History Symposium To Explore Recent Wars

"From Vietnam to Afghanistan: What Should the American Military Learn From Recent Wars?" is the title of a special Kansas State University department of history symposium that will feature several noted military historians, as well as professional historians who are also Vietnam War veterans.

The symposium will be 1:30 to 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in the Little Theatre at the K-State Student Union. It is presented by K-Stateís Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies in cooperation with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene and the Combat Studies Institute of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Jack Holl, symposium organizer, chair of the K-State department of history and director of the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies, expects a wide-ranging discussion on Americaís military since the Vietnam War.

"Our panelists include representatives, both civilian and military, from every branch of the U.S. armed forces," Holl said. "All of the Vietnam veterans participating are professional, public historians who have some continuing responsibility with history in current national security affairs."

The opening symposium panel discussion, from 1:45 to 3 p.m., will be "Military Intellectuals/Military Historians: Assessing Recent United States Military Experience."

Panel members include:

* Mark Parillo, associate professor of history at K-State and a faculty member of the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies. Parillo will chair the panel.

* John Guilmartin, associate professor of history at Ohio State University and the 2001-2002 Charles A. Lindbergh Professor of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Guilmartin, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, is an authority on military history, maritime history and the history of technology. He also has written about the Vietnam and Gulf wars.

* Christopher Gabel, professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command General Staff College and adjunct professor of history at K-State. Among the courses he teaches at Fort Leavenworth are the Evolution of Modern Warfare and Militaries Between Wars.

* John Kuehn, a commander in the U.S. Navy. He also is deputy director of the Naval Element at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, where he serves as an assistant professor. Kuehn also is a graduate student in history at K-State.

* Allan Millett, the Mason Professor of Military History at Ohio State University. Millett, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, is a specialist in the history of the American armed forces, military policy, military innovation and the nationís 20th century wars.

The second panel discussion, from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m., will be "Citizen Soldiers/Professional Historians: Vietnam Veterans Assess Americaís Military Legacy."

Panel members, who are all Vietnam War veterans, include: Ron Trewyn, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at K-State, who will serve as panel chair; Mack Teasley, assistant director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library; Daun van Ee, historical specialist, manuscript division, U.S. Library of Congress; David Haight, archivist at the Eisenhower Presidential Library; and Terry Van Meter, director of the U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley.

A special dinner will follow the symposium at 6:30 p.m. in the Flint Hills Room at the Union. The dinner will feature a visual presentation by Don Mrozek, professor of history at K-State, on "A Place for People: Public Memory and the Private Meanings of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial."

The dinner also will honor Robin Higham, professor emeritus of history at K-State. Higham, who retired in 1998 after 35 years at K-State, established the history departmentís military history program. In honor of Higham, the department will present its first Higham Award, an honor that will be awarded annually to a distinguished graduate student in military history at K-State.

The dinner costs $12 and reservations are required by calling the department of history at 785-532-6370.