Topics of Interest

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts

As World War II expanded into the largest conflagration the earth had ever seen, the U.S. Army realized the need for specialized psychological warfare tactics. The job description was extensive: “prisoner and civilian interrogation, broadcasting, loudspeaker appeals, leaflet and newspapers production, broadcasting, and technical support.” The mission was intense: weaken the morale of the Third Reich and then help Germany transition to an era free from Nazi oppression. The American Soldiers selected to man the Army’s “Mobile Broadcasting Companies,” during the Second World War, however, were uniquely qualified to fight on a different battlefield from their rifle-bearing brethren – a war of hearts, minds, and intelligence. From their training at Camp Sharpe in Pennsylvania, the “Psycho Boys” worked in secret to undermine Nazi propaganda and provide American Forces in combat with another weapon to destroy the fascist juggernaut. On Thursday, November 3, 2016, Dr. Beverly Eddy of Dickinson College will present a lecture based on her book, Camp Sharpe’s “Psycho Boys”: From Gettysburg to Germany, at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. She will follow five of the German refugees-turned-American Soldiers from the time they joined the Mobile Radio Broadcasting Companies at Camp Sharpe, to D-Day and the fight for Europe, through the liberation of the concentration camps. She will explore how the Psycho Boys’ nerve and inventiveness led to the desertion of thousands of German troops, and how the Psycho Boys played a vital role as mediators between the American and German forces as the war ground to an end.

Dr. Beverley Eddy is Professor Emerita of German at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She has authored numerous books, as well as other works, including Camp Sharpe’s “Psycho Boys”: From Gettysburg to Germany, and Abbeys, Ghosts, and Castles: A Guide to the Folk History of the Middle Rhine. Dr. Eddy holds a Bachelors of Arts in Speech and Theatre from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and graduated from Indiana University with both a Masters of Arts in German Literature and a Ph.D. in German Literature, Linguistics, and Scandinavian Literature. She also has courses in Norwegian at the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-Universität in Germany and the Universitetet i Oslo in Norway.

DATE: Thursday, November 3, 2016

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM. The question period concludes around 8:30 PM.

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Rooms

For updates and any last minute changes in meeting times and places, please check the USAHEC homepage: or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.

Hits: 56

The Board of Directors of the Army Heritage Center Foundation is pleased to announce the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Brass Quintet will perform at the Foundation’s 9th Annual Recognition and Membership Dinner on October 29, 2016 at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle. 

This is the fourth time that the Brass Quintet, an element of The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” has performed at the Foundation’s dinner. The Quintet is the first to honor new presidents with the traditional “Hail to the Chief” on live national broadcasts and frequently performs at the White House, presidential inauguration events, and at official state ceremonies in the Nation’s capital. Since its inception in 1972, the United States Army Brass Quintet has performed for a wide variety of audiences and dignitaries in more than 39 states and 12 foreign countries.

The Quintet eagerly sought out this event because they wanted to amplify the recognition of the Foundation’s awardees – Brigadier General Peter Dawkins, USA Retired and Lieutenant General Claude Kicklighter, USA Retired. See the U.S. Army Band Brass Quintet’s website for additional information and examples of their music at

The Foundation will present three awards during the evening’s program. Brigadier General (Retired) Peter Dawkins, West Point’s last Heisman Trophy winner, will receive the Foundation’s Living Legend Award for his excellence as an athlete and academic excellence while at the United States Military Academy and for his leadership as a Cadet and as a Soldier to our Nation and its Army.  Recognizing an individual who, though his efforts planning the WWII and Vietnam Commemorations, has made a very positive contribution to the lives of Soldiers and their families, the Foundation has selected Lieutenant General (Retired) Claude Kicklighter to receive its Boots on the Ground Award.  Also, Members 1st Federal Credit Union will receive the MG John Armstrong Award for being an ardent supporter of the Foundation’s efforts and instrumental in enhancing the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus.

Included in the evening’s activities is a silent auction that includes gift certificates to regional attractions, restaurants, wineries, and golf courses, among other items. Dinner sponsorship opportunities are also available. For additional details about the dinner and silent auction, or to order tickets, please contact the Foundation at (717) 258-1102 or

Hits: 128

Negotiating Peace Amidst the Passage of the 13th Amendment


Major General Orlando B. Willcox, commanding the IX Corps, received this order from Major General John G. Parke, Acting Commander of the Army of the Potomac, directing him to inform the three Confederate peace commissioners to await a messenger from Washington.

President Abraham Lincoln faced a dilemma as January 1865 dawned. After an initial vote failed the previous June, the House of Representatives had renewed debate on a proposed 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would abolish slavery. War-weary factions in the North and South were attempting to arrange a peace conference, but the news that peace commissioners might be en route to Washington alarmed many people in the capital. Radical Republicans demanded the Confederate armies surrender before discussing peace terms. Democrats, who had opposed Lincoln's antislavery policies, hesitated to support the 13th Amendment while a chance for a negotiated peace existed. Those Democratic votes would be necessary to achieve the necessary 2/3 vote on the amendment.

Lincoln had never recognized the Confederate states as a separate nation and refused to meet with Jefferson Davis, but allowed others to make inquiries about a possible conference. Lincoln insisted, however, the states in rebellion accept his condition that the Confederacy would return to "our one common country." Three Confederate peace commissioners, Alexander H. Stephens, John A. Campbell, and Robert M.T. Hunter, traveled from Richmond, Virginia to Union lines outside Petersburg in late January. Lincoln forbade the commissioners' passage into the capital, but allowed a conference at Fort Monroe.

Major General Orlando B. Willcox, temporarily commanding the IX Corps, received the first requests for the commissioners to pass through the lines on January 29, 1865. His request for instructions reached the War Department and the White House late that afternoon. The following morning, Lincoln dispatched an emissary to determine whether or not the Confederates intended to comply with his "one country" requirement before agreeing to peace talks, and sent word through the chain of command that a messenger was en route to meet with the commissioners.

Scene in the House on the passage of the proposition to amend the Constitution, January 31, 1865, from Harper's Weekly, February 18, 1865. [Source: Library of Congress]

The 13th Amendment passed by a narrow margin on January 31, removing all further barriers to the conference. Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward met with the Confederate peace commissioners on February 3, on board the steamer River Queen, anchored in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The representatives discussed possible terms for ending the war, but the Hampton Roads Peace Conference failed to reach a peace agreement.

In association with the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture, this letter, from Major General Parke to Major General Willcox, is currently on display in the "Treasures of the USAHEC" exhibit at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate.


Text from the 13th Amendment. [Source: Library of Congress]

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center

950 Soldiers Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013-5021



Hits: 222


On October 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm, the Army Heritage Center Foundation will host the one-act play Apron Strings by Catherine Ladnier.  The showing will occur in the Visitor and Education Center at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.  The performance is free and open to the public.

Apron Strings chronicles the tumultuous years of WWII through the eyes of Eva Lee, her brother LT William Brown, and his wife, Mae, based on Bill’s and Mae’s letters to Eva written between 1939 and 1945.

LT Brown served in the China-India-Burma Theater and was a survivor of the HMT Rohna sinking in 1943, more than 1,000 servicemen died. The disaster was classified by the American and British government for 51 years.

Catherine Ladnier is a playwright who had no idea about her families’ contributions to World War II.  After her mother, Eva Lee, passed away, Ladnier had to go through personal items. She discovered hundreds of letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards, war ration books, telegrams, and a myriad of other mementos from World War II. She used these to create Apron Strings and share the story of one family’s experience.

Hits: 183

The Army Heritage Center Foundation is pleased to announce a new member has joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  LTG(R) Susan Lawrence was elected in August 2016.                                        

            Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President Susan S. Lawrence is a leader in the firm’s defense business. As a seasoned technology leader and retired senior military officer, she supports a number of businesses and initiatives that cut across the defense and security markets. These include Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4); Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); enterprise IT; joint information environments; cyber; integrated mission systems; and emerging technologies.

            Ms. Lawrence enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1972, received her commission as an officer in 1979, and retired in 2013, after having attained the rank of Lieutenant General and serving as the Army’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and G-6. Prior to that role, she served as the Commanding General for the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM). Ms. Lawrence had end-to-end responsibility for Army C4 and Army Enterprise IT.

            She had scores of command and staff assignments during her Army career, mostly within the Army Signal Corps, including assignments leading network, C4, and IT functions during recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            Ms. Lawrence received her commission from Campbell University, North Carolina. She holds a MS degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the Army Signal School.

Hits: 175

The Army Heritage Center Foundation will formally transfer the 7,500 square foot expansion of the Visitor and Education Center at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center to the U.S. Army at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 16th, 2016. The ceremony will occur at 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA.

Representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be BG(R) Frank Sullivan; Executive Director, Military Community Enhancement Commission.  Accepting the building for the Army will be COL Kenneth Adgie, Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Army War College and LTC Greg Ank, Carlisle Barracks Garrison Commander.

The ceremony will recognize the public-private partnership that facilitated this $2.25 million expansion of the Visitor and Education Center.  This addition includes a new gallery to enhance the interpretive display of Soldier stories, an additional multipurpose room to support growing educational programs and expanded café seating.

Funds obtained through the Build on Success campaign and a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant supported both the design and construction.   In addition to many individual donations, major contributors to the project included the Donald B. & Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, the G. B. Stuart Charitable Foundation, Land O’Lakes Foundation, Josiah W. and Bessie H. Kline Foundation, Inc., and Tawani Foundation. 

Hits: 202

On September 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm, the Army Heritage Center Foundation will show the documentary Thank You for Your Service. This is a special viewing before the National Release. After a showing of the film, a panel will discuss both the film and the issues that the film raises.   Panelist include: Colonel (Chaplain) Jerry Sieg, Carlisle Barracks Installation Chaplain, Moderator; Tom Donahue – Director; Matt Tyson – Producer; MG (Ret.) Gregg Martin, former Commandant of USAWC; LTC (Dr.) Gary Wynn, Assistant Chief of Psychiatry, Uniform Services University for the Health Sciences,  co-author, Complementary and Alternative Medicine for PTSD; and Dr. Leonard Wong, Strategic Studies Institute, USAWC.

The U.S. military faces a mental health crisis of historic proportionsWith twenty veteran suicides a day, hundreds of thousands suffer from what has been called the “Invisible Wounds of War.”  Active duty military and veterans struggle with the traumatic effects of combat.

Thank You for Your Service takes aim at our superficial understanding of war trauma and problems like PTSD and moral injury as well as the challenges to effectively develop support programs.  Director Tom Donahue (Casting By) interweaves the stories of four struggling Iraq War veterans with candid interviews of top military and civilian leaders.  Observing the systemic neglect, the film argues for significant internal change and offers a roadmap of hope.  Interviews include former: Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Admiral Mike Mullen; Generals David Petraeus, Peter Chiarelli, and Loree Sutton; Sebastian Junger; Nicholas Kristof; Dexter Filkins; Senator Patty Murray; and Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Senator Patty Murray reflected on our historical response: “We were not ready in World War II, we were not ready in Vietnam, we were not ready in the Gulf War, we were not ready in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. If we send troops to war ever again, it has to be something we talk about from the beginning.”

Admiral (Ret.) Mike Mullen, former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staffs said: “We were very focused on the combat-side; we didn’t give much time to mental health. Was it a surprise that we had the mental health problems that we had? Absolutely not.” And further, “There is this message we send - that if you raise your hand and ask for help, your career is over.”

Director Tom Donahue hopes “this documentary will jump start a serious-minded and much needed discussion about mental health issues facing those who have served our country, those currently serving, and those who will serve in the future.”

Come join us at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center to view the documentary, followed by questions, answers, and discussion with an expert panel.   Arrive early and tour the U.S. Army's primary historical research facility.  The main gallery features the exhibit “The Soldier Experience” highlighting the history of the U.S. Army from the Spanish-American War to current missions as well as newly updated galleries.  Spend a few moments in the bookstore with a collection of some of the best books on the history of warfare.


This event is hosted by the Army Heritage Center Foundation and the Carlisle Barracks Chapel.

Hits: 304

"Dat man over dar say dat woman needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches. . . . Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles . . . and ar'n't I a woman?" Sojourner Truth, 1851

Sojourner Truth spoke these words at the Akron, Ohio Women’s Rights Conference in 1851. Originally known as Isabella, Truth transformed herself from a domestic slave into a preacher, whose words of empowerment inspired people all over the world, and continue to do so today. Her fierce and fiery personality, powerful physique, and hope and strength set her apart as she addressed listeners about her passion for equality. Truth became a national symbol for strong African-American women – for all strong women.

On August 18, 1920, women won the right to vote and to hold elective office with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The American Women’s Suffrage Movement stands as a lasting affirmation of our country’s democratic promise. It re-emphasized the importance of the most fundamental democratic values: the right to vote, and the possibility of peaceful, yet revolutionary, political change. In 1971, Congress enacted Women’s Equality Day. The observance of Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment, and also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is pleased to announce a Women’s Equality Day commemoration event, featuring Dr. Daisy Nelson Century, as she presents a living history portrayal of Sojourner Truth. The event begins at 1:00 pm on Friday, August 26, 2016 and is open to the public and free to attend. Dr. Century is a historical reenactor and has traveled across the United States, portraying many historical figures to include Harriet Tubman, Mary Fields, Phyllis Wheatley, Bessie Coleman, and Hatshepsut, the longest reigning female pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Dr. Century currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a middle school science teacher.


Come celebrate Women’s Equality Day at USAHEC to learn more about the life and impact of Sojourner Truth! As always, USAHEC’s exhibits, to include the “Cook Pot and Palette” art exhibit, “Treasures of USAHEC,” and the Soldier Experience Gallery, will be open. Don’t forget to grab lunch at Café Cumberland from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and feel free to browse the Museum Store. Parking is free and the USAHEC facility is handicapped accessible. For more information about this and all other events, please call: 717-245-3972 or visit the website:

Hits: 201

Perspectives in Military History Roundtable

50th Annual Lecture Series

George Washington’s Strategic Vision for Winning the Revolutionary War


Dr. Edward Lengel

Professor, University of Virginia


At the outset of the Revolutionary War, the American Continental Army was largely under supplied, untrained, and fighting for a divisive cause. General George Washington, the only officer with combat experience and the right political clout, choose to take command of a disheveled army of militiamen and lead them in battle against a global superpower. When he took command in 1775, Washington envisioned and developed a strategic plan at a level familiar to even today’s best military planners. Dr. Edward Lengel of the University of Virginia, will host a round table discussion about why Washington took command, and how he implemented his strategic plan for victory.


The Continental Army faced a daunting task in 1775: defeat the well-supplied, and well trained British Army. General Washington understood the fragility and complexity of the American military situation and identified the foundations of victory: a logistics system to ensure transportation of men and materiel on a grand scale, properly functioning intelligence systems, a regulated training program, firm shared interests with the American people, and the successful convergence of war on land and sea. Furthermore, Washington’s army needed to gain international acceptance by fighting the British on traditional European terms, a strategy which proved challenging in the colonial environment. The lecture and round-table event will shed light on the strategic mindset of America’s first great general.


Dr. Edward Lengel is an American military historian and professor at the University of Virginia. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Papers of George Washington documentary editing project at the University of Virginia. He earned his B.A. from George Mason University and his M.A. and Ph.D., both in history, from the University of Virginia. Dr. Lengel has written several pieces on Washington, including General George Washington: A Military Life and Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder, in Myth and Memory. Special Event: Make your trip to the USAHEC a full day of history! The USAHEC is proud to present the Mysteries in Military History event from 10:30AM to 2:30PM.


DATE: Saturday, August 20, 2016

TIME: The USAHEC opens to the public at 10:00 AM, and the roundtable discussion is from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.


PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multi-Purpose Room For more information on both events and any last-minute changes in meeting times and places, please check the USAHEC homepage: or call the Information Desk: (717) 245-3972.

Hits: 190

History Experts Will Help You Understand Your Military History Items at 4th Annual Mysteries in Military History Event


Behind locked doors at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), staff members work diligently to collect, preserve, and exhibit historical items depicting the dedication and sacrifices of America’s Soldiers and Veterans. Research, time, and institutional knowledge help these devoted historians and museum professionals weave together the pieces of each Soldier Story, which tell the Army’s history throughout the Center’s displays. Once a year, the USAHEC invites the public to bring their puzzling, U.S. Army/military-related items to these experts, who can provide initial research support, help identifying items, and assistance solving mysteries in family history. Join the USAHEC for the 4th Annual Mysteries in Military History Event on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM and let the professionals help you begin your military history research!

While the USAHEC’s library and archive is always free and open to the public for research, on August 20, our curators, conservators, archivists, and librarians will be available to help visitors dig a little bit deeper into the story behind their artifacts, documents, or the experts may even suggest how to care for family heirlooms in the attic or basement. Upon entering the event, visitors will be directed to different stations where military history, curatorial, and conservation experts can: identify unknown items; answer preservation questions about personal historic artifacts, such as photographs, manuscripts, books, uniforms, weapons, etc.; help visitors understand family genealogy highlighting military service; offer advice on the conservation of historical materials; provide research tips for working with archival and library items. It is important to note, USAHEC staff are prohibited from placing a value on items and therefore, will not conduct appraisals.

  Please know that firearms are welcome, but they must be unloaded and will be checked and marked by safety personnel prior to entering the building. Those planning on attending the event with any weapon must call prior to arrival to arrange a safety check. Visitors will need to provide their name, contact information, time of arrival, and information about the weapon they plan to bring. Explosive devices, ammunition, munitions, and containers for munitions will not be allowed at the event. If you are unsure if an item is safe to bring, please call: 717-245-4427.


Mysteries in Military History is open to the public and free to attend. The event will run from 10:30AM to 2:30 PM in the USAHEC Multipurpose Room. Parking is free, and both the Café Cumberland and the Museum Store will be open. For further information, please visit our website: or call: 717-245-4427.

Hits: 257

Deep in the A Shau Valley of Vietnam, a routine mission for veteran U.S. Army troops turned into a botched operation with combat casualties, due to poor leadership in the chain of command. A firefight with North Vietnamese troops erupted from communication errors and leader confusion, and at the center, was a young Army officer, groomed for command and assigned to lead the doomed platoon on its fateful reconnaissance mission. The young officer and his band of survivors have since lived with the graphic memories of the action and the grueling months that followed, resulting in a lifetime of severe trauma, guilt, grief, and anger. Mr. Chuck Newhall will present a lecture based on his experiences as that young officer, and the years after, as part of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center’s Brooks E. Kleber Memorial Lecture Series. The presentation will be based on his memoir, Fearful Odds: A Memoir of Vietnam and Its Aftermath.

After decades of experience managing the long-term effects of trauma and with the support of his family, Newhall has successfully come to terms with his past and the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mr. Newhall’s story is one of perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds and offers a guiding hand to others who are facing challenges on the battlefield, in the boardroom, or back at home. 

Charles W. “Chuck” Newhall III served in Vietnam as commander of an independent infantry platoon, earning decorations including the Silver Star, Bronze Star V (1st OLC), and Purple Heart. After his tour in Southeast Asia, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and an honors degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Newhall is the co-founder of New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and has been instrumental in financing the dramatic changes in the health care and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries. Mr. Newhall is currently working in an advisory capacity for Greensprings Associates, writing and travelling extensively for continuing education.


DATE: Thursday, August 4, 2016

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM. The question period concludes around 8:30 PM.

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multipurpose Rooms


For updates and any last minute changes in meeting times and places, please check the USAHEC homepage: or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.

Hits: 403

Since the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army has seen numerous African American Generals rise through the ranks and lead our fighting men and women. The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is proud to present a lecture from Dr. Jimmie Jones, former U.S. Army officer and author of the new book, Shock and Awe: An Introduction to African American Army Generals (1968-1992), as part of the Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series. The lecture, studded with names such as Major General Frederic E. Davison, General Roscoe Robinson, Jr., and General Colin L. Powell, will include a detailed discussion of prominent contributions African American general officers have made to the Army. These officers forged the way towards a truly professional fighting force by combining unmatched leadership with a steady progression of race equality and equal rights in the Post-Vietnam War Army.

The officers Dr. Jones will discuss developed their leadership styles in the 1960s and 70s when turbulent and violent racial tensions in the United States were a very real threat to the stability of the U.S. Army. These officers’ leadership practices demonstrated their resolve to accomplish their mission, while simultaneously advancing racial equality in the service. Failure was never an option; these Soldiers steadfastly believed they had to be the best in order to be considered successful.

Dr. Jimmie Jones is a retired U.S. Army colonel. His 26 years as an Air Defense Artillery officer led to his command of an Air Defense Artillery Patriot Missile Battalion, after which he continued his career as an assignment and professional development officer in the Army Military Personnel Center. Dr. Jones was the Personnel Director for the Army National Guard, followed by a career in education, including positions as a college professor and a school principal. Dr. Jones earned the NCAACP’s Wilkins Meritorious Service Award in 2003, after which the City of Las Vegas proclaimed April 6, 2006 be recognized as “Dr. Jimmie Jones Day.” Dr. Jones earned degrees from several institutions, which include a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, Master’s degree in Counseling, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.


DATE: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TIME: Doors open at 6:30 PM and the talk begins at 7:15 PM

PLACE: USAHEC, Visitor and Education Center, Multi-Purpose Room


For updates and any last-minute changes in “Perspectives” meeting times and places, please check the USAHEC homepage: or call the Information Desk: (717) 245-3972.

Hits: 264
USAHEC Provides Historical Context and Data for Newest Medal of Honor Recipient

On Monday, July 18, 2016, President Barack Obama will award Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles the Medal of Honor for prominent gallantry during the Vietnam War. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the Armed Forces, who distinguish themselves by going above and beyond the call of duty. There must be well documented proof of performance of meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award is only considered with the standard of extraordinary action. The Historical Services Division at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center helped provide pieces of the official history validating LTC Kettle’s account. The USAHEC team collected data, provided historical context, and verified critical facts about his actions, all of which were used in the decision to award the Medal of Honor. The story of LTC Kettle’s bravery and heroism will be re-told during the presentation ceremony at the White House in July.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Kettles will receive the Medal of Honor for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal (23rd) Division. Then-Major Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. He led a platoon of UH-1D helicopters to provide support to the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, during an ambush by a battalion-sized enemy force. After leading several trips to the hot landing zone and evacuating the wounded, he returned, without additional aerial support, to rescue a squad-sized element of stranded Soldiers pinned down by enemy fire. He is credited with saving the lives of 40 Soldiers and four of his own crew members.

USAHEC’s unparalleled library and archives provided the unit history for the 176th Aviation Company in Vietnam, portions of the After Action Report, maps, and photographs used on the Army’s Medal of Honor webpage dedicated to LTC (Ret.) Kettles and his actions. For more information on LTC (Ret.) Kettles, the 176th Aviation Company, or to read the After Action Report in its entirety, visit the website:



Tagged in: AHEC Army history
Hits: 298

The Board of Directors of the Army Heritage Center Foundation is pleased to announce the honorees that the Foundation will recognize at its 9th Annual Membership and Recognition Dinner at the U. S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) on October 29, 2016.


  • Living Legend Award: Brigadier General Peter Dawkins, USA Retired
  • Boots on the Ground Award: Lieutenant General Claude Kicklighter, USA Retired
  • MG John Armstrong Award: Members 1st Federal Credit Union


Brigadier General (Retired) Peter Dawkins will receive the Foundation’s Living Legend Award for his excellence as a leader, athlete, and a student while at the United States Military Academy and for his unwavering service as a Soldier to our Nation and its Army.  While a Cadet at West Point, he served as president of his class, and in his senior year, as the Brigade Commander of the Corps of Cadets.  A team captain of the Army football team, he won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and was a consensus All-America selection. After graduation, he attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and later earned a Ph.D. from Princeton.  Over a 24 year military career, he led Soldiers in Vietnam where he was awarded two Bronze Stars.  He held commands in the 7th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, and the 82nd Airborne Division.  He also served as a White House Fellow.  

Recognizing individuals or organizations that make a very positive contribution to the lives of Soldiers and their families the Foundation has selected Lieutenant General (Retired) Claude Kicklighter to receive the Foundation’s Boots on the Ground Award.  With a career that included Command of the U.S. Army Pacific and as the Director of the Army Staff, his selection recognizes his post retirement efforts to ensure “old Soldiers” are not forgotten. General Kicklighter served as Executive Director of the United States of America 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee, provided oversight for the writing of the plan for the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War, and as the Director of the Department of Defense Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program.

Members 1st Federal Credit Union will receive the MG John Armstrong Award.  Named for MG John Armstrong (1725-1795), a Soldier, a Statesman, a Pioneer, and a Leader who shaped the development of this region and the Nation, the award recognizes individuals and organizations that have helped develop USAHEC. Members 1st has been an ardent supporter of the Foundation’s efforts and has been instrumental in enhancing the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus.

The Dinner

This annual dinner will be held at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, allowing the Foundation to better showcase the Center’s assets to its guests, to honor Veterans past and present, and those who support Soldiers, and to thank those who support the Army Heritage Center Foundation and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in “Telling the Army Story . . . one Soldier at a time.®”   

Included in the evening’s activities is a silent auction that includes gift certificates to regional attractions, restaurants, wineries, and golf courses, among other items.

Dinner sponsorship opportunities are available. For additional details about the dinner and silent auction, or to order tickets, please contact the Foundation at (717) 258-1102,, or visit

Hits: 309

In the blink of an eye, their lives changed forever.  On Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) invites you to meet the extraordinary individuals known as the “Wounded Warriors and Mighty Moms of Walter Reed,” as they tell their moving stories of service to their country, to their children, and to each other.

The men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces understand they may have to lay down their lives to protect our country and our freedoms.  For those who serve, this bravery may have a cost, and for some, it is a serious injury that causes a prolonged stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  The facility, which treats active and retired personnel from all branches of the military, is a place of both physical and mental healing, not just for those in the military, but also for those closest to them.  The Wounded Warriors and Mighty Moms are just one group that has benefited from the services of Walter Reed.  

This presentation and panel discussion features several of the Mighty Moms and a few of the Soldiers introduced in the book, Unbreakable Bonds: the Wounded Warriors and Mighty Moms of Walter Reed. The Authors, Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris, wrote their book after visiting several of these families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as volunteers.  Hearing the experiences of the brave men and women who were wounded while serving their country and the families who cared for them after their return home inspired Ms. Guerin and Mr. Ferris to share these amazing stories of service, sacrifice, and resilience.  


The presentation “Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms of Walter Reed,” begins at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016. The presentation is open to the public and free to attend. As always, USAHEC’s exhibits, to include the new “Sleepless Nights” art exhibit, “Treasures of USAHEC,” and the Soldier Experience Gallery, will be open. Don’t forget to grab lunch at Café Cumberland, open until 3:00 p.m., and feel free to browse the Museum Store. Parking is free, and the USAHEC facility is handicapped accessible. For more information about this and all other events, please visit the website:

Hits: 328

On June 4, 2016, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center will open a new Soldier art exhibit. Sleepless Nights features the artwork of the late John A. Cook, Professor Emeritus at Penn State University.

John A. Cook served as a Sergeant in Company G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division from mid-September 1950 to June 1951 in Korea.  During that period, his unit deployed from Japan to Korea, helped to secure the Pusan Perimeter, fought its way north to the vicinity of Yongsan-dong in North Korea and then withdrew, under tremendous adversity, during the Chinese intervention beginning in November 1950.  While serving in Korea, Cook was wounded three times and was awarded the Purple Heart. 

Working intermittently over 46 years, the drawings came to him in the middle of the night.  He saw his midnight artwork as a means of release from what he believed was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  John Cook’s drawings serve as a tribute to American Veterans of all wars, but particularly to those who served in Korea, where more than 36,000 were killed in theater, 103,000 were wounded, and 7,800 remain missing or unaccounted. 

After the war, John A. Cook continued as an artist and joined the faculty of the Department of Visual Arts in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University where he ultimately was recognized as a professor emeritus.  During his 30 years at Penn State, he pioneered medallic art and served as a leader of an effort to make sculpture accessible to everyone.  He designed the Scholars Medal, a symbol of academic distinction and achievement, which is presented to graduating Scholars during the Schreyer Honors College’s Medal Ceremony which is traditionally held on the eve of Penn State's commencement exercises.

John A. Cook’s midnight drawings will be available for viewing in the Omar N. Bradley Art Gallery at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013.  The gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The exhibit is sponsored through the generosity of The Richard C. von Hess Foundation and the Army Heritage Center Foundation.

Hits: 416

Join with the Army Heritage Center Foundation as we host Central Pennsylvania’s fourth annual Army Birthday Dinner at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center on June 3, 2016 beginning at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the Army’s 241st Birthday.  The event allows the region to honor the U.S. Army, its Soldiers and Veterans, and their families.

The highlight of this year’s program includes a special program to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  MG Robert Scales, USA Ret. General Scales, author of Certain Victory: The U.S. Army in the Gulf War, the Army’s official postwar analysis of the conflict and a FOX News commentator will highlight the conflict’s legacy. The evening will also include a cake cutting and dinner, along with recognizing Soldiers and Veterans in attendance. Dinner attendees will also be treated to a preview of USAHEC’s upcoming art exhibit - Sleepless Nights: Korean War Veteran John A. Cook’s “Midnight Drawings”.

For years, in major cities across the country, private organizations across the Nation have celebrated the Army’s birthday.  However, celebrations in Central Pennsylvania have been modest.  “The development of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center provides us a perfect venue to celebrate the Army birthday“ said MG Robert Scales, Chair of the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  “We hope that, with our large local retiree population and the presence of many Soldiers currently serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard and Army Reserves, we can sponsor an event which highlights their and the Army’s service to the Nation.”

Mike Perry, Executive Director of the Foundation, stated that “The Army Heritage Center Foundation is pleased to host the Army’s Birthday event in the Visitor and Education Center to better showcase this outstanding facility, dedicated to the Army and its Soldiers, to the Foundation’s membership and the public.”

Event Sponsors include Booz Allen Hamilton, Carlisle Regional Medical Center, Mette Evans and Woodside, Gannett Fleming, Inc., AMVETS Post # 274, and VFW Post # 477.

For detailed information about the dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or to rsvp, please contact the Foundation Offices at (717) 258-1102 or

Hits: 509

For the past month and a half, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, PA has been keeping a big secret about this year’s Army Heritage Days event, scheduled for May 21 and 22, 2016. Over the past month, we gave little hints through the media that something “big” was planned, and now it is the time to reveal our big surprise!  USAHEC is pleased to announce we are hosting “The Moving Wall: Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” at this year’s Army Heritage Days. “The Moving Wall: Vietnam Veterans Memorial,” is a half-scale replica of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and recognizes the service and sacrifice of the military men and women who served in the Vietnam War. The 58,272 names listed on the wall include those killed in action and those still listed missing in action. The names are listed chronologically from the date of the initial wounding or when they were reported as missing. The replica wall will be operated by a volunteer staff of Veterans, who will help guests navigate how to find a name, assist with name rubbings, and answer questions. The Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Committee will be on-site as well to present pins to Vietnam Veterans.

While Army Heritage Days is a timeline living history event following the history of the U.S. Army from its roots to current day operations, this year’s theme highlights the Vietnam War. The Moving Wall is just one of the exciting new attractions. A Huey helicopter flown in Vietnam is being restored by the Liberty War Bird Association and will also be on display to educate visitors about the restoration of large military equipment.

In keeping with tradition, there are several lectures throughout the weekend. Terry Buckler will present a lecture entitled, “Son Tay: The Most Daring Raid of the Vietnam War.” What is the Son Tay Raid?  After identifying the names of over 500 American prisoners of war (POWs) being held by the North Vietnamese in unfavorable camp conditions in 1970, a 15 member planning group was created to address the issues. An attack to overtake camp Son Tay was deemed feasible, and the U.S. Army launched Operation Ivory Coast to train, plan, and execute the attack. Terry Buckler was 20 years old when he participated in the raid and will share his story at Army Heritage Days. General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey is also on the schedule to present a talk entitled, “Vietnam – Our Veterans in Perspective,” about his service during the war and his view of Vietnam Veterans service today. Both General McCaffrey and Mr. Buckler will also participate in the popular “Veterans Meet and Greet,” which allows visitors the opportunity to interact with Veterans from several different periods of history.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter via #CountdowntoAHD as we release more information, including the detailed schedule of events. For more information about USAHEC and Army Heritage Days, please visit: or call: 717-245-3972.

Hits: 482

The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center was recognized with the Keepin’ it Fresh and New Award at the Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau Partner in Tourism Platinum Award Ceremony held on March 31, 2016.

The award was presented to Mr. Jack Leighow, Director of the Center’s Museum for the Vietnam Exhibit – Courage, Commitment, and Fear, which opened in November 2015.


About the Foundation and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center


The Military Heritage Foundation, doing business as the Army Heritage Center Foundation, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) that, through donated support, is funding the construction of the public components of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center—the Visitor and Education Center (VEC) and the Army Heritage Center.  As the phased construction program is completed, the Foundation transfers these facilities to the Army to operate, staff, and maintain, as part of the Center. The Foundation will then focus on “margin of excellence support” to meet the needs of educational programs and other activities at USAHEC where federal funds are inadequate or unavailable. 

The Foundation completed its Voices of the Past capital campaign in 2010, with the construction of Phase One of the Visitor and Education Center, a key component of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center campus. Opened to the public on May 20, 2011, the Visitor and Education Center is the focal point for the campus, containing the first large exhibit gallery and hosting educational activities.

The Foundation is now seeking grants and donations for its Build on Success Campaign to construct Phase Two of the Visitor and Education Center and to create an endowment to sustain and enhance educational programs. The Foundation’s education program coordinates National History Day in Pennsylvania, complements the Center’s programs and exhibits, and is a state approved continuing education provider. The Foundation also supports and enhances USAHEC’s public outreach by supporting marketing initiatives and serving as a public advocate of the Center’s mission and programs. Learn more about the Foundation at

USAHEC is dedicated to educating and preserving the legacy of the men and women who have served this nation as Soldiers. The Center's mission is to educate a broad audience on the heritage of the Army by acquiring, preserving, and making available historical records, materials, and artifacts. A unique Army and public asset, USAHEC is the Army’s only historical organization chartered to acquire and preserve the personal history of our Soldiers through their photos, letters, diaries, and artifacts. USAHEC staff then makes these resources available to the public through accessible archives, engaging education programs, and world-class interpretive displays. Learn more about USAHEC at



Hits: 806

On Saturday, March 19, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle will host three world-class American Civil War experts, as they go deep into the bloody mud surrounding Petersburg in 1864 to discuss the leadership of Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The event is the fifth Discussions in Military History Roundtable, and features a lecture by Dr. Richard Sommers, author of Richmond Redeemed: The Siege of Petersburg. Two eminent historians from the U.S. Army War College, Dr. Paul Jussel and Dr. Christian Keller, will join him. The presentation begins at 2:00 p.m. in USAHEC’s Multipurpose Rooms and will analyze the generalship, strategy, operations, and tactics of the Federal Fifth Offensive in the Siege of Petersburg in the early autumn of 1864. Following the lecture, the panel members will comment and discuss aspects of the conflict, finishing with questions from the audience.

As the brutal summer of 1864 closed, the Federal Army under General Ulysses S. Grant pinned the hard-fought troops of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia down in the town of Petersburg, Virginia. This onslaught overran the outer defenses of Richmond and gave the Northerners the greatest opportunity they ever had to capture the Confederate capital with a field army capable of holding the city. So dire was the danger that the Southern forces were prepared to abandon their main rail center, Petersburg, if required, to rescue Richmond. How the Unionists came so close to taking one or both cities -- and yet fell short -- and how the Confederates fought back, not just defensively but offensively, and succeeded in prolonging the war for several more months, forms the focus of the roundtable presentation.

Dr. Richard J. Sommers served for over 43 years at the U.S. Army Military History Institute of USAHEC until nominally “retiring” as the Senior Historian in January of 2014. He continues teaching at the U.S. Army War College, writing about the Civil War, and speaking to Civil War groups across the nation. Dr. Paul Jussel is a Professor of Military Studies, Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations, at the U.S. Army War College. He is a retired Army Colonel and focuses on theater strategy and campaigning. Dr. Christian Keller is a Professor of History, Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. Dr. Keller is the author of Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory and co- author of Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg.

All USAHEC lectures are open to the public and FREE to attend. Parking is free, books for a signing after the roundtable will be for sale, and the Museum Store will be open until 4:30 p.m. For directions, more information, and a complete schedule of USAHEC events, please visit: or call 717-245-3972.

Hits: 981