United States Army Center of Military History

Last updated

United States Army Center of Military History
(CMH)
Cmh1.PNG
The United States Army Center of Military History's seal
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1943 (July 1943)
JurisdictionFlag of the United States Army.svg  United States Army
Headquarters Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Agency executives
  • Charles R. Bowery Jr., Executive Director
  • Susan K. Springman, Deputy Director
Parent agency United States Army Training and Doctrine Command
Website history.army.mil

The United States Army Center of Military History (CMH) is a directorate within the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. [1] The Institute of Heraldry remains within the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. [1] The center is responsible for the appropriate use of history and military records throughout the United States Army. Traditionally, this mission has meant recording the official history of the army in both peace and war, while advising the army staff on historical matters. CMH is the flagship organization leading the Army Historical Program.

Contents

CMH is also in charge of the National Museum of the United States Army, which was recently completed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Mission

The center traces its lineage back to historians under the Secretary of War who compiled the Official Records of the Rebellion, an extensive history of the American Civil War begun in 1874. A similar work on World War I was prepared by the Historical Section of the Army War College.

The modern organization of the army's historical efforts dates from the creation of the General Staff historical branch in July 1943 and the subsequent gathering of a team of historians, translators, editors, and cartographers to record the official history of World War II. They began publication of the United States Army in World War II series, which numbers 78 volumes, in 1946. [2] Working under the direction of former Nazi General Franz Halder, the center's German section became pivotal in the dissemination of the Myth of the clean Wehrmacht in the United States. [3] Since then, the center has produced detailed series on the Army's role in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and has begun a series on the U.S. Army in the Cold War. These works are supplemented by monographs and other publications on a mix of topics.

Since its formation, the center has provided historical support to the Army Secretariat and Staff, contributing background information for decision making, staff actions, command information programs, and public statements by army officials. It has expanded its role in the areas of military history education, the management of the army's museum system, and the introduction of automated data-retrieval systems. The center's work with army schools ensures that the study of history is a part of the training of officers and noncommissioned officers. Much of this educational work is performed at field historical offices and in army museums.

Historical activities

Under the direction of the chief of military history and his principal adviser, the army's chief historian, CMH's staff is involved in some 50 major writing projects. Many of these efforts involve new research that ranges from traditional studies in operational and administrative history to the examination of such areas as procurement, peacekeeping, and the global war on terror. Those works underway and projected are described in the Army Historical Program, an annual report to the Chief of Staff on the Army's historical activities. All center publications are listed in the catalog Publications of the United States Army Center of Military History, which explains how to access them.

In addition, army historians maintain the organizational history of army units, allowing the center to provide units of the Regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve with certificates of their lineage and honors and other historical material concerning their organizations. The center also determines the official designations for army units and works with the army staff during force reorganizations to preserve units with significant histories, as well as unit properties and related historical artifacts.

CMH also serves as a clearinghouse for the oral history programs in the army at all levels of command. It also conducts and preserves its own oral history collections, including those from the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and the many recent contingency operations. In addition, the center's end-of-tour interviews within the Army Secretariat and Staff provide a basis for its annual histories of the Department of the Army.

As tangible representations of the service's mission, military artifacts and art enhance the soldier's understanding of the profession of arms. CMH manages a system of more than 120 army museums and their holdings, encompassing some 450,000 artifacts and 15,000 works of military art. [4] The center also provides professional museum training, staff assistance visits, teams of combat artists such as those deployed under the Vietnam Combat Artists Program, and general museum support throughout the army. Current projects include the establishment of a National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and a complementary Army Heritage and Educational Center at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Paintings by Adolf Hitler stored at the center. The paintings were cited in Price v. United States. Preserving and protecting Army history 120530-A-AJ780-005.jpg
Paintings by Adolf Hitler stored at the center. The paintings were cited in Price v. United States .

The Chief of Military History is responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of military history in the teaching of strategy, tactics, logistics, and administration. This mission includes a requirement that military leaders at all levels be aware of the value of history in advancing military professionalism. To that end, the center holds a biennial history conference and workshop; publishes Army History, a professional bulletin devoted to informing the larger military history education community; and supplies readings for the army school system, including the ROTC community, and texts and other support for the army's staff ride program. In this effort, the chief of military history is assisted by a historical advisory committee that includes leading academic historians and representatives of the army school system. [5]

The center has a large collection of Nazi art and ephemera collected as part of Denazification efforts after the Second World War. The holdings include four watercolour paintings by Adolf Hitler and several notable propaganda paintings depicting Hitler including In the Beginning Was the Word and The Standard Bearer . [6]

Staff rides enable military leaders to retrace the course of a battle on the ground, deepening their understanding of the recurring fundamentals of military operations. As one of the army's major teaching devices, staff rides are particularly dependent on a careful knowledge of military history. Center historians lead rides directed by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff and attended by senior members of the army Staff.

It administers the army's Command History Program, to provide historical support to army organizations worldwide. In addition, since the first Persian Gulf War, the center has coordinated the deployment of military history detachments and the collection of historical data during peacekeeping and wartime operations, including those in northern Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Fellowships and publications

To stimulate interest in military history in the army and the nation, CMH sponsors professional programs.

Historical services to the public

CMH's art and documents collections, library, and reference services are available to private researchers. [11] Official priorities permitting, its historians, curators, and archivists advise researchers on military history and stand ready to share their expertise concerning the location of sources. The Collections Branch of the Museum Division arranges temporary loans of paintings and drawings from the Army Art Collection to private organizations that agree to display the art publicly in accordance with Army regulations. The army's museums and historical holdings throughout the country and abroad are generally open to the public, and their curators are available to answer reference questions. As a secured facility, as of 2016 requests for an appointment at Fort Lesley J. McNair must be made at least a week in advance. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Army</span> Land service branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight U.S. uniformed services, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the U.S. Constitution. The oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed 14 June 1775 to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself to be a continuation of the Continental Army, and thus considers its institutional inception to be the origin of that armed force in 1775.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fort Meade</span> United States Army installation

Fort George G. Meade is a United States Army installation located in Maryland, that includes the Defense Information School, the Defense Media Activity, the United States Army Field Band, and the headquarters of United States Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, the Defense Courier Service, Defense Information Systems Agency headquarters, and the U.S. Navy's Cryptologic Warfare Group Six. It is named for George G. Meade, a Union general from the U.S. Civil War, who served as commander of the Army of the Potomac. The fort's smaller census-designated place includes support facilities such as schools, housing, and the offices of the Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program (MICECP).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chief of Staff of the United States Army</span> Statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army

The chief of staff of the Army (CSA) is a statutory position in the United States Army held by a general officer. As the highest-ranking officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, the chief is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the secretary of the Army. In a separate capacity, the CSA is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, thereby, a military advisor to the National Security Council, the secretary of defense, and the president of the United States. The CSA is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the U.S. Army unless the chairman or the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are Army officers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Naval History and Heritage Command</span> Military unit

The Naval History and Heritage Command, formerly the Naval Historical Center, is an Echelon II command responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage located at the historic Washington Navy Yard. The NHHC is composed of 42 facilities in 13 geographic locations including the Navy Department Library, 10 museums and 1 heritage center, USS Constitution repair facility and detachment, and historic ship ex-USS Nautilus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Field Artillery Branch (United States)</span> United States Army service branch responsible for self-propelled and towed artillery

The Field Artillery Branch is a combat arms branch of the United States Army that is responsible for field artillery.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Army Medical Department (United States)</span> Military unit

The Army Medical Department of the U.S. Army (AMEDD), formerly known as the Army Medical Service (AMS), encompasses the Army's six medical Special Branches. It was established as the "Army Hospital" in July of 1775 to coordinate the medical care required by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The AMEDD is led by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, a lieutenant general.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Army Medical Corps</span> Military unit

The Medical Corps (MC) of the U.S. Army is a staff corps of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD) consisting of commissioned medical officers – physicians with either an M.D. or a D.O. degree, at least one year of post-graduate clinical training, and a state medical license.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Museum of Health and Medicine</span> Museum in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

The National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) is a museum in Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington, DC. The museum was founded by U.S. Army Surgeon General William A. Hammond as the Army Medical Museum (AMM) in 1862; it became the NMHM in 1989 and relocated to its present site at the Army's Forest Glen Annex in 2011. An element of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), the NMHM is a member of the National Health Sciences Consortium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kentucky Historical Society</span> Agency of Kentucky government

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) was originally established in 1836 as a private organization. It is an agency of the Kentucky state government that records and preserves important historical documents, buildings, and artifacts of Kentucky's past. The KHS history campus, located in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky, includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol, and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. KHS is a part of the Kentucky Tourism-Arts and Heritage Cabinet, is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian affiliate, and endorses the History Relevance statement. The mission of the KHS is to educate and engage the public through Kentucky’s history in order to confront the challenges of the future. The KHS allows the public access to their resources through the online Library catalog along with the in-person Library.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Surgeon General of the United States Army</span> Chief medical officer of the United States Army and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command

The Surgeon General of the United States Army is the senior-most officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD). By policy, the Surgeon General (TSG) serves as Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) as well as head of the AMEDD. The surgeon general's office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) and are located in Falls Church, Virginia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army)</span> Branch of the United States Army

The Military Intelligence Corps is the intelligence branch of the United States Army. The primary mission of military intelligence in the United States Army is to provide timely, relevant, accurate, and synchronized intelligence and electronic warfare support to tactical, operational and strategic-level commanders. The Army's intelligence components produce intelligence both for Army use and for sharing across the national intelligence community.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center</span>

The United States Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, is the U.S. Army's primary historical research facility. Formed in 1999 and reorganized in 2013, the center consists of the Military History Institute (MHI), the Army Heritage Museum (AHM), the Historical Services Division (HSD), Visitor and Education Services (VES), the U.S. Army War College Library, and Collections Management (CM). The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is part of the United States Army War College, but has its own 56-acre (230,000 m2) campus.

General of the Air Force (GAF) is a five-star general officer rank and is the highest possible rank in the United States Air Force. General of the Air Force ranks immediately above a general and is equivalent to General of the Army in the United States Army and fleet admiral in the United States Navy. The rank has been held only once, by General Henry H. Arnold, who had served as head of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Civic action program</span>

A civic action program also known as civic action project is a type of operation designed to assist an area by using the capabilities and resources of a military force or civilian organization to conduct long-term programs or short-term projects. This type of operations include: dental civic action program (DENTCAP), engineering civic action program (ENCAP), medical civic action program (MEDCAP), and veterinarian civic action program (VETCAP). Entities of foreign nations usually conduct these operations at the invitation of a host nation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Marine Corps History Division</span> Military unit

The United States Marine Corps History Division is a branch of Headquarters Marine Corps tasked with researching, writing, and maintaining the History of the United States Marine Corps. It also provides reference and research assistance; preserves personal experiences and observations through oral history interviews; and deploys field historians to record history in the making. It is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

The United States Army Art Program or U.S. Army Combat Art Program is a U.S. Army program to create artwork documenting its involvements in war and peacetime engagements. The art collection associated with the program is held by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. The United States Army Centre of Military History built the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir that is now completed and will open when conditions allow.

A military history detachment (MHD) is a unit in the United States Army responsible for collecting documentation of the army in military conflicts for future work by military historians in writing both official and unofficial histories of the Army. United States Army Center of Military History organizes these accounts. MHDs are authorized and given their mission statements by the Army Tables of Organization and Equipment (TOE). In their efforts to document wars, MHDs collect oral histories and operational documents to enable historians to write the official histories of U.S. military activities.

American official war artists have been part of the American military since 1917. Artists are unlike the objective camera lens which records only a single instant and no more. The war artist captures instantaneous action and conflates earlier moments of the same scene within one compelling image.

"We're not here to do poster art or recruiting posters... What we are sent to do is to go to the experience, see what is really there and document it—as artists."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center</span>

The Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center (AFCC) is the center for training of United States military chaplains, located at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Co-located on the AFCC campus are: the United States Army Chaplain Center and School, the United States Naval Chaplaincy School and Center, and the United States Air Force Chaplain Corps College. The Center includes the "Joint Center of Excellence for Religious Training and Education."

United States Army in World War II is the official history of the ground forces of the United States Army during World War II. The 78-volume work was originally published beginning in 1946.

References

  1. 1 2 Sean Kimmons, Army News Service (March 4, 2019) TRADOC to take responsibility for Army Center of Military History
  2. Adamczyk, Richard D. (1992). United States Army in World War II: Reader's Guide. Washington, DC: Center of Military History. pp.  173. ISBN   978-0160378171. OCLC   813914147. CMH Pub 11-9
  3. Smelser, Ronald; Davies, Edward J. (2008). The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in American Popular Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 65. ISBN   978-0-521-83365-3.
  4. Directory of Active Army and National Guard Museums
  5. 1 2 "CMH Dissertation Fellowships: General Information". www.history.army.mil. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  6. Dexter Filkins (4 January 2020). "Inside the U.S. Army's Warehouse Full of Nazi Art". The New Yorker . Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  7. "U.S. Army Center of Military History Publications Catalog". www.history.army.mil. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  8. "Complete Collection of Army History Magazine - U.S Army Center of Military History". history.army.mil. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  9. "The Army Historian on JSTOR". JSTOR . Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  10. "Army History Complete Collection". www.history.army.mil. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. 1 2 "Inquiries to CMH". CMH. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016.

Further reading

The following publications provide additional information about the activities, services, and products of the Center of Military History: