"History provides lessons we cannot afford to forget.” Colonel Timothy R. Reese
Colonel Timothy R. Reese, Director of the Combat Studies Institute, was the opening keynote speaker at MLW 2007 and he gave his presentation on: The Global War on Terror, Oral History Project at the Combat Studies Institute (CSI), Fort Leavenworth, KS.
The Oral History Project at CSI is a significant example of preserving the past and capturing the future.
The CSI can be viewed as a COG in the Engine of Change – provide the army with historical research and analysis that spans the gap between ongoing battlefield lessons and training needs and the long term official histories of Army operations.
THE CSI Operational Leadership Experience Program staff has been collecting first hand accounts of the GWOT/Long War in support of Army lessons learned and research programs, and to tell part of “the Army Story” so that the American public gets a better idea of what their soldiers do.
Interview targets are field grade officers (Majors and Lieutenant Colonels) with firsthand experience, and other individuals as available or needed.
- Survey is taken of each new class for volunteers to be interviewed by oral historian - yields about 70% plus positive response
- Individuals who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Africa, Europe, etc. are interviewed
- The interviews are 60-90 minute audio sessions with an oral historian
- Preliminary research on person’s background is done prior to the history
- The interviews are transcribed into text and undergo a security review to make sure the information is all unclassified
- The interviewee signs a release
- The staff writes an abstract and develop meta-data for the oral history document
- The transcript is posted to the OLE website at the CARL.
Outcome of Program
- There have been 720 interviews as of the end of November 2007
- The repository has grown by 10 - 20 interviews per month
- Interview are also added from other CSI research projects.
- For CSI research and publications, such as research on war and terror
- Other programs – doctrine, student research, lessons learned studies, training programs
- Media – hits by journalists
- Tell the “Army Story”
- Find an expert for other research
Access at: http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/CSI – see GWOT/Oral History Project link. Interviews can be browsed alphabetically, by stars, and keywords. Branch symbol are provided. Interviews can be accessed in PDF.