Preserving history

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lauren O'Connor
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Historians can be found across the Department of Defense and federal government, preserving history as it happens in their organization’s institutional memory.

Dr. Troy Hallsell, 341st Missile Wing historian, documents Malmstrom’s.

“Given the high turnover among uniformed personnel, it is my responsibility to write the story of big changes and events within the wing as they occur,” said Hallsell. “At its most basic level, my job is to analyze the available evidence and interpret the wing’s past activities.”

Historians are responsible for a wide range of archival, reference, historical research, and historical writing services. These products inform commanders and decision-makers at the wing, Air Force Global Strike Command and U.S. Air Force levels and aid in planning processes.

Hallsell recently took lessons learned from the 341st Security Forces Group’s Missile Security Operating Concept and applied it to the 341st Medical Group reorganization.

“While this product was specific to security forces, the lessons learned from this process can help any group-level unit plan its own internal reorganization,” said Hallsell.

“After discussing this study with the 341st MDG commander, I provided [the findings] to 341st MDG leadership to assist them with their current reorganization,” he continued. “The administrative obstacles Col. Hooper [341st MDG commander] is likely to face will be very similar to those of Col. Guill [341st SFG commander]. By learning about what to expect with a reorganization of this size, Col. Hooper should be able to learn from SFG’s headaches and make this process easier to manage.”

Historians, according to Hallsell, should be unbiased. Their job is to objectively document all of their organization’s activities, to include both the perceived good and bad.

“By using this approach I can point to our success and failures so we can replicate the good and fix the bad.”