Marines, Sailors Visit National Infantry Museum, Soldier Center
(February 19, 2010)
|FORT BENNING, Ga. (2/11/2010) — Although military technology
has changed drastically since the American Revolution, the
hardships and experiences of the American soldier have
changed little throughout the course of history.|
Marines and sailors of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
learned this lesson, among others, as a part of a
professional military education tour of the National
Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning, Ga., Feb
|Full-body casts of active-duty service members were made to recreate several battle scenes depicted at the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning, Ga. ?The display, called the Last 100 Yards, depicts significant infantry battles in American history. Here, Revolutionary War infantry attack a British-held position. Marines and sailors from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany toured the museum, Feb. 4, 2010.
“It is easy for Marines and sailors to get tunnel vision in their everyday
tasks,” said Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Mykoo, sergeant major, MCLB Albany. “For this
reason, the PMEs (professional military education) not only educate base
personnel, but also provide a means for the participants to socialize and learn
from each other while getting away from their normal every day activities.” |
It is also important to learn about the other branches of service. “It's not
like it was 30 or 40 years ago, we are all participating in a joint environment
now. It's one team, one fight,” Mykoo said.
The Marines have a history of working with their sister services and the Army is
no exception. Whether it's the Civil War, World War I and II or The Vietnam War,
Marines and soldiers have shared the ground war against this nation's enemies
for more than two centuries.
The museum is crucial to understanding the Army's portion of this shared effort.
The various exhibits portray the experience of the American soldier in a
realistic and thought-provoking manner.
Depiction of bayonet charges, complete with life-sized figures and authentic
equipment, as well as battle-damaged vehicles, did more than paint the picture
of what it is like to be a “grunt” in a forward area.
The Last 100 Yards, one of the museum's main attractions, is key to
understanding the overall concept of the museum: the importance of America's
Its name is derived from the fact that, regardless of what supporting arms are
used or who is involved, the last 100 yards of any conflict is fought by the
American infantryman, said Cas Michael Criscillis, director of the National
This portion of the museum also shows dramatic depiction of key points in the
history of the Army infantry from the American Revolution to America's current
overseas operations in the Middle East.
The Marines and sailors also attended a showing of “Michael Jordan to the Max”
at the IMAX Theater within the facility. The film's theme was heroism and what
it takes to achieve that heroism, a message that correlates with the rest of the
The tour also consists of exhibits dedicated to the Cold War, both World Wars,
Korea, The Vietnam War and other conflicts.
Video clips, art, sound bites and dioramas also serve to flesh out the museum
and add a degree of depth that provides an excellent learning experience.
The museum, both privately and federally funded, was partly influenced by the
Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va.
However, the main inspiration came from retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry White,
former commander of the U.S. Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Ga. The
retired general is noted by those who knew him as an individual who had a
passion for his comrades in the Army infantry, Criscillis said.
“He wanted a state-of-the-art facility for his soldiers,” said Jean McKee, one
of the volunteer employees working for the museum.
More than 257,000 visitors have visited the museum since it opened in June.
Criscillis said the old museum at a different location, saw much less than this
at an average of 64,000 visitors annually.
“The infantry has always been left the dirty and undesirable job, and throughout
history, without question, marched forward and often times achieved
extraordinary objectives with very little resources. What we want people to go
away with is the fact that these soldiers, historically and currently, are
making these incredible sacrifices and we wish to honor them for an otherwise
thankless job,” said Jeff C. Reed, arms curator at the National Infantry Museum.
Reed, a former active infantryman, also deployed to Iraq as a government
“The highlight of my career was to have the opportunity to walk and to collect
items off of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith's battle site, who was the first
recipient of the Medal of Honor during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was an
extraordinary experience to be there and document this man's heroic actions,” he
The PME included staff and officers from Marine Corps Logistics Command, Marine
Corps Systems Command, Inspector Instructor Staff of the reserve detachment,
Naval Branch Health Clinic and Albany base personnel.
Article by USMC 2nd Lt. Joe Thomas
Photo by USMC 1stLt Caleb Eames
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany
Marine Corps News
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