SDDC welcomes new command historian
By: Tiana Waters
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, III. - The U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command recently welcomed Dr. Lauren Hammersen as the new command historian here at the headquarters.
Hammersen is a Virginia native and military brat with a passion for history and nearly 20 years of practice.
She enjoys research, writing, making historical connections, teaching and educating, working with other historians, and visiting historical sites and institutions.
Previously, she served as the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency archivist at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to help provide the fullest accounts possible of missing personnel from past conflicts to their families and the nation. Her research and operational support included coordination with dozens of countries and municipalities around the world.
“I feel a connection to the people who I work with every day. Especially when I see their medical records, their pictures, and correspondence from their family, getting to meet their family, and then asked, Have you found my father, my brother, my uncle?,” said Hammersen
“It’s a very hard thing to do for a long time, so I decided I needed to depart that mission for something new,” she said.
Her passion for contemporary history lead her to joining SDDC.
“History is a very living thing, we are a product of the generation before us,” said Hammersen.
Here, she is responsible for advising the commander on SDDC historical matters. This includes documenting the command’s history, providing historical perspective to the commander and staff during operations planning and execution, assisting with Surface Warriors’ professional development and training, and contributing collections of historical documents and artifacts to the Army Historical Program.
She began her journey as a historian by gaining entry-level experience working in Virginia at Fort Myer with military historian for the District of Washington during a summer internship. Hammersen continued her experience with archeological field work at dig sites including work on the Island of Kytheria in Greece and exploring a cave excavation of the temple of Aphrodite. After college, she went on to work with other commands such as the National Museum of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Center for Military History, and the Naval History and Heritage Command, where she held archivist and historian positions.
Hammersen holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology with a concentration in Archaeology from Appalachian State University. She earned Master degrees in History from North Carolina State University and Bangor University in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Hammersen holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from Bangor University.
Hammersen says her diverse background will help her at SDDC.
“I am here to support the command group, directorates, and SDDC units by documenting the history of the organization as it is happening through things like our annual history and oral histories. I am also here to research and prepare historical publications, monographs, and other types of media on the roles of this organization, through its many names, held in the past,” she said.
Extremely passionate about her profession, Hammersen plans on making history fun.
“I am hoping that during my time here, I will be able to offer lectures and presentations, provide interesting historical opportunities, highlight some of our historical collections, celebrate our heritage, and network with other historians,” said Hammersen.
Hammersen is driven to make history assessable to all and tell the stories of the past to form the doctrines of the future.
“Tomorrow’s history is what we are all doing today,” said Hammersen.