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Feature Stories

NEWS | March 30, 2020

History Never Takes a Day Off

By Story by Sgt. Andrew Valenza Task Force Spartan

CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT — Military history will not be forgotten thanks to Master Sgt. Jody Wilson, who documents modern history as it happens in support of Task Force Spartan.

Wilson is the 42nd Infantry Division's command historian, during her tour with TF Spartan in 2020.

As the historian, Wilson collects documents such as photos, operational and fragmentary orders, or anything that helps tell the task force and division story.

Being the historian for the task force and division is a demanding job that requires assistance from all supporting sections.

"Everyone is a subject matter expert of their section, and they know their job better than anyone else," said Wilson. "It's vital for all Soldiers of our task force, from the commanding general on down to the private, to be open and transparent, willing to provide information as well as guidance, so that we may document anything that will contribute to the understanding of what the 42nd and Task Force Spartan did, and the impact they have on theater."

Each of the 36 sections Wilson works with provides a monthly report on everything they've been working on, from training exercises to current operations.

When gathered, Wilson submits the data to the Center for Military History, and the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning, Georgia, for archiving.

According to Wilson, the role of the historian is important to TF Spartan because it is the basis for all future military actions.

"Military history provides a foundation for Army training, education and decision making, along with the esprit de corps." Wilson said. "So, for us as historians, one of the most critical tasks is doing the collecting and retaining of all the historical materials."

For Wilson personally, keeping the history of the task force is very important, especially for future generations, to look back on.

"20 to 40 years from now, [the Soldier's] children, their grandchildren or great-grandchildren, will be able to research and read about them," said Wilson. "This is your time to shine, and your name will always be history."

This will be Wilson's second rotation with TF Spartan. She first came to Kuwait with the Indiana Army National Guard's 38th Infantry Division in July 2019 and chose to extend with the 42nd for 2020.

Before working with the Task Force, she had no experience with the role.

"It was very challenging because I came into [this role] and no previous experience as being a historian whatsoever. So initially, I was very intimidated," said Wilson.

Throughout her time with the task force, Wilson had to learn her job and train the Soldiers under her how to do their roles within their respective sections.

"I was learning and trying to give them their requirements and responsibilities the whole time," said Wilson. "It was very overwhelming. But once I started getting in the rhythm, got about halfway through it… I was starting to track everyone, track their reports, make sure they were uploading supporting documentation."

Now she is more than comfortable in her role and excited to work with the 42nd.

"I'm kind of excited about this next chapter with you guys. Because now I know what to look for to help them create a better product and to help them save time later." Wilson said.