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This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Military & Veterans, featuring 22 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:
Alabama Civil War Service Database – Search Civil War service records by name, branch, company unit, regiment unit, or co. unit name.
Service Provider Search by Location – A searchable database of services available to California veterans, their survivors and dependents at the federal, state and local levels. It includes federal, state and county veterans offices, contact information for veterans organizations, services available for homeless veterans, veterans offices at educational institutions and other veterans-related material, searchable by keyword, location, and type of service.
Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Catalog – Documents memorials dedicated to Wisconsin veterans throughout Wisconsin, the U.S., and internationally. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center actively maintains this resource which includes the history, physical condition, and location of each memorial.
For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/militarydbs. Some military history databases are listed under History, People and Culture. It’s a judgement call.
If you know of state agency produced databases in the area of Military & Veterans, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.
Air Force Blocking the Military’s Own Video Site By Noah Shachtman, Wired, March 27, 2009.
trooptube.tv is the “online video site designed to help military families connect and keep in touch while miles apart” maintained by “Military OneSource” which is an authorized Department of Defense program for Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and their families. As Wired describes it, trooptube is the “military’s taxpayer-funded, security-scrubbed, low-bandwidth-optimized video sharing site.”
But now, Wired says that military bases, especially Air Force bases, are blocking TroopTube as part of a larger, Air Force-wide decision to cut off access to it.
This isn’t the first time the military has sent mixed signals. See Pentagon promotes itself on YouTube, but prohibits troops from using it.
In April, the New York Times broke a story about the now infamous Pentagon information apparatus that used retired military officers in a “campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance” (Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand By David Barstow, New York Times, April 20, 2008). The Times also published some of the documents it obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests on its web site (NY Times publishes some FOIA documents).
Now, the Pentagon has published documents it released. This collection appears more complete than what the NYT released.
- Military Analysts “These documents were released to the New York Times regarding the Pentagon’s Military Analyst program.” (last updated 28-May-08)
The documents are posted on the web at the “Reading Room” of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff, Requester Service Center, Office of Freedom of Information, under the heading “5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(2)(D) Records – Records released to the public, under the FOIA, that are or will likely become the subject of subsequent requests” under the heading “Military Analysts.”
The first two parts of a three part series on how the military is adapting to the Internet are online: from the Air Force banning access from official networks to many blogs (because they are not “established, reputable media”), to the Army setting up its own, password protected version of MySpace (“MilSpace”?).
- The Military’s Internet ‘Civil War’ by David Axe, The Washington Independent
- Part One: How the Army Found Middle Ground to Embrace the Internet, 05/30/2008
- Part Two: How the Coast Guard Botched Its Online Start, 06/03/2008
The Congressional Research Service has issued a report entitled (45 page pdf) Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2007, updated January 14, 2008 . It reviews hundreds of instances in which the United States has sent military forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict to protect U.S. citizens or promote U.S. interests. The listed deployments vary in size and length, legal authorization and significance. In eleven separate cases listed in bold-face type the U.S. formally declared war against foreign nations; but for most the status of the action under domestic or international law hasn’t been addressed. A sample entry:
"1798-1800 Undeclared Naval War with France. This contest included land actions, such as that in the Dominican Republic, city of Puerto Plata, where marines captured a French privateer under the guns of the forts. Congress authorized military action through a series of statutes.
1801-05 Tripoli. The First Barbary War included the U.S.S. George Washington and Philadelphia affairs and the Eaton expedition, during which a few marines landed with United States Agent William Eaton to raise a force against Tripoli in an effort to free the crew of the Philadelphia. Tripoli declared war but not the United States, although Congress authorized U.S. military action by statute."