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NEWS | March 18, 2024

Never-before-seen Army artifacts on exhibit in Fayetteville, N.C.

By Sgt. Natalie Pantalos U.S. Army Reserve Command

For the first time, rare and never-before-seen artifacts from the U.S. Army Reserve, Airborne and Special Operations Museum, John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum, 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, and 503D Military Police Battalion (Airborne) are on display in a temporary exhibit open to the public called “Opening the Vaults: Treasures of the Fort Liberty Museums."

The collection at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum debuted at a ceremony on March 13, 2024 which was attended by distinguished Fort Liberty leaders Maj. Gen. Stacy Babcock, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Reserve Command, Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson, Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Special Operations Command, Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Waterhouse, 503D Military Police Battalion (Airborne) and local government officials.

The display is especially unique because historic items from the Army Reserve are rarely viewed by Soldiers or the public because it does not have its own museum. “The items selected reveal the transformation from the Reserve’s role in the two World Wars to the vital watercraft, transport, and civil affairs roles in the later 20th century and 21st century,” said Christopher Ghiz, Command Historian for the Office of Army Reserve History.

Jim Bartlinksi, director of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum noted how diverse the objects included are, coming from several different commands and spanning time periods all the way back to the Civil War. To Bartlinski, the artifacts are important because they help bring Soldiers’ service, sacrifice and history to life.

Renee Lane, Executive Director of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation is particularly excited to share the stories of the Soldiers connected to the exhibited items and the missions they supported. “We want to make sure that not only our (modern) Soldiers understand those missions, but also the general public and how their missions have formed the outcomes of various events around the world.”

The exhibit will be on display March to December 2024. Museum admission is free. Additional information for visitors is available at