FORT BRAGG, N.C -- Work continues on the transition of U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum, to the U.S. Army Special Operation Forces Museum.
While the initial idea was to consider reopening the museum at the end of February, those plans are delayed pending the completion of inventorying and cataloguing the more than 9,000 artifacts in its holdings.
"At this point, priorities are the transition of the museum personnel to the History Office, and to conduct a 100% inventory to assess the status of the collection," said Dr. Michael Krivdo, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Deputy Command Historian. "It was last done in 1981. We are about two-thirds of the way through the inventory and preparing for the next phase," Krivdo continued.
Although the future status of the museum is uncertain, USASOC is exploring options to optimize museum operations. The USASOC History Office is not waiting on inventory completion before moving forward with the USASOC commanding general's vision of getting ARSOF history for all branches and specialties before USASOC students and Soldiers in other ways.
The museum staff, and other USASOC History Office personnel, are currently working on several new historical exhibits throughout the USASOC and USAJFKSWCS campuses.
"For example, the SGT Gordon D. Yntema, a Vietnam Medal of Honor Recipient, dining facility re-design is in progress," Krivdo explained. "Clay Hall renovations will highlight ARSOF Distinguished Member of the Regiment recipients, notable ARSOF icons, and exhibits that showcase the various groups' colors and honors," Krivdo added.
During the USASOC onboarding program, a key initiative focuses on exposing incoming military and civilian personnel to significant artifacts during the briefing conducted by the Historian's Office.
Additionally, the Captains Career Course is being provided bios and photos of graduates for a display who are now fallen heroes. "This will allow the Captains Career Course to showcase the careers of those graduates who paid the ultimate price for their chosen calling," Krivdo said.
Other initiatives include a 6th Battalion, 2nd Special Warfare Training Group historical display, similar to the Captains Career Course at the Russell W. Volckmann Training Center and a remodel of the Special Forces Weapons Sergeant Course Fallen Heroes display. These projects, and others, will be approved by the USAJFKSWCS, Commanding General.
Krivdo noted that the History Office's mission is to collect, preserve, and promote ARSOF history, to deploy with ARSOF Soldiers to collect documentation, and to safeguard ARSOF historical assets so they are accessible to ARSOF Soldiers and units. "It is our mission to preserve the institutional knowledge of the command and to disseminate our rich history to USASOC Soldiers."
"As our mission statement and priorities indicate, we are absolutely committed to, and indeed we exist for, the collection, preservation, and promotion of ARSOF history," he added.
While the inventory is ongoing, multiple initiatives involving museum assets and personnel are also in the works, limiting access to the existing museum facility. However, student groups from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School will be considered on a case-by case basis.
We appreciate the understanding and patience during the renovations and transition of the museum.