Military bases often house museums honoring the history of their branch of service and its mission.
One of the museums at Fort Bragg — JFK Special Warfare Center and School Museum — houses weapons, military art and international cultural items with an emphasis on Special Operations units from WWII to present day.
Special operations personnel are unique in the way they are trained in the use of the minimum amount of force to accomplish the mission. They are highly trained in a primary and cross-trained in a myriad of skills, and are culturally sensitive and astute.
Language skills and regional orientation are important skills. They also are "combat multipliers," generating large numbers of irregular forces with minimal support and seek maximum results by subtle pressure against enemy key targets both physical and psychological.
These men and women have a high value and are heavily utilized during peacetime due not only to their ability to maintain a low-key presence worldwide on a daily basis, but also because they are a supremely flexible force in war, peace or levels in between.
Special operations covers a wide spectrum of subject matter including guerilla warfare, counter-insurgency, foreign internal defense, civil affairs, strategic and special reconnaissance, direct action strikes and psychological operations.
Additional missions have evolved in response to the Joint Chiefs of Staff directives. Special operations have provided, and continue to provide, unique assets and options to a battlefield commander.
Their self-reliance and maturity make them valuable professionals within the armed forces.
Visiting the museum
Unlike some museums offering a chronological landscape of history, this museum is a storehouse of the unusual and priceless. Its mission is to collect, preserve and exhibit historical property as it relates to U.S. Army special operations.
A certified museum within the US Army Museum system, the facility has been tasked with the depiction of the history and traditions of the U. S. Army Special Forces as well as other Army Special Operation Forces including Psychological Operations, Civil Affairs, Rangers, and Special Operations Aviation units since 1961. The museum exposes students to the long heritage of the soldiers and organizations that preceded them from the colonial period, all helping lay the groundwork for the nation’s modern day military.
Trailing along aisle ways, guests will find showcases filled with memorabilia — photos, documents, uniforms and many one-of-a-kind military treasures.
The museum’s collection is composed of primarily 20th century objects and equipment, especially from the Vietnam War period. Additionally, the museum maintains an extensive collection of material from Southeast Asia native peoples.
Other unusual artifacts include unique clothing, equipment and weapons of foreign origin or manufacture. This includes materials associated with unconventional or propaganda activities from the French-Indian War, World War I, World War II and the United States Army Indian Scouts first authorized in the 19th century.
For any active or veteran military personnel or anyone wanting to learn more about our nation’s rich history, the JFK Special Warfare Center and School Museum is well worth a visit.
If you go
The museum is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; closed Monday. Open Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day. Tour groups must coordinate scheduling before visiting.
For more information check the website