Aggies Documenting Military History For The Army
Ever wonder how the United States Army produces its official history? The answer is much closer than you think.
Three Texas A&M University students and three graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of History have joined the U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) to contribute to the research, preservation and recording of official U.S. military history in various capacities and on a range of events.
“This is outstanding that we have so many of our students shaping the writing and production of the official government histories of the Army and of America’s conflicts,” said Dr. Lorien Foote, the Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History at Texas A&M. “These students are the historians who are writing the history that future generations will use to understand America’s conflicts. They are going to shape what incidents and facts are put into the narrative that people will use in the future.”
Formed in 1943 and housed within the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, the CMH’s mission is to “accurately collect, preserve, interpret and express the Army’s history and material culture to more broadly educate and develop our force, the military profession and the nation.” The CMH carries out this mission through activities such as publishing official manuscripts on U.S. military conflicts, maintaining lineage and honors certificates of units, managing more than 120 museums and their holdings, providing historical context to Army officials for decision-making purposes, and organizing staff rides for military leaders to retrace the courses of battles and training officers in the study of history.
The fact that the CMH has selected six Texas A&M history students to assist with these endeavors is an honor unto itself, according to Foote.
“Because the CMH has been so thrilled with what Aggie historians can do, they’ve now hired six of them, which is an unusual cluster of that many historians from one institution,” Foote added. “We have a nationally renowned military history graduate program. We have former students who have gone on to teach at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy and at different staff and command colleges. We’re one of the largest senior U.S. military colleges in the United States. We have that strong tradition of the Corps of Cadets and a strong veteran’s affairs program. So, the CMH knows our students come from an environment where the military is understood.”
The three history Ph.D. candidates — Ashley Vance ’22, John Matthew Lewis ’23 and Shane Makowicki ’16 — are joined by three Texas A&M history Ph.D. graduates: Grant Harward ’18, Laurence Nelson ’23 and Kendall Cosley ’23. All of them specialize in military history regarding different conflicts, ranging from the American Civil War to the post-World War II era.