Battlefield Historians

Now this is what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

Great guest post over at The Gunner’s World by Col. Michael Visconage explaining the role of field historians. He then goes into the current situation in Iraq, from his unique perspective.

My job as the Multi-National Corps Iraq Historian is to collect as much data for the military archives as possible so that, once declassified, the events at hand can be studied by researchers, writers, and historians to tell the story of this phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom. To do this, I’ll focus on conducting one-on-one oral history interviews, collecting key documents, and taking photographs. I’ll also keep a lot of notes on the evolving issues to help me focus my collection efforts. My mission is to collect data—I do not have a specific publication I must produce. Because of that, I have no thesis or “outline” in my head that drives my work in a particular pre-determined direction. Collecting a wide range of data for unknown future researches will cause me to collect a broad base of information, not knowing what will be needed, or by whom, in 2 years or 50. I will use my experience as a combat arms officer and historian to guide me to the key issues and decision points.

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