Hands on History Lesson Hosted by Ft. Sill
CMH, March 19, 2013
On Saturday 16 March from 1000-1600 the Fort Sill Directorate of Museums and our three museums, the Field Artillery Museum, Air Defense Artillery Museum and the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, hosted an "Army Through Time" historical timeline event on the historic Polo Field representing over 10 conflicts in American History. This was done with the support of the staffs of all three Army Museums, the directorate and over 50 living history volunteers from all over Oklahoma, with some coming from as far away as Arkansas.
This event was an opportunity to see, touch and experience the Army's History with re-enactors representing Army history from the American Revolution up through the Vietnam War. Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery and Air Defense Artillery exhibits were present, to include the 4th US Cavalry group from Fort Reno, OK who provided mounted Cavalry demonstrations and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team from Frederick, OK had static displays of WWII Airborne equipment, uniforms and weapons. The FA Museum gun crews provided Mexican War, Civil War and WWII artillery demonstrations and the Fort Sill Half Section demonstrated WWI artillery. The ADA Museum Anti Aircraft quad .50 M16 Half-track and the Fort Sill Museum's Buffalo Soldier groups were also present as well. There were static exhibits, firing demonstrations and a variety of historical equipment. The Oklahoma Historical Society also helped, providing a Mexican War musicians' group from the Fort Gibson State Historic site. Solders, their families and the public were able to talk to the re-enactors and see the weapons, uniforms and equipment of the Army's history up close.
This event attracted almost 700 visitors and included AIT Soldiers, permanent party Soldiers, employees and families an important opportunity to learn their Army Heritage and grow in the Profession of Arms and personally touch Army history. It was like stepping back in time to give the public and military alike a masters class in United States Army history. "We're able to show people an Army history basically from the inception of the United States Army at least through Vietnam. It's an opportunity to see, feel and touch Army history, " said Frank Siltman, Director of Museums on Fort Sill. "One of the Army's priorities is profession of arms. And to really understand the profession of arms you understand your history, where we come from, " said Siltman. "So many times people have no exposure to the Army, and the Army museums and events like this really are what the public have to get a window into the United States Army, and into our heritage, and to who we are." Siltman said.
Musicians from the Fort Gibson State Historic site perform 1840's military music.
A FA Museum staff member demonstrates how ammuntion was prepared and powder increments handled during WWII.
The Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum Buffalo Soldier volunteers provided great insights in to the early regiments manned by Black Soldiers on the frontier.
The Fort Sill ceremonial unit, the Half-Section demonstrates the French 75mm field gun from WWI.