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Captain Shane P. Reilly – Operations Officer of the Army Heritage and Education Center

By Admin | November 11, 2007

Captain Shane P. Reilly is the operations officer for the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Located close to the interstate highway system, it is now a common stop for military history buffs visiting nearby Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania. On this Veterans’ Day and in military jargon, Captain Reilly tells us about AHEC.

What are your job duties?

I am responsible for coordination and synchronization of the daily activities at the AHEC.

How long have you been in the Army and do you plan to make a career of it?

I have been in the Army for a total of 14 years, 11 as an Officer

What is your unit and the unit of the officers at the facility?

We are assigned to the Army Heritage and Education Center, which currently falls under the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

What was your academic major in college? How did you come to be associated with the Army Heritage and Education Center?

I received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Temple in 1996. I found a posting for the Army Heritage and Education Center position on the Army Knowledge Online website. I applied and interviewed for the position and was assigned.

What is the Army Heritage Trail exhibit at AHEC? Are guided tours available?

The Army Heritage Trail is a one mile long trail that features ten outdoor exhibits from various periods throughout Army History.

Some of the exhibits include a French and Indian War waystation, an 18th century forge, an 18th century blockhouse, a recreation of redoubt #10 as it appeared at Yorktown in 1781, civil war cabins, a recreation of the Hagerstown Pike as it appeared at Antietam in 1862, a World War I trench system including an American trench and a German pillbox (machine gun) position, World War II Core Area including two barracks buildings, a motor pool building, a chapel and a mess hall, an Omaha Beach exhibit featuring an M4 Sherman tank and a German PAK 43/41 (88mm) anti-tank gun, and a UH-1 Huey from the Vietnam era.

There are daily guided trail tours available, Monday through Friday at 10:00 and 2:00.

What was the origin of the Army Heritage and Education Center?

The Military History Institute was originally located in Upton Hall on the Carlisle Barracks installation. In 1999, the Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) was created by the Department of the Army. In 2004, the AHEC was relocated to its current location in Ridgway Hall.

What makes the Army Heritage and Education Center special and different from the other Army museums?

The AHEC stands apart from other Army museums because it focuses on the stories of the individual american soldier from the French and Indian War through current operations in Afghanistan.

The majorities of Army Museums focus on a specific Division, Regiment or school and do not encompass the breadth of Army history that the AHEC does.

What are your most valuable/rarest/most important holdings or collections?

Some of our more interesting holdings include an M1911 .45 Colt pistol presented to General Omar Bradley as a Christmas gift from Elvis Presley with the original card attached and an original telephone transcript from a Military Police station at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii dated 7 DEC 1941.

How is the Army Heritage and Education Center funded and maintained?

The AHEC is funded by the Department of the Army with support from the Army Heritage Center Foundation.

How many visitors/researchers/historians use the Army Heritage and Education Center each year?

AHEC visitorship quadrupled from 10,000 in 2005 to 40,000 in 2006.

Do professional soldiers use the resources available at the Army Heritage and Education Center?

We have received numerous requests from deployed units and individual soldiers for manuals and other mission related references.

How many professional historians and archivists do you have on staff?

The AHEC Director and Deputy Director are both Regular Army Officers. There are also six Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Reserve Officers assigned. The civilian staff is comprised of 73 personnel, who specialize in a variety of historical fields ranging from professional historians to museum operations to conservation and collection specialists.

What are the growth plans for the future?

The AHEC is in the initial phases of the expansion plan. Some highlights include a state of the art Visitor and
Education Center. Construction is scheduled to begin in December 2008, with an estimated completion date of December 2009. There is also an Army Heritage Museum and Conservation Center which will become part of the AHEC campus in the near future.

Disclosure: the interviewer is a past employee of the United States Army.

Copyright 2007 DailyInterview.net

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