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Military history detachment


Military history detachment

A military history detachment (MHD) is a unit in the oral histories and operational documents to enable historians to write the official histories of U.S. military activities.[1]


A Major from a Military History Detachment collecting an oral history from a Kuwaiti colonel about the War in Iraq

The mission of the Military History Detachments is to support the unit commander's history program; collect information in the operational environment to supplement and amplify the factual accounts of events as recorded by the organization; and assist in the documentation of unit operations.[2]


The military history detachments were first found in a form similar to contemporary units in the experimental "Intelligence and Historical Service units" of the World War II U.S. Army. First formed in April 1944, the U.S. Army formed nine of these units, which consisted of a senior historian, a lieutenant colonel, and a monograph unit consisting of one officer and two enlisted historian and a clerk typist. Along with this central group, a flexible number of contact teams with two enlisted and two commissioned historians helped the units collect materials. Additionally, 36 additional teams, many of which were documenting the Air Force, were formed. The Army committed about 300 personnel to historical units in general. These units were largely autonomous, writing histories based on the standards set by their commanding officers, which varied considerably.[3]

After World War II the [3]

After the outbreak of the [3]

The MHDs do not just cover combat zones. After the March 23, 1994 disaster at Fort Bragg's Green Ramp, the 44th MHD was tasked to assist in documenting the US Army's response to the incident. Their efforts were incorporated into Mary Condon-Rall's 1996 book Disaster on Green Ramp: The Army's Response.[5]

By 1998, there were 22 MHDs in the U.S. Army, 16 of which were Reserve, 5 National Guard and 1 active duty.[6] However, since 2008, the number has increased to 35 units.

Number of Units

Currently there are 35 Military History Detachments located throughout the United States. Of the 35, 27 are assigned to the Army Reserve. There are 7 in the National Guard and there is 1 Active Duty MHD, the 44th which is located at Fort Bragg, NC.

Types of Units

Currently there are 3 types of Military History Detachments. The MHD Team A is a two man detachment consisting of a Colonel (O-6) and Lieutenant Colonel (O-5). This unit is normally located at the Theater and Corps level Headquarters. The MHD Team B is a three man unit consisting of a Major (O-4) and two NCOs, normally an E-7 and an E-6. The NCOs normally carry a Public Affairs Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code. The Team B MHDs work at all levels, from the Brigade Combat Team (BCT) through the Division level and up to the Theater and Corps level. The third type of unit is the MHD Team C. The Team C normally work at the Division level. The Team A and Team C MHDs can augment the Team B MHDs at any level to provide a more concentrated collection effort.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Military historians work to chronicle war in Iraq". Lawrence Journal-World. 11 June 2005. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Wright Jr., Robert K. (Winter 1985). "Clio in Combat: The Evolution of the Military History Detachment". The Army Historian (6): 3–6. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dr. Harford Jr., Lee S. (Summer 2002). "Documenting the past training the military history units: there are 22 military history detachments in the Army…16 in the Army Reserve". Army Reserve Magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  7. ^  

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