An Archive by any Other Name
The Office of Army Reserve History (OARH) mission is to serve as the institutional and operational memory of the Army Reserve.  The US Army Reserve Historical Research Collection (USARHRC) Plan, which amasses records documenting the mission of providing trained and ready individuals and cohesive units to mobilize and deploy in support of the Department of Defense National Military Strategy (issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), preserves historically significant records and personal papers; and provides access to that organized, documented history – ultimately supporting the USARC mission, its vision and strategic intent.  Implementing the US Army Reserve Historical Collection Plan captures how the US Army Reserve meets the global requirements across the full spectrum of operations, encourages the study of military history which strengthens today’s military training, aids practical experience, and promotes a deeper understanding of strategy, tactics, logistics, and principles of war.

The Repository and Collection

Under the leadership of Director of Army Reserve History (DARH) / USARC Command Historian, Dr. Lee S. Harford, Jr., the USARHRC repository (approximately 6784 square feet), also termed the Archive, houses that documented history. Suitably located at Headquarters, US Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina and quartered with the National Museum of the Army Reserve, the state of the art repository, including a library and research area, allows instant access to primary source documents for research by planners and operating officials.

Documents created by the US Army Reserve Command (USARC) and the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve (OCAR), as well as submitted organizational unit histories and documents reflecting the activities from Major Subordinate Commands (MSCs) and Direct Reporting Units (DRUs) provide a comprehensive look at Army Reserve contributions and bolster esprit de corps and pride in the military profession.

Seasoned with personal records from some of the former Chiefs of the Army Reserve such as MG William J. Sutton (September 1, 1963 – May 31, 1971); BG Harry J. Mott, Acting (August 1, 1986 – November 30, 1986); MG William F. Ward (December 1, 1986 – July 31, 1991); MG Roger W. Sandler (August 1, 1991 – January 31, 1994); and LTG Thomas J. Plewes (May 25, 1998 – May 24, 2002), the US Army Reserve Historical Research Collection (USARHRC) includes records dated as early as the 1918 Stars & Stripes. An important aspect of the collection is the Oral History Program which includes topics framing the establishment/start-up history of the USARC, Operation Joint Endeavor, the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), WWII, and operations other than war. Recent retirement and end of tour interviews discuss the evolution of the USARC, and Leadership interview, remarks and presentations capture the shift from the Army Reserve as a strategic force to an operational force.

Record copies from other agencies include the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), US Forces Command (FORSCOM) and the Army Reserve Council (ARC) – created in August 1991 and developed by MG Roger W. Sandler, which provides the framework for discussions on how the major Army Reserve commanders are being served by the USARC and OCAR. Other record groups are represented in reports, biographies and photographs, as well as details on domestic support such the Army Reserve participation in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

October is American Archives Month

As expressed by Lieutenant General Jeffery W. Talley, Chief, Army Reserve and Commanding General, US 
Army Reserve Command in a December 11, 2012 memo for Commanders and USAR Major Subordinate Commands: “… having the proper documentary evidence will provide the source material for published accounts of the unit’s Soldiers in action…. The noteworthy achievements….’’

While the US Army Historical Research Collection continues to grow, the Office of Army Reserve History endeavors to inter-relate with other archival holdings in the military history community to further increase the availability of historically significant records for an ever-increasing number of researchers. The USARC Leadership; the Office of the Chief Army Reserve; the Office of Army Reserve History; the Department of the Air Force; the General George Patton Museum of Leadership; Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 80th Training Command; unit historians and various other military organizations, as well as civilian researchers have been able to express the sentiment, “I found it in the Army Reserve Archive.” The Office of Army Reserve History invites researchers to utilize the US Army Reserve Historical Collection so that they, too, might have the opportunity to find it in the archive.


Uniquely valuable donations are indispensable in the Army Reserve repository. Unclassified documents of interest to the Office of Army Reserve History include Army manuals and publications, books related to the Army and military history, diaries, letters, newspapers and periodicals, memoirs (verbal and written), and photographs listing names of personnel, dates and descriptions of the event or activity. Of particular interest are veteran personal accounts, information from the World Wars, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan and anything relating to the GWOT. 

To donate or obtain more information... 

- U.S. Army Reserve Historical Research Collection
Mrs. Deborah E. Foster-King
AR Archivist
(910) 570-8180

- Army Reserve artifact information
Contact the National Museum of the Army Reserve, US Army Reserve Command

Mr. Chris Ruff, 
(910) 570-8182

Mrs. Jennifer Friend
Museum Specialist 
(910) 570-9595