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Department of History
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Military Experience, the Military Historian and the Reality of Battle: A Conference in Honor of John F. Guilmartin
From Friday, September 23, 2016
To Saturday, September 24, 2016
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue | Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

John F. Guilmartin

View the conference program (pdf)

Professor John F. “Joe” Guilmartin Jr., Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force (Ret.), was a prominent member of the History Department at The Ohio State University for nearly three decades. Born in Alabama on September 18, 1940, Joe grew up in San Antonio and earned a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering and was graduated in 1962. After flight training, Joe began a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force, flying search and rescue helicopters. He served two tours in the Vietnam War, logging more than 120 missions over Laos and North Vietnam in 1965-66 as a HH-3E “Jolly Green” helicopter pilot. For his wartime service Joe was awarded the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters and two Silver Stars for bravery in combat.

Joe attended Princeton University, where he earned an M.A. (1969) and Ph.D. (1971) in History, specializing in early modern European history. He served on the faculty of the History Department at the Air Force Academy from 1970-74 and after retirement from the military, he served on the faculties of the Naval War College and at Rice University before moving to Ohio State in 1987.

Dr. Guilmartin, simply “Dr. G” to his students, was an authority on military and maritime history, airpower history, military technology, and the Vietnam War. When asked by a colleague about his research interests he replied: “Anything that involves technology and the socially sanctioned application of violence.” During his 29 years at Ohio State he supervised 26 graduate students through to completion of their Ph.D. degrees. He also sat on more than 270 student examination committees – senior research essays; honors theses; graduate exams – a number that, according to the Graduate School, is more than any other faculty member on record.

The conference that will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24, will honor the career of this influential scholar. The Mershon Center for International Security Studies will host both events, which are being sponsored both by the Ohio State Department of History and also the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee. The Friday event will include presentations from Guilmartin’s fellow scholars and colleagues who wish to celebrate the significant impact his work had upon their own scholarship. The Saturday event is his celebratory Festschrift event and will feature papers by his former doctoral students. 


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