The TRADOC Military History Program collects, interprets, and instructs military history and heritage; acquires, preserves, conserves, and interprets historical property and documents; and emphasizes the human dimensions of the profession of arms.
A Short 50-Year History of the US Training and Doctrine Command
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) reaches its 50th anniversary on 1 July 2023. On that date in 1973, the U.S. Army completed its Operation STEADFAST reform effort with the simultaneous establishment of TRADOC and the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) from the former U.S. Army Continental Army Command (CONARC) and the U.S. Army Combat Developments Command (CDC). Every five years beginning with TRADOC’s 20th anniversary in 1993, the command’s Military History and Heritage Office (MHHO) has published a short history of TRADOC. In June 2023, in time for TRADOC’s Golden Jubilee, the MHHO, in conjunction with TRADOC’s Army University Press (AUP)/Combat Studies Institute Press, will publish the 50-Year Short History of TRADOC, which will appear in both a limited-release hardcopy and online in PDF through the MHHO and AUP. This 50-Year edition will update TRADOC’s history through the COVID-19 experience, the emergence of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), and other current topics.
A Moment in History
TRADOC Military History Programs
Military history activity in TRADOC is carried out in two separate but complementary programs: the Command History Program and the Military History Education Program (MHEP).
The Command History Programs mission is designed to bring the historical dimension to all levels of the TRADOC mission: recruiting, training, and educating the Army’s soldiers, developing leaders, supporting training in units, developing doctrine, establishing standards, and building the future Army.
The Command Historians, including the Historians in subordinating organizations, conduct research, preserve a selected collection of historical documents as the institutional memory of the command and advice Commanders on the use of military history in the professional development of leaders. Most Historians in the subordinating organizations CAC (Combined Arms Center, CASCOM (US Army Combined Arms Support Command), and CIMT (U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training) also serve as instructors of military history. And all Historians lead staff rides to historic battlefields.
The TRADOC Military History Education Program involves academic instruction of military history as an integral component of leader development training.
Battlefield Staff Rides in the United States
Staff Rides were originally used by the German Army in the late 1800’s to train their General Staff officers. They studied the battles from the Napoleonic Wars to better understand what happened, why it happened, and what could be learned and applied to the future. Today, staff rides are conducted by the US Army personnel to assist in the development of leaders by visiting battlefields like Yorktown, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Antietam, and Manassas to name a few. These exercises bring to life historical battles on the actual terrain, thus allowing leaders to analyze the operational events through recounting and discussions on reconnaissance, use of terrain, tactics, weather, communications and leadership. Such study provides excellent lessons learned for leader’s to apply in future situations. There are many preserved American battlefields which can provide a wealth of staff ride opportunities listed below.
- US Army Aviation Museum & Training Support Facility, Fort Rucker
- Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, Fort Sill
- US Army Air Defense Artillery Training Support Facility, Fort Sill
- US Army Artillery Museum, Fort Sill
- US Army Military Intelligence Historical Holding & Ft Huachuca Museums, Fort Huachuca
- National Armor and Cavalry Training Support Facility, Fort Benning
- National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning
- US Army Chemical Corps Museum, Fort Leonard Wood
- US Army Military Police Corps Regimental Museum, Fort Leonard Wood
- US Army Finance Corps Museum, Fort Jackson
- US Army Ordnance Corps Training Support Facility, Fort Lee
- US Army Quartermaster Museum, Fort Lee
- US Army Transportation Corps Museum, Fort Eustis
- US Army Women’s Museum, Fort Lee
- Frontier Army Museum, Ft Leavenworth
- The General George Patton Museum of Leadership, Fort Knox
- US Army Basic Combat Training Museum, Fort Jackson
- US Army Chaplain Corps Museum, Fort Jackson
- US Army Heritage and Education Center, AHEC, Carlisle Barracks
- US Army Noncommissioned Officer Heritage & Education Center, Fort Bliss