The Spring 2015 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was held on 4 May 2015. Dr. Ed Westermann of TAMU-San Antonio presented "Colonizing the Nazi East and Conquering the American West: Comparing Processes of Conquest and Genocide." Dr. Westermann received his Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000. He teaches classes on European history, the Holocaust, war and society, and the Civil War and Reconstruction. He previously taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the Air University in Montgomery, Alabama and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado holding the following positions: Full Professor of Military Strategic Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy (May 07-Jan 08); Associate Professor of Comparative Military History and Theory, U.S. Air Force Academy (Jun 06-May 07); and Associate Professor of Comparative Military History and Theory, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (Sep 03-Jun 06). He is the author of Hitler's Police Battalions: Enforcing Racial War in the East (University Press of Kansas, 2005) and Flak: German Anti-Aircraft Defenses, 1914-1945 (University Press of Kansas, 2001). His current research project, "Hitler's Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars," uses a comparative empirical approach to examine Nazi eastward expansion in World War II and U.S. westward expansion between 1850 and 1890. Dr. Westermann is the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships and he has been a Fulbright Fellow, a German Academic Exchange Service Fellow, and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. He also is the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio. His research interests are the Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Nazi Germany, World War II, and Air Power.
The Spring 2014 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was presented by Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze of Louisiana State University-Shreveport on 29 April 2014 titled "The Empire Strikes Back: The Crisis in Ukraine in Historical Context." Born in the Soviet Kazakhstan, Dr. Mikaberidze grew up in the newly independent Republic of Georgia. He holds an advanced degree in international law from Tbilisi State University (Republic of Georgia, 1999) and worked as an international law expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (1996-2000), where he handled the human rights issues and relations with the Council of Europe. In 2000, Dr. Mikaberidze moved to the US to pursue his dream of studying the Napoleonic Era (1799--1815). He joined the prestigious Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at Florida State University where he finished his Ph.D. in history in 2003. He has taught European, World and Middle Eastern history at Florida State University and Mississippi State University and lectured on strategy and policy for the U.S. Naval War College. He is the general editor of the Selected Papers of the Consortium on Revolutionary Era, as well as editor-in-chief of the periodical The Napoleonic Scholarship. He has been elected Fellow of Royal Historical Society (United Kingdom) and awarded the International Napoleonic Society's Legion of Merit Medal and La Renaissance Française's Médaille d'or du Rayonnement Culturel for his contributions to the Napoleonic studies. He joined LSUS in 2007 and was chosen by students as one of Top 20 Professors in 2009. His numerous publications include Attrocities, Massacres and War Crimes: An Encyclopedia (Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013); Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1814 (London: Frontline Books, 2913); Russians Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1812 (London: Frontline Books, 2012); Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: Historical Encyclopedia (general editor), Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011, 2 volumes; World History Encyclopedia: The First Global Age, 1450-1770 (co-editor), Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011, 3 volumes; The A to Z of Georgia. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow Press, 2010; The Battle of the Berezina: Napoleon's Great Escape(Campaign Chronicles Series), London: Pen & Sword, 2010; The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon versus Kutuzov (Campaign Chronicles Series), London: Pen & Sword, 2007 Winner of the 2008 Literary Award of the International Napoleonic Society, 2009; Historical Dictionary of Georgia, Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield/Scarecrow Press, 2007; The Czar's General: The Memoirs of a Russian General in the Napoleonic Wars (translator and editor), Welwyn Garden City, UK: Ravenhall Books, 2005; The Russian Officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815, New York, NY: Savas Beatie, 2005; London: Spellmount, 2005 Winner of the 2005 Literary Award of the International Napoleonic Society, 2006; Alexander Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky's Russo-Swedish War of 1808-1809 (translator and editor), West Chester: Nafziger Collection, 2006, 2 vols. Adamianis uflebebis da dziritadi tavisuflebebis datsva evropis sabchos farglebshi: adamianis uflebata evropuli sasamartlo [Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms within the Council of Europe Framework: European Court on Human Rights], Series "Judge's Library," Tbilisi: GCI, 2000 (in Georgian).
The Fall 2013 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was presented by UNT Alumnus Dr. Greg Ball, the Command Historian of the 24th Air Force at Lackland AFB and member of the US Air Force Reserve, on 3 December 2013 titled "Soldier Boys of Texas: A Texas Infantry Regiment in World War I." Following active duty service in the US Air Force from 1995 to 2006, Dr. Ball earned his PhD in 2010 at the University of North Texas, completing his work under the direction of Professor Randolph (Mike) Campbell. While composing his dissertation, Dr. Ball worked for the United States Air Force History and Museums Program as a Staff Historian in the Air National Guard History Program (2009-2011). In 2011, he assumed duties as the Command Historian of the 24th Air Force at Lackland AFB. Dr. Ball is the author of several journal articles and reviews. His current project is a book on the 90th Division's Texas Brigade in World War I. Dr. Ball's first book, They Called Them Soldier Boys, offers an in-depth study of the soldiers of the Texas National Guard's Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment during the First World War. It explores their recruitment, training, journey to France, combat, and return home. Dr. Ball focuses on the fourteen counties in North, Northwest, and West Texas where officers recruited the regiment's soldiers in the summer of 1917, and how those counties compared with the rest of the state in terms of political, social, and economic attitudes. In September 1917 the "Soldier Boys" trained at Camp Bowie, near Fort Worth, Texas, until the War Department combined the Seventh Texas with the First Oklahoma Infantry to form the 142nd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Division. In early October 1918, the 142nd Infantry, including more than 600 original members of the Seventh Texas, was assigned to the French Fourth Army in the Champagne region and went into combat for the first time on October 6. Dr. Ball explores the combat experiences of those Texas soldiers in detail up through the armistice of 11 November 1918. .
The Spring 2013 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was presented by Dr. Sanders Marble of the US Army Office of Medical History on Tuesday, 28 February 2013. Dr. Marble's talk, titled "Scraping the Barrel: How Armies have Conceptualized and Utilized Sub-Standard Manpower," was based on his book, Scraping the Barrel: Military Use of Sub-Standard Manpower, 1860-1960, published by Fordham University Press in 2012. Dr. Marble received his PhD from King's College, University of London in 1998. Since then he worked at eHistory.com, as project historian for "The Price of Freedom" at the National Museum of American History, and since 2003 with the Office of Medical History. In 2010, he was Command Historian for Walter Reed Army Medical Center before re-joining the Office of Medical History. He has taught at George Washington University, and in online programs for American Military University and Norwich University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medical History at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Marble is the author of twenty-two articles and chapters, and author or editor of seven books. His current projects are "Skilled and Resolute: The History of the 12th Evacuation Hospital and 212th MASH, 1918-2006," a unit history of the Army's oldest deployable hospital, and a chapter on conscription and manpower utilization for the Cambridge History of the Second World War. He has organized one conference on medicine in the First World War (and is organizing one on medicine and the Second World War), serves on the prize review committee for the World War I Historical Association, and is organizing a military history seminar to engage government and academic historians with the interested public in San Antonio.
The Fall 2012 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture "Latin America in the 21st Century: US National Security Perceptions" was presented by Commander Jay Young of the US Naval Reserve on Tuesday, 27 November 2012. Commander Young holds a BA from Yale University, an MA from King's College, University of London, and has completed all coursework toward a Ph.D. at Ohio State University. He is a Commander in the US Naval Reserve where he has served in a variety of leadership positions with units supporting US Pacific Command, US Southern Command, US Atlantic Command, and US Seventh Fleet. He was recalled to active duty shortly after 9-11 and served on the staff of US Seventh Fleet. Mr. Young is a member of the Council on Foreign Relatio0ns (New York) and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. Commander Young started his career with the US Government as a military analyst, where he served on task forces for major military operations, and authored numerous assessments on key issues in Latin America, and the Persian Gulf. Commander Young has also held a variety of positions in business and government. At Electronic Data Systems, he worked in Global Sales and Corporate Strategy. At Battelle Memorial Institute, he was Director of International Operations and Strategy, and one of the founders of the company's technology strategy management consulting group. At Booz Allen and Hamilton, Mr. Young led numerous projects for sensitive US government clients. At Perot Systems (now Dell Services), he organized and administered the company's first corporate-level market and competitive analysis capability which supported new-market entry, global delivery expansion, and mergers and acquisition activities. He also established the first corporate win/loss analysis program which enabled the company to more consistently leverage key lessons from major pursuits and target specific areas of weakness for improvement.
The Spring 2012 Military History Center Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture was presented on the evening of Thursday, 31 March by Rear-Admiral John "Chris" Sadler, Commander, Naval Air Forces Reserve, Deputy Commander, Naval Air Forces.
In August 2010, Rear Adm. Sadler assumed duties as Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve and Deputy Commander, Naval Air Forces. Rear Adm. Sadler graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (cum laude). He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society and earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC). He earned honors in all phases of flight training and reported in June 1985 to the Black Aces of Fighter Squadron 41 aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) flying the F-14A Tomcat. He became a wing-qualified landing signal officer and graduated from the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). He then reported to the Challengers of Fighter Squadron 43 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Va., as an adversary pilot flying the A-4/F-5 and teaching overland strike support.
Rear Adm. Sadler transitioned to the Reserve Component in September 1990 with the Hunters of Fighter Squadron 201 at NAS Dallas, flying the F-14A Tomcat. He deployed with Air Wing Five as an adversary pilot and Fighter Squadron 211 aboard Nimitz for Exercise Surgex. He was selected as the 1996 Air Wing Reserve 20 Junior Officer of the Year. He assumed command of Strike Fighter Squadron 201 in July 1999, leading the squadron through its transition to the F/A-18A Hornet while earning two consecutive Air Wing 20 Retention Excellence Awards and the Naval Air Force Reserve nomination for the Phoenix Award in 2000, recognizing maintenance excellence. His other command tours include Commander Fleet Air Western Pacific 0170, where his unit earned the Captain Barto Award as the best small augment unit in the Naval Air Reserve Force; Chief of Naval Air Training Reserve Component Command; 6th Fleet Detachment 802 and Deputy Reserve Component Commander, Navy Region Southeast. Non-command tours include Carrier Strike Group 0570 and 7th Fleet Detachment 111. He served on active duty in 2007 as the chief of staff for Commander, Navy Region Midwest at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. He coordinated the efforts of the region staff in providing support to Navy war fighters and families over the 16-state Midwest region.
Rear Adm. Sadler has flown almost 3,000 hours in tactical aircraft and accumulated 388 carrier landings. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Joint Forces Staff College. Personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Sadler is employed as a 777 pilot for Delta Air Lines, and is an ice hockey player/Dallas Stars/Pittsburgh Penguins/Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
On 30 November 2011, Colonel John Antal, US Army (Retired) presented the Executive Council Discussion Series Lecture on "Warfare in the 21st Century." Colonel Antal, a member of the MHC Executive Council, is a military affairs expert, a magazine correspondent for Military Technology Magazine, the executive producer for the mega-selling Brothers in Arms video game franchise, add a frequent contributor to film and documentaries on the History Channel. His latest History Channel film was the acclaimed series Patton 360, the Story of General George S. Patton.
Colonel Antal is also the author of eleven books on military and leadership subjects. His latest book titles are: Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (Random House novel) and Hell's Highway: The True Story of the 101st Airborne Division During Operation Market Garden, September 17-25, 1944 (Zenith Press). These books, both the historical fiction (novel) and the history describe the saga of one of World War II's most daring and unsuccessful missions, the plan to liberate Holland in 1944, Operation Market garden, that resulted in the British attempting to seize a bridge too far.
As a military officer, Colonel Antal has commanded combat units from platoon to regiment and held sensitive key positions on high level Army, joint and combined military staffs, including Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the G3 Operations Officer of the Third Armored Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. He is an Airborne Ranger and a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. Colonel John Antal is frequent speaker on leadership and military subject and is a life-long student of leadership and the art of war.
The Spring 2011 Military History Center Discussion Series Lecture was presented on the evening of Monday, 28 March by Dr. Ron Miliam.
After 2nd Lt. William Calley was found guilty of murder for his role in the 1968 My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War, popular culture often portrayed junior officers in Vietnam as poorly trained, unmotivated and lacking talent. Dr. Ron Milam, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, set out to debunk this view by demonstrating that most of the lieutenants who served in combat served with great skill, dedication and commitment to the men they led.
Dr. Miliam will discuss the book that he wrote as the result of his research, Not a Gentleman's War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War, at the University of North Texas March 28, during the spring 2011 lecture of the UNT Military History Center's Discussion Series. The free lecture, "Not a Gentleman's War," begins at 7 p.m. in Room 122 of UNT's Wooten Hall, which is located one block west of Welch and Highland Streets at 1121 Union Circle.
In his book, Dr. Milam draws on oral histories, after-action reports, diaries, letters and archival sources to present vivid portraits of what platoon leaders faced -- training their men, keeping racial tensions at bay and preventing alcohol and drug abuse. Despite these obstacles, most of the junior officers performed admirably, as documented by field reports and evaluations of their senior offices, Dr. Milam notes in the book.
Dr. Milam is an associate professor of military history at Texas Tech University, where he has taught since 2004. He is a member of the advisory board of the Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive, which collects and preserves the documentary record of the Vietnam War and supports and encourages research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam Experience. Milam is also the academic advisor for student trips to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam that the Vietnam Center has sponsored, and has taught at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi.
In addition to Not a Gentleman's War, Dr. Milam has written many articles about the Vietnam War, including a chapter that was published in "Companion to Military History." He is currently writing "The Siege of Phu Nhon: Montagnards and Americans as Allies in Battle" about one of the most significant battles in the last days of the Vietnam War.
His military service includes serving as an infantry advisor to the Montagnard Soldiers in Pleiku Province in South Vietnam from 1970-71, and serving as executive officer of the Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. Milam is a recipient of the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Bronze Star with "V," the Army Commendation Medal with "V," the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Palm, the Bronze Star for Service and the Parachutists Badge. Milam is on the board of directors of the David Westphall Veterans Foundation, which operates the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire, New Mexico.