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U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Museum Becomes Army Special Operations Forces Museum

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — With the arrival of a new year, part of a new command vision will soon take place in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) footprint.

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command initiated a plan to reinvigorate the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum. As a result, the museum is temporarily closed to the public while a complete historical inventory is conducted to identify and catalogue items. This will ensure a better understanding of the state of artifacts available to students and Soldiers, and to identify gaps in the history of Special Forces (SF), Civil Affairs (CA) and Psychological Operations (PSYOP).

Upon reopening, tentatively at the end of February, the former U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum will be renamed as the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) Museum. It will still provide support to the Special Warfare Center and Schools as well as all of the subordinate commands and units under the USASOC umbrella.

“The former SWCS Museum, now the ARSOF Museum, has been reorganized under USASOC to fully represent all of USASOC’s equities,” said Dr. Michael Krivdo, U.S. Special Army Operations Command Historian.

The idea of the reorganization is to take ownership of ARSOF’s proud history and to get artifacts into the hands of Soldiers by intellectually engaging students and Soldiers in areas where they congregate. It is intended to keep artifacts on display engaging, relevant, and fresh.

“Where the ‘old’ museum construct focused only on artifacts and displays at one fixed location, and only featured SF, CA, and PSYOP, the ‘new’ reorganized museum provides museum support for all the subordinate units which fall within the whole ARSOF enterprise,” Krivdo added.

“The ARSOF Museum will expand to include artifacts and exhibits of the Ranger Regiment and the Army Special Operations Aviation Command, which were previously not included in the current museum as it was tied to the regiments that are assessed, trained and educated at SWCS; these are the Green Berets, PSYOP and CA Soldiers,” said Janice Burton, a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center and School.

Staff Sgt. Keren Solano, a spokesperson for the Special Warfare Center and School said, “It also serves to illustrate the unique and specialized part played by all aspects of the Army Special Operations community both in conflict and during crucial roles in peacetime. The museum has also proven itself to be a valuable recruiting catalyst.”

The updated look and feel of the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces Museum will leverage technology by making displays hands-on and ideally, three dimensional. Active duty students and Soldiers are the ‘center of the bullseye’ as the target audience. The content will focus on informing and educating them about the dynamic history of Army Special Operations.

“This would not only include students, Soldiers assigned to operational units, and support units, but their families and retirees as well,” she added.

With the museum set to have a new name and broader scope of information, U.S. Army Special Operations Command is setting the stage for the implementation of a vision of immersing Soldiers and students in the organizational heritage and history.

By SGT Larry Barnhill, USASOC Public Affairs Office

22 Responses to “U.S. Army JFK Special Warfare Museum Becomes Army Special Operations Forces Museum”

  1. TominVA says:

    Dumping JFK? How come? What’d he do?

    • Amer-Rican says:

      jfk signed the CMHA, the 1960s law that closed mental hospitals and resulted in the mentally ill being dumped on our streets and into our communities.

      He also allowed the unionization of government jobs which has essentially resulted in the extortion of American taxpayers.

      Both of the above are horrible public policies that have had huge negative effects on our country.

  2. AbnMedOps says:

    Hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst, after seeing the destruction wrought by the “Army Museums Program”; the eradication of the Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground; the gutting and destruction of the Patton Armored Museum at Ft Knox (including the massive, brand-new life-size diorama displays; the absolute fiasco of building a multi-million dollar Army museum at…Carlisle Barracks, PA (?!?!?), of all places, before figuring out that almost zero% of the US public except Army War College Students, will ever go within 100 miles of Carlisle Barracks; and all the static-display vehicles and helicopters being left to the mercies of unit neglect, weather, and vandalism (like the Cheyenne helicopter prototype at Ft Campbell).

  3. paul says:

    I don’t think a name change was necessary to include other ARSOF components…JFK did a lot for SF and really paved the way for special operations. Not only that but the term Special Warfare is historical in itself…

    • Jon, OPT says:

      The name change isn’t anything derisive against JFK specifically. The name change is based on the shift of ownership from USAJFKSWCS to USASOC.

      It wasn’t a museum about JFK, or dedicated in his name, it was named after the institution that funded it.

      USASOC taking ownership of it means it can spread it’s breadth of content, it also means that funding comes from a much larger pot of money, thus leaving funds for training guys going into the fight in the hands of SWCS.

  4. Jimbo says:

    This is just another move by a bunch of limp dicked officers and spineless CSMs who refuse to support the men of the Special Forces Regiment. The same one’s allowing this crap are the same ones who are turning their back on traditions and history and are not only allowing a lowering of standards in training but pushing for it. Political bullshit that must include everyone. Typical toxic leadership that is causing a bleeding of the ranks. Who wants to stay in when you have “leaders” like this?? If CA, Psyop and any other SOF units want their stuff in a museum, take to the museum downtown. This museum should be a showcase of Special Forces and cover the rich history of the men who’ve worn the Green Beret and nothing else.

    • SSD says:

      You are aware that SWCS started out as a PSYOPS school right? You are also aware that PSYOPS and CA are assigned to 1st Special Forces Command?

      • Jimbo says:

        I’m absolutely aware of that. It doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t Special Forces nor have they ever been. They do a great job at what their jobs. It doesn’t mean they should own the Special Warfare museum. They already took over the GB Club, they can open their own damn museum for their own damn history.

      • Jimbo says:

        Is it true that the people inventorying the museum were recently caught just throwing historical donations in the dumpster? That’s what our sources say and they are pretty damn reliable sources. Is the gift shop closing? That was also said by someone else. That it would either close to make more room for CA/Psyop, or that it would no longer be a great source of good Green Beret swag because their inventory would be taken over by all the units swag. What are you hearing on these?

        • SSD says:

          I’m going to track down the info on their holdings. But, they’ve always sold other units’ swag. Even so, the gift shop is not what it once was, having at one time been a great book shop as well.

          • Jimbo says:

            I remember all the great books they used to have. Books you couldn’t find anywhere else back then. As far as inventory, the last umpteen years has been almost entirely SF as it should’ve been. There was the occasional item for CA/Psyop but very little. Up until I moved last August, I went in there all the time in order to support them as best I could. Even if I didn’t need anything, I’d walk through, throw some bucks in the donation box, and buy something from the store. I’ve given away a ton of hats, stickers, and pins to friends and teammates.

    • Strong_Ranger says:

      What refusal to support the best-funded and best-equipped fighting force in the Army? There is no refusal to support the Special Forces regiment. CA is every bit as special as SF, and with a longer history of things more valuable to the fight. SF has the spotlight due to a (physically, definitely not mentally) tougher pipeline, more flamboyant leaders and actions in Vietnam, and the soggy mess that USACAPOC is, but ARSOF CA is holding their own with you guys in the green hats despite lower recruiting and much lower funding.

      CA is part of special warfare just as much as, if not more than, Special Forces. They deserve a place in the special Warfare museum, and it’s not the fault of what you think of as “limp dicked officers and spineless CSMs”, when it’s probably people like you who have more traits of toxic leadership. People who want to keep qualified people out of the club for bragging rights and make the team as exclusive as possible.

      The ARSOF pipelines are harder than they’ve ever been, and are run more intelligently than they’ve ever been. If your objections are because people are encroaching on your watering hole and giving you less space to sell t-shirts and Yarborough knives, then my heart bleeds for you, and I say thank you for your hard, taxing service from 1984-1990. If (as I suspect is more accurate) that your objections come from being worried about girls getting into your club house, then you need to come hang out with some of the girls who are making it. The ones who want to be in the club deserve to be in the club.

      The only real reason CA isn’t seen as an equal to SF is branding. SF got good branding early, CA did not. SF got John Wayne, CA eventually got Bill Murray. Even in “We Three Kings”, SF got George Clooney, CA got Spike Jonze.

      • Jimbo says:

        I retired last October after 17 years in Group and 10 in the Infantry before that. I’ve seen it, experienced, and lived it. Thank you for your cervix. Your assessment of CA is your own. I’ll hold on to my own observations of their circus. There is nothing wrong with a CA/Psyop museum just as there is nothing wrong with having an SF only museum to highlight the histories. Each unit and element have their own history and there’s only so much room. Why cheat it and skimp on the story? As far as toxic leadership, we both know that shit’s real and happening every single day on Fort Bragg and the posts. You’re full of shit if you deny it. As far as the courses, is teaching guys to hand out soccer balls really that mentally demanding??

      • Jimbo says:

        I don’t give two shits about excluding anyone. If you can pass the course and do your job on a team, that’s all that matters. I’m working with an 11B female with a CIB right now and she’s a total badass that I would work with anytime. She gets up every single day and puts forth the effort to succeed. She’s going to Ranger in a few months. I have zero problem with this. Try again.

  5. Spec9 says:

    I haven’t been to that museum in probably 30 years or so. The few things I still remember today were the Son Tay prison camp model, the Colonel Bull Simmons stuff, and the book store. It was cozy. I feel what’s getting lost here is the legacy of Special Forces itself, not as it is today, but, as it was before everyone became an operator. Granted most of what special forces does, can’t be put on public display but, i feel a lot will be lost including the other organizations of today’s special operations. I think the Rangers are well represented at the Infantry Museum at Fort Beginning and probably don’t need to be displayed at Fort Bragg. I could be wrong but, you lose uniqueness with expansion sometimes.

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