Research

April 17, 2019 at 11:20 am

Johnson Awarded Funding from U.S. Army Military History Institute

Matt Johnson, portrait

Matt Johnson

Graduate student Matt Johnson, received a General and Mrs. Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant from the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate in History and a Contemporary History Institute student, will use the funds to conduct dissertation research at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., part of the U.S. Army War College.

Johnson’s dissertation, “Teaching the American Way of War: U.S. Army Professional Military Education from the Cold War to the War on Terror,” examines the Army’s post-graduate service schools and the individuals responsible for creating, implementing, and changing the curricula. In addition to the study of these institutions, the project will explore the policy changes that affected the broader officer education system and created opportunities for officers to obtain civilian graduate degrees.

Johnson’s research questions include how curricula or organizational changes at the service colleges reflected Army thinking, how the Army implemented changes, what lessons its leaders derived from American conflicts that affected professional military Education, how the Army has influenced graduate programs at civilian institutions, and whether it has attempted to educate its officers in a distinct American way of war.

Among USAHEC’s holdings, Johnson will conduct research in the personal papers of more than a dozen former U.S. Army War College commandants and former Army Chiefs of Staff, including Generals Matthew Ridgway, Lyman Lemnitzer, Harold Johnson, and William Westmoreland. He will also make use of USAHEC’s collection of all previous curriculum pamphlets and catalogues from 1952 to 2002.

Johnson completed his M.A. in History at Ohio University in 2014 and has earned a Contemporary History certificate from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University. He is writing his dissertation under the direction of Dr. Ingo Trauschweizer.

Using funds from the Ridgway Family Endowment, the General and Mrs. Matthew B. Ridgway Military History Research Grant is a competitive award that supports research at USAHEC on subjects with value to Army history that can make use of the center’s holdings. The Ridgway Committee consists of current or former members of USAMHI, USAHEC, and the U.S. Army War College. A decorated senior officer in the U.S. Army, Gen. Ridgway commanded the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II, served as Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 1952–1953, and was the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1953-1955.

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