Command Sergeant Major Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret.
Director, Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs
The National Museum of the United States Army is coming.
Plans for the long overdue Army museum are progressing very well. The official groundbreaking ceremony will happen in late summer or early fall of 2013. The opening date is set for the Army’s 240th Birthday – June 14, 2015.
The museum will be located at Fort Belvoir, Va., and will be accessible to the public without having to enter the military installation. (See related story on Page 7.)
The museum will tell the "Soldiers’ Story."
It will help our nation’s citizens understand and appreciate the legacy of the 14 generations of American men and women who have served in peacetime, in 11 major wars and in 185 campaigns.
It will help them understand the true cost of freedom.
The United States Army is the only service without a national museum.
The Army Historical Foundation is responsible for raising the money to build the museum and the campaign is on track. I believe that shows the public is supportive of the project, and people are showing their gratitude and appreciation for America’s Army and its soldiers.
The Army along with the American people will also benefit from the museum.
Every new soldier will be able to see the Army’s accomplishments and what it stood for throughout the years. It will show how ordinary soldiers have played a key role in advancing this nation socially, culturally, technologically and scientifically.
The museum will also inspire and expose them to the Army’s not-so-secret weapon – the backbone of the Army – the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Corps.
Our Army veterans need this national landmark as a place where they and their families can reflect, remember and enjoy the spirit of America’s Army. We owe this to every veteran who has worn the uniform of a winning team – America’s Army – active duty, Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.
The Registry of the American Soldier
The museum will also provide soldiers with a unique opportunity to record details of their service for their descendants and future generations on the Registry of the American Soldier, managed by the Army Historical Foundation.
To date, over 90,000 currently serving soldiers and Army veterans have enrolled to record their service histories in their own words.
The web-based registry is a celebration of the service and sacrifice of soldiers from 1775 to the present day. The registry will be prominently displayed at the National Museum and will remain accessible via the Internet for those unable to visit the museum.
Every registry entry at the National Army Museum will include the soldier’s name, rank, hometown and service history.
Because the registry will be an essential historical link between those who have served and the American public, Army veterans are being encouraged to share their stories and memories.
Former and currently serving soldiers have played major roles in forging Army history.
This gives them a unique perspective from which to relate Army history in their words. Their memories and personal experiences will bring Army history to life and make it memorable for future generations.
Spouses, parents, children and friends can also enroll Army veterans, to include those who are deceased.
There is no charge for enrollment or for inclusion of a color or black and white photo.
To enroll or for more information on the Army Museum, log on to the Army Historical Foundation website: www.armyhistory.org.