The Military Brand of Public History

Benjamin Guterman's picture


One of our continual questions is how federal military historians do their work. How does their unique, nonacademic brand of historical duties and products broaden our concept of historical work and its purposes? I’m very impressed by the U.S. Army’s efforts to revamp and restore discipline and high standards to the Arlington National Cemetery History Office program after the egregious lapses there several years ago. Our profile of the office in the fall 2015 issue of The Federalist  discusses re-establishing that program and, in so doing, allows us a detailed picture of what historians and curators there are expected to do. Duties range from conducting oral history interviews and preparing historical manuscripts to “recovery, documentation, and warehousing of grave site mementos and objects,” and fielding public inquiries. What makes the military historian’s work different, and what are the benefits and even limitations to work done in the federal military context?

See The Federalist fall 2015 contents at

Posted in: