Society for Military History
Candidates for Vice President
Members shall vote for one of the two following candidates:

Beth Bailey

Present Position: Foundation Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Military, War, and Society Studies, University of Kansas.

Education: B.A. Northwestern University (1979); M.A. University of Chicago (1981); Ph.D. University of Chicago (1986).

Special Appointments:
Co-Editor, Military, War, and Society Series, Cambridge University Press (established 2018); Society of American Historians (elected 2017); Department of the Army Historical Advisory Subcommittee, 2015—; RAND History of American Military Policy Advisory Committee, 2015—17; Consultant, “The Vietnam War, 1945—1975” exhibit, New York Historical Society, 2015—17; Board of Editors: Modern American History, 2016--; The Sixties, 2007--; University Press of Kansas Editorial Committee (current); Coordinator, OAH-AHRAC (China) Exchange Program, 2016-18; Chair, International Committee, OAH, 2013-14; West Point Summer Seminar, 2012; Gunter Starkey Teaching Award, University of New Mexico, 2003; Visiting Scholar: University of Paris-Diderot, 2012; University of Melbourne, 2010; Saitama University, 2002; Senior Fulbright Lecturer, University of Indonesia, 1996; Research fellowships: NEH (2005-06), Oscar Handlin Fellow, ACLS (2014-15); Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (2005); Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, Functional/Institutional Book (2009); Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, Article (2007).

SMH Activities and Service: Trustee, 2017—2020; Chair, Subcommittee on Prizes, 2018-19; Membership Committee, 2011-12; Coffman Prize Committee, 2017-19 (chair, 2018); SMH Presidential Panel, 2016; SMH Panel at AHA, 2017.

Representative Publications: Beyond Pearl Harbor: A Pacific History (co-edited; in press, 2019); “The U.S. Army and ‘the Problem of Race,’” Journal of American History (forthcoming, 2019); Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (co-edited, 2015); “The Politics of Dancing: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Moral Claims,” Journal of Policy History (2013); America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force (2009); “The Army in the Marketplace: Recruiting the All-Volunteer Force,” Journal of American History (2007), The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawai’i (co-author, 1992); A People and a Nation (co-author, editions 7—11); America in the Seventies (co-editor, 2004); Columbia Guide to America in the 1960s (co-author, 2001); Sex in the Heartland (1999); From Front Porch to Back Seat (1988).

Area(s) of Historical Specialization: U.S. Military, War, and Society; Recent U.S. History; History of Gender.

Candidate Statement: These are good years for our field and for our professional society. Military history can boast vibrant scholarship, a resurgent position in the academy, and continued interest from students and the general public. The Society for Military History has played a significant role in that success. Our society has made a strong case that military history matters, both in the university and beyond. Our academic journal is respected; our conference is lively and worthwhile. The SMH offers a big tent, not only for the various branches of military history, but for historians who work in civilian universities, in PME, in federal institutions, in museums and other forms of public history. And it has drawn a vibrant cohort of graduate students and early career scholars to join those who have made long careers in the field.

Due to the hard work of SMH officers, trustees, and members, the society is in a good position to build for its future. If I have the honor of serving, I would continue the essential work to strengthen the SMH’s organizational structure and clarify its procedures, and focus on the following initiatives: 1) Teaching: Military history courses remain popular even as history enrollments have declined, and history departments increasingly see good military history courses as key to their future. To take advantage of that opportunity, I would work to establish an annual seminar that offers highly practical preparation for teaching military history—a successor, in some ways, to the West Point Summer Seminar—for military historians and other scholars who want to incorporate military history into their courses. 2) Building the endowment, with the goal of increasing research and travel support for graduate students and early career scholars; 3) Increasing our visibility: In addition to supporting the Journal of Military History, I would work to build our presence online and in social media and to build relationships with other professional organizations both in the US and internationally.

Peter Mansoor

Present Position: General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History, Ohio State University.

Education: PhD and MA, Ohio State University; Masters in Strategic Studies, Army War College; BS, United States Military Academy.

Special Appointments: 26-year military career with two combat tours in Iraq; Marine Corps University Board of Visitors (2015-Present); National Advisory Board, Alexander Hamilton Society (2011-Present); Veterans Advisory Committee, National Veteran’s Memorial and Museum; Military History Working Group, Hoover Institution.

SMH Activities and Service: Chair, Membership Committee (2009-2012); Executive Director Search Committee (2017); Board of Trustees (2015-Present).

Representative Publications: The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945 (University Press of Kansas, 1999), winner of the Society for Military History distinguished book award and the Army Historical Society distinguished book award; Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander’s War in Iraq (Yale University Press, 2008), winner of the Ohioana Library Association book of the year award; Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War (Yale University Press, 2013), finalist for the inaugural Guggenheim-Lehrman Military History Prize; co-edited (with Williamson Murray) Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Grand Strategy and Military Alliances (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Area(s) of Historical Specialization: Modern US Military History; World War II; Iraq War; Counterinsurgency Warfare

Candidate Statement: As vice president of the Society for Military History I would seek to maintain the society’s status as the premier scholarly organization in military history in the world today. This means catering to the needs of a broad spectrum of military historians, from academic to professional historians to others with a shared passion for the field. As evidenced by its robust membership, healthy attendance at annual meetings, and support of outstanding scholarship, the Society for Military History is in excellent condition and well positioned to advance the military history field. Perennial concerns center on limited positions for military historians in academia. But academia is slowly embracing new approaches taken by military historians, and the Society represents a much broader base: Government historians, professional military educators, independent authors, and interested amateurs are all integral and important members. The Society should continue to promote all of its various constituencies by serving as the flagship military history organization in the world today, while promoting first class field scholarship.

As a trustee for the past four years I have worked to ensure the society’s long-term fiscal health and to professionalize the planning for its annual meetings. This latter initiative will come to fruition in the next four years, within the tenure of the next vice president/president-elect. If elected I aim to see this program through to a successful completion, thereby ensuring the long-term viability of the annual meeting. Finding a home for the Journal of Military History after the contract with VMI expires will also be a critical task for the next leadership team. I am also interested in fund-raising to ensure the vitality of the various scholarships, prizes, and awards administered by the society. Having been immersed in the society’s governance for the past four years as a trustee and as the conference coordinator for SMH 2019, I have a thorough understanding of the challenges currently facing the society and I believe I am in a good position to help govern the society in the years ahead.

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