Importance of Military History; Battlefield Medicine, Navigation Plotting Points & More


When we study the history of U.S. military, we don’t only focus on the battles and strategies, the technology and tactics but we must also look at the engineering services performed, catastrophe aid, peace keeping and security. Military history encompasses the volunteer units, like reserve formations, the early militias and the modern national guard.

Army & Navy Land & Nautical Navigation Plotting Points

Many fail to appreciate that it is the Army Corp of Engineers that mapped America, completing the earliest surveys and the same engineers manage, dredge and maintain Americas east coast waterways. The U.S. Navy contributed and managed many early U.S. charts and led the way of the United States Coast Plot publications in the early 19th century. Land maps and nautical charts aid in conducting military operations. Surveys and maps establish roads, water features and topographical representation of the ‘lay of the land’ or plotting maritime coastal navigation.

Military Exploration & Reconnaissance Surveys

In many cases the U.S. military was engaged in early exploration and surveys of the west. The US military officers represented a core of technical skills sometimes lacking in the civilian sector. Maps, indeed all cartography including coastal navigation charts are dependent upon the surveys conducted by the US military. Roads and trails where documented and this became the basis for not only military operations, but later civil planners used the same documents to plan communities and highways. The interstate system was created for the logistical transfer of military assets from coast to coast, while creating logistical and commercial life lines connecting markets and communities.

Battlefield Medicine

Military medical teams developed and were early users of cutting edge technologies and procedures. Faced not only with battle casualties, the military medical teams had to deal with disease control; the primary cause of casualties. Traditionally more casualties, debilitating to death, than actual combat. The military medical personnel had to limit loses and down time to malaria, yellow fever and other tropical disease and treat other tropical medical problems, including injuries. The U.S. Army medical team’s efforts in eliminating or controlling tropical diseases was the primary contribution to the completion of the Panama Canal, where so many other nations failed.

Importance of Military Logistics

Many commercial operations depend on standards and procedures originally conceived by the military. To equip, feed and move troops depends on the logical talents of the officer responsible. Food, medicine, ammunition, transportation and distribution affect the morale and capabilities of the military to respond to external threats or internal emergencies. Take for example the typical Marine amphibious operation. The logistical ship must be loaded in reverse of need. Those supplies that are needed first are the last loaded to enable them to be available and unloaded first. A minor consideration for execution, but major impact on the operation.

Military Role in Disaster Response

Tangible skills passed to the civilian market are leadership, and other skills obtained by individuals when serving their country in the military. We also find the military responding to disasters like New Orleans flooding in search and rescue, emergency medical and restoration of services like power. Military medics and corpsman can transition to emergency response paramedic in civilian occupations.

Military Intelligence

Military intelligence collect information, submits it to analysts to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in making decisions and conduct military operations. Skills acquired can be directed on discharge into many civilian business operations. Police criminal intelligence as well as corporate (i.e. business) intelligence and counter-intelligence, in almost direct correlation to skills acquired while in uniform.

Military & Automotive Museums in Auburn, Indiana

The US military contributes in many ways, far past the service rendered, and skills and knowledge acquired. Many retired military go to lead business enterprise with leadership attained under fire. Studying U.S. military history will give us an insight into the challenges faced and sacrifices of our men and women who serve under the fire of the enemy. We owe them much. Kruse Museums is proud to house the National Military History Center. Come by and visit our exhibits today!

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