoted some time to manning the Center's exhibition booth, featuring its latest publications and website. CMH historians attended the banquet address on the aftermath of the Civil War in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys and side trips, such as the tour of the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and Locust Grove, the home of Maj. George Croghan, hero of the Battle of Fort Stephenson in the War of 1812.

In addition, they took the opportunity to interview prospective interns applying for the Army Historical Program and made and renewed contacts at social events.