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NEWS | Feb. 1, 2019

Army Reserve unit chronicles past to boost future success

By Sgt. Salvatore Ottaviano 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Reserve’s military history detachments highlight the benefits of data collection as an instrumental learning tool to enable military units’ future success.

To this end, the U.S. Army Center of Military History recently held its weeklong Military History Detachment Course here, using real-world scenarios to train MHD soldiers in their craft. 

“The whole purpose of the MHD is to record history, not just for nostalgia or a historical reason, but so the military can learn from it,” said Maj. Jonathan Clark, SRC training manager, U.S. Army Reserve Command. “It certainly plays a real-world, very strategic, operational, tactical and important role.”

Through a hands-on, systematic approach, personnel from all military service branches - to include Department of Defense (DoD) civilians - receive training on the critical skills required to perform their duties as a combat historian.

“An MHD historian deploys to collect operational data and conduct interviews,” explained Col. Craig Mix, head of Military Programs for the CMH. “We try to get the students into the operational scenario of what they’ll be doing - collecting the operational record.”

The MHD course provides thorough coverage of the basic concepts and techniques involved in collecting military history on the modern battlefield, including historical methodology, oral history, and historical documents, artifacts and photographic collection.

“I think you’re going to see in the future a lot more commanders tapping into this plethora of knowledge, and I think it’s a good thing,” said Spc. Osborne Squire, 315th Military History Detachment, 99th Readiness Division.

“MHD units and the missions they perform are extremely important,” Clark added. “It certainly has a practical application. It’s like the old saying: ‘If you don’t remember your history, it’s doomed to repeat.’”