Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Understanding the Many Missions of the American Military

Understanding the Many Missions of the American Military

Date : Sat., March 24, 2018 to Sun., March 25, 2018 Category : Butcher History Institute

Co-Sponsored by The Madeleine and W.W. Keen Butcher History Institute, FPRI's Center for the Study of America and the West, and The First Division Museum at Cantigny (A division of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation) Co-sponsored by Carthage College

Secondary school teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty are invited to apply for participation in our next history weekend.
(40 slots available) 

Application Deadline: January 30, 2018


In 2018, our 13th annual military history weekend for teachers at the First Division Museum will focus on “Understanding the Many Missions of the American Military, Post-Vietnam.” This institute will be the first to be held in the  First Division Museum since the addition of a new wing devoted to the post-Vietnam era. The First Division Museum tells the story of a historic military unit that has participated in all of America’s conflicts since WWI. The new wing is organized around the variety of the first Division’s roles in this era. Corresponding to the new wing, our history weekend will explore these military missions: Deterrence, Battle, Peacekeeping, Counterinsurgency/Counterterrorism, and Military Assistance.
For a compilation of essays drawn from previous history weekends, be sure to see: American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students, edited by Paul Herbert and Michael Noonan (FPRI and First Division Museum, 2013).

Watch the Full Conference Here:


Topics and Speakers

Welcoming Remarks

03/24/2018 - 8:50 AM to 9:00 AM
Walter A. McDougall

Co-Chair - Madeleine and W.W. Keen Butcher History Institute

Paul Herbert

Executive Director, Cantigny First Division Foundation

The History of the First Division and an overview of the Museum

03/24/2018 - 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
Paul Herbert

Executive Director, Cantigny First Division Foundation

In providing an overview of the museum. COL Herbert will sketch the history of the First Division and its role in American military history.

Deterrence and Forward Presence in Europe: From Cold War to Present

03/24/2018 - 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
Sarah Kreps

Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University

The emergence of the Cold War following WWII did not allow for all U.S. troops to return home. The First Division, among other units, remained for a long time to help provide conventional deterrence and to reassure allies. The aftermath of the Cold War allowed for a reduction in the number of forces deployed, but new geopolitical realities may affect this moving forward.


03/24/2018 - 12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

The First Division in Desert Storm, 1991

03/24/2018 - 12:45 PM to 2:00 PM
Gregory Fontenot

Former Director, School of Advanced Military Studies, University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies

When deterrence fails, the First Division has been among the most important military units to respond to crises. In the first Gulf War, it answered the call. This presentation will discuss the First Division’s role in the preparation and the execution of Operation Desert Storm.

The March Up: March/April 2003

03/24/2018 - 2:15 PM to 3:30 PM
Maj. Gen. Robert Scales

President, Colgen, Inc.

While the First Division did not take part in the initial invasion of Iraq the warfighting conducted by US, British, and other coalition forces during 2003 are important historical examples of “Battle” in U.S. military history. This presentation will discuss the opening phases of the war in Iraq and its aftermath.

Peacekeeping/Humanitarian Assistance: Somalia, Haiti, and the Balkans

03/24/2018 - 3:45 PM to 5:00 PM
David Gray

Director, Center for Leadership and Ethics, Virginia Military Institute

Military units such as the First Division have also played vital roles in delivering humanitarian assistance and supporting peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations. This presentation will look at several important peacekeeping operations in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Tour of Museum

03/24/2018 - 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Reception and Dinner

03/24/2018 - 6:00 PM

Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan

03/24/2018 - 8:30 AM to 9:45 AM
Erin Simpson

Senior Editor, War on the Rocks

Victory on the battlefield in Afghanistan and Iraq did not automatically bring peace. This presentation will examine how the First Division and other units have managed the challenges of counterinsurgency, the “Savage Wars of Peace” that come after the initial phases of those campaigns.


03/24/2018 - 10:00 AM to 11:15 AM
Mary Habeck

Senior Fellow, FPRI - National Security Program


Managing the global post-911 battlefield has been a particular challenge for the American military. This presentation will examine the role of traditional military units in this particularly non-traditional fight.

Military Assistance

03/24/2018 - 11:30 AM to 12:45 PM
Austin Long

Senior Fellow - National Security Program

Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation

Another type of form of military engagement conducted by the U.S. military with allies and friends abroad is the provision of military assistance in the forms of combined training, equipping, and the conduct of side-by-side operations. This presentation will discuss the myriad forms of such assistance and its role in U.S. national security policy and national strategy.



First Division Museum at Cantigny

1 S. 151 Winfield Road
IL Wheaton 60189

Registration links

Click Here to Apply

Register Deadline

Mon., January 30, 2017


Forty participants will be selected to receive: 

  • Complimentary overnight accommodations for those outside of the Chicago vicinity (Friday and Saturday nights, as needed);
  • Complimentary lunch and dinner on Saturday, plus continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday;
  • Assistance in designing curriculum and special projects based on the History Institute;
  • Stipends of $200 for well-developed lesson plans for posting on our website that effectively utilize the experience of the weekend conference, or documentation of in-service presentations based on the weekend;
  • Partial travel reimbursements (up to $250) for participants outside the vicinity of the conference center;
  • Subscription to E-Notes, Footnotes, and other FPRI online publications;
  • A certificate of participation in a program offering 12 hours of instruction. In addition, for those interested, college credit is available for a small fee through our cooperating institution, Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin;
  • Videotapes of the entire conference will be posted subsequently on our website, plus texts of selected lectures.



Please email to a resume, a one-paragraph statement describing your relevant teaching or other professional experience, and a brief statement of how your students or school district will benefit from your participation. NOTE: At the time of application, you are asked to make a commitment either to prepare a curriculum unit based on the weekend or to do in-service activities based on the weekend (in exchange for a stipend).

Schools with a school membership in FPRI’s Wachman Center are guaranteed one place at one History Institute weekend per year. For information about school membership, contact:

For information about future and previous programs, click here.