• Major Dick Winters, leader of the celebrated "Band of Brothers" in World War II, ceremonially presents his personal papers collection to the USAMHI during the grand opening celebrations at Ridgway Hall, September 2004.

    "Band of Brothers"

    Major Dick Winters, leader of the celebrated "Band of Brothers" in World War II, ceremonially presents his personal papers collection to the USAMHI during the grand opening celebrations at Ridgway Hall, September 2004.

  • On May 8,1970  General of the Army Omar Bradley, Army Chief of Staff General William Westmoreland, Army War College Commandant Major General George Eckhardt (background), and MHRC Director Col. George S. Pappas at the opening of the "Bradley

    Omar Bradley Museum

    On May 8,1970 General of the Army Omar Bradley, Army Chief of Staff General William Westmoreland, Army War College Commandant Major General George Eckhardt (background), and MHRC Director Col. George S. Pappas at the opening of the "Bradley

  • Upton Hall, located at Carlisle Barracks, PA, named after Civil War Major General Emory Upton, was the original home of the Military History Research Collection and Military History Institute, 1967-2004

    Upton Hall

    Upton Hall, located at Carlisle Barracks, PA, named after Civil War Major General Emory Upton, was the original home of the Military History Research Collection and Military History Institute, 1967-2004

  • Ridgway Hall, located at Carlisle Barracks, PA, named after Army Chief of Staff General Matthew Ridgway, has been the home of the AHEC since the summer of 2004.

    Ridgway Hall

    Ridgway Hall, located at Carlisle Barracks, PA, named after Army Chief of Staff General Matthew Ridgway, has been the home of the AHEC since the summer of 2004.

  • The welcome sign at the head of the Army Heritage Trail located on the grounds of the AHEC.

    Army Heritage Trail

    The welcome sign at the head of the Army Heritage Trail located on the grounds of the AHEC.

Author: Richard L. Baker, Research Historian, U.S. Army Military History Institute/U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

Thirty years ago this week, April 1st 1977, the major military history organization at Carlisle Barracks was redesignated as the United State Army Military History Institute (<a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/MHI.htm" target="_blank">USAMHI</a>). USAMHI was previously known as the US Army Military History Research Collection, originating in 1967. The founding director was Colonel George S Pappas. He started the collection with 50000 volumes, two assistants, and a vision.

By 1977 the Institute was operating the <a href="http://ahecwebdds.carlisle.army.mil/awapps/pdfopener'smd=1&md=1&did=44042" target="_blank">Omar Bradley</a> Museum, the <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/events.htm" target="_blank">"Perspectives in Military History"</a> lecture series, and the "Senior Officer Oral History Program." Over the past 40 years the collections have expanded to include over 400000 books, 300000 military manuals, 1.7 million photographs, and 12.5 million unpublished soldiers' letters, diaries, memoirs, manuscripts, and archives. Over 15 million holdings are available to officers and enlisted personnel of the Army and the other Armed Services, to veterans, and to the public for study.

In 2002, the USAMHI became a major component of the Army Heritage and Education Center <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec" target="_blank">(AHEC)</a>. The new organization incorporated the facilities and collections of the Institute and added the Army Heritage Museum <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/Exhibits_Current.htm" target="_blank">(AHM)</a> and the Visitors and Education Services <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/VES.htm" target="_blank">(VES)</a> and the Collection Management directorates. In September 2004, Colonel Pappas' vision found further fulfillment when the institution he created moved to a new facility, "<a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/AHEC_history.htm" target="_blank">Ridgway Hall</a>." Located on an expanded campus of over 56 acres on the eastern part of Carlisle Barracks, this modern facility combines state-of-the-art archival storage with superior patron service facilities. Here, the story of the <a href="http://ahecwebdds.carlisle.army.mil/awapps/pdfopener'smd=1&md=1&did=95153" target="_blank">American Soldier</a> is presented through the expanding collections of the USAMHI, the developing displays of the AHM, and the educational programs of the VES. Additions to the program include the outside <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/HeritageTrail.htm" target="_blank">Army Heritage Trail</a>, <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/Exhibits_Traveling.htm" target="_blank">traveling exhibits</a>, and the <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/KleberReadingSeries_Dec_06.htm" target="_blank">Kleber Reading Series</a>.

The <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ahec/AHEC_history.htm" target="_blank">future</a> is bright for the AHEC. Plans include the construction of a Visitor and Education Center, a Conservation Center, and the Army Heritage Museum. These endeavors are supported by the <a href="http://www.armyheritage.org/"_blank">Army Heritage Center Foundation</a>, a private, nonprofit organization, dedicated to funding the projects and supporting the continued efforts towards "Telling the Army Story-One Soldier at a Time."

The AHEC has joined with Army.mil to bring to the Army, to veterans, to the American public, and to the world the continuing history of the United States Army. Please visit this weekly feature for insights into the past, present, and future of America's senior military service.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16