History Professor Strengthens Southern Miss Ties with U.S. Military
Friday, February 05, 2010
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With one look at his extensive curriculum vitae, it’s evident that history professor Dr. Michael Neiberg lives and breathes military history. And because of this passion the link between The University of Southern Mississippi and the United States military has grown.
Neiberg, also director graduate studies and co-director of the Center for the Study of War and Society for the Southern Miss Department of History, recently accepted the Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) in Carlisle, Pa. USAWC prepares students for senior or advisory leadership positions in the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, foreign militaries and other government agencies.
Neiberg will serve as chair for the 2010-11 academic year, educating army colonels and lieutenant colonels on history and strategy.
“The prestige is a nice thing, but more important is the chance to work with the army’s educational staff,” Neiberg said. “I’ll have the opportunity to understand the inner workings of the U.S. Army, to get a better sense of their history and the current issues they are facing. This strengthens the ties between Southern Miss and the senior level army intellectual community.”
Created in 1978 to honor the legacy of General Harold Keith Johnson, the former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, this distinguished position is offered only to senior scholars in the field of military history. Neiberg received an invitation to join USAWC from the Commandant of the U.S. Army War College.
According to the USAWC Web site, chair holders are encouraged to pursue individual research and writing projects and make their expertise available to other programs in the war college.
“USAWC also hosts the Army Heritage and Education Center, which is the premier repository for army records,” Neiberg said. “For historians like me, it’s a wonderful, wonderful resource to have access to for a time. In the fall, I’ll teach Advanced Military History and in the spring I’ll teach an elective course.”
Specializing in comparative history of war and society, Neiberg previously taught at the Air Force Academy and received numerous teaching and mentoring awards. Neiberg is also a founding member of the International Society of First World War Studies, which is based in France. With his international presence on the rise, Neiberg was recently invited to join the scientific committee of the Museum of the Great War in Péronne, France. This is the largest World War I museum in the European Union.
In January, he was asked by the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee (DAHAC) to chair a team of five historians on an evaluation of the curriculum and instructional methods used at the army’s Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. The DAHAC is a White House level appointment and further strengthens the ties Southern Miss already has with the Leavenworth community.
“We will brief the 3-star general in charge of the army’s education programs at the Pentagon,” Neiberg said. “It’s our job to make sure the army’s history programs are in line with professional academic standards and to help them get the resources they need. One of the things we’ll be doing is to get the army to improve their record systems so wounded soldiers can more easily demonstrate where and how they suffered their injuries.”
Later this year, Neiberg will release a book that looks at the outbreak of World War I from the standpoint of European civilians who had to live through it. In 2008, the History News Network named him a Top Young Historian in America. Neiberg currently teaches courses in war and society and the history of modern France, in addition to world history.
“My work and accomplishments are an example of what the Southern Miss Center for the Study of War and Society is doing to make Mississippi a place where these critical issues are being studied and researched,” he said.
For more information on Neiberg, visit the Southern Miss Department of History at www.usm.edu/history.
PHOTO: Mike Neiberg
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.