The National Museum of the United States Army Reserve

National Museum of the USAR

The National Museum Of The Army Reserve, Founded in 1999

The Army Reserve was created in April of 1908, but the concept of a Federal force of Citizen Soldiers dates back to the founding of the United States. Unlike their counterparts in the National Guard, Army Reserve Soldiers have no state mission or allegiance. Federal Citizen-Soldiers have played an important role in defending the United States for almost 250 years. Since it's establishment in 1999, The National Museum of the Army Reserve (NMAR) has existed to tell their story.


To collect, preserve and interpret the history of the US Army Reserve and the Federal Citizen Soldier.


Museum displays throughout the headquarters tell the story of America's federal Citizen Soldiers, relate their experiences and honor their contributions. The development of the Army Reserve is highlighted, along with displays that emphasize its most significant achievements.

A Proud Heritage

The museum embodies the history and contributions of the American Citizen Soldier from 1908 to present day operations. It conveys a sense of heritage and esprit d ‘corps to every Army Reserve Soldier. Since the activation of the Medical Reserve in 1908the United States government mobilized more than one million Army Reserve Soldiers for the defense of the nation. The National Museum of the Army Reserve is here to tell their story.

Living History

The living history program brings the past to life, relating the soldier's experience in America's wars. The Office of Army Reserve History protrays a Civil War headquarters and signal station at historic events.

Staff Rides

Historians guide Army Reserve Soldiers over actual battlefields, teaching them principles of war and lessons learned. Participants assume roles of historical commanders, considering that alternative courses of action might have been taken during the battle. The general public may participate as well when space is available.


The US Army Reserve Command (USARC) Tour Program makes special tours available to Army Reserve soldiers, other members of the Armed Forces and the general public. Tour groups must make arrangements at least five days in advance with the Field Historian of the Office of Army Reserve History. All tour participants must sign in at the USARC Security Office and obtain a visitor pass to enter the headquarters. Tours will be limited to the display areas. Weekend tours available by appointment.


Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday and all Federal Holidays

Contact Information

Museum Director (910) 570-8183
Museum Curator (910) 570-8182
Museum Specialist (910) 570-9595
Field Historian (910) 570-8371


The Combat Historian Training and Education

Command Historian

Military historians have existed since the time of ancient Greece. American efforts to gather and preserve battle details originated during World War II, and have flourished since 1945. This proud tradition of documenting Army operations is carried on by today's Combat Historians. The Combat Historian's mission is to create a historical collection for use by future writers of the Army's history. These field historians gather historically significant data and materials from the battlefield concurrent with military operations.

About the Military History Detachment Course

The Office of Army Reserve History is the proponent agency for the Military History Detachment (MHD) Course. The MHD Course is conducted at the Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (ARRTC), Fort Knox, Kentucky. The Center for Military History (CMH) and ARRTC are responsible for Army MHD and unit historian training, which is battle-focused and uses METL-based standards from Army doctrine and real world experiences from subject matter experts (SMEs) that have been in a contingency.

The MHD Course provides a thorough coverage of the basic concepts and techniques involved in collecting military history on the modern battlefield (historical methodology, oral history, and historical documents, artifacts, and photographic collection). Through a hands-on systematic approach personnel from all military service branches (Active, Reserve, and National Guard), as well as Department of Defense (DOD) civilians receive training on the critical skills required to perform their duties as a Combat Historian.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates of the MHDC will receive a certificate of graduation and will be fully qualified to execute the critical duties required for conducting military history collection missions both as an individual and as a member of a unit.

Combat Historians that are assigned to MHD’s will be scheduled and required to participate as a unit in a Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation and, or, at a US Army Reserve Warrior Exercise prior to being deployed as an MHD or as a Unit Historian.


Personnel attending the MHDC must have a “SECRET” or higher clearance.

Students are required to be familiar with the following references prior to attendance:

  • FM 1-02: Operational Terms and Graphics (Feb 2007)
  • FM 1-20: Military History Operations (Feb 2003)
  • FM 3-0:Operations (June 2001)
  • FM 3-90: Tactics (April 2001)
  • AR 870-5: Military History: Responsibilities, Policies, and Procedures (29 Jan 1999)
  • AR 870-20: Army Museums, Historical Artifacts, and Art
  • “Tactics 101”: www.armchairgeneral.com/articles
  • Note: References 1-6 are available at the Army Electronic Publications and Forms website at, http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/ The MHD Course evolved from the Combat Historian School and was accredited by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) in June 2008.

    Staff Ride

    Staff Rides

    The staff ride is an educational tool used to further the professional development of U.S. Army leaders.

    Its origins can be traced back to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the 1890’s; the first staff ride occurred in 1906 at the Chattanooga battlefield, Tennessee. Staff rides apply lessons from the past to present-day Army leadership for current application.

    Utilizing historic events on the actual terrain where a battle occurred provides an interactive and hands-on experience giving the participant examples of tactics, strategy, communication, logistics, and the psychology of men and women in battle that can be applied in today’s military operations.

    Staff Ride Objectives

    • To expose participants to the dynamics of battle, especially those factors which interact to produce victory or defeat
    • To expose participants to the “face of battle”, the timeless human dimensions of warfare
    • To provide case studies in the application of the principles of war
    • To kindle or reinforce an interest in the heritage of the US Army
    • To provide case studies in the operational art
    • To provide case studies in combined arms operations or in the operations of a single arm or branch
    • To provide case studies in the relationship between technology and doctrine
    • To provide case studies in leadership, at any level desired
    • To provide case studies in unit cohesion
    • To provide case studies in how logistical considerations affect operations
    • To show the effects of terrain upon plans and their implementation
    • To provide an analytical framework for the systematic study of campaigns and battles

    US Army Reserve Staff Ride Program

    The staff rides conducted by the US Office of Army Reserve History (OARH) will focus on the battles and events of the Southern Campaign of the American War of Independence (1780-1781). It was this campaign that brought the war to an end.

    Current Staff Ride Locations

    • Kings Mountain National Military Park (NMP), North Carolina
    • Cowpens National Battlefield (NB), South Carolina
    • Guilford Courthouse NMP, North Carolina
    • Colonial Yorktown NMP, Virginia
    • Fort Ninety Six National Historic Site (NHS), South Carolina

    Tell the History

    Tell the Story

    Lieutenant General Jeffrey W. Talley, Chief of the Army Reserve and the late Dr. Lee S. Harford, Jr., former Army Reserve Director of History, discussing the history of the citizen-soldier in front of a picture of John Parker, who commanded the militia at Lexington where the Revolutionary War started on 19 April 1775. Parker (the minuteman) has been the official symbol of the Army Reserve since 1923.


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