The programs presented by the USMCHC normally start through the request of a Marine Corps or other agency, historic site, museum, or organization. We employ a wide variety of programming and presentation techniques. Each program is custom developed for the requesting ‘client’ based on their specific requests and needs.
If your organization, agency, base, or historic site would like the USMCHC to provide an educational program or PME, or assist you with a program please contact the director’s office, [email protected], or call (301) 662-3141 for information.
Our focus when developing historical educational programming is to highlight the most important component of the Corps – its people, showing their contributions, and establishing a connection and relevance to the target audience and modern society. Utilizing a variety of interpretive tools and methods such as lectures, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, ceremonies, and living history interpretive techniques to tell the Marine Corps story, we regularly serve a wide diversity of both civilian and military audiences.
Although the basic mission is normally simple the means with which we accomplish those objects are often involved and vary greatly in scope, theme, and techniques. Working with the requesting agency we do a thorough program development analysis. We review many considerations to select the most appropriate presentation styles and techniques for each particular program including the following points.
- The program’s specific objectives
- Staff abilities and availability
- Location and environment
- The target audience
- Logistics and available resources
- Cost analysis and funding
Sometimes the requesting agency will have some specific presentation techniques or ideas in mind. If so we will work with them to develop a program incorporating their concepts. Otherwise we will objectively review the above factors before selecting the specific interpretive techniques to be used.
When selecting the types of presentation methods our first priority is that those methods are always the means to an end (i.e. providing a clear, understandable message for the target audience) but never the end itself. For example, living history techniques are often desired and used, and have proven highly successful in the proper setting. But if the interpretive story and objectives can be conveyed more effectively, based on review of the above points, by an interpreter in contemporary clothing utilizing exhibited material, structured tours or talks, or other methods, there may be little justification to take on the added responsibilities, work, and expense to present a first class living history program. Further, improper or inappropriate application of techniques such as living history will often greatly reduce their effectiveness and detract from the desired objective and program’s credibility. We always approach program development with an open mind, objectively working to come up with an equitable balance between the needs of the requesting agency, the mission, and our ability to meet those needs.
As stated, one of the more popular presentation tools that the USMCHC is often called upon to utilize is an educational technique commonly referred to as Living History. This entails members of our staff (often supported by additional active duty Marines) dressing in Marine uniforms of a particular time period and creating an environment that will give an audience a limited glimpse into the past. This technique can take on many forms and can be adapted to various environments. However, the USMCHC does not participate in “battle reenactments.” With many of our members combat veterans themselves, we know that there is no effective way to re-create the tragedy and horror of war. Such attempts for live audiences take away from the accurate depiction of history, misleads the audience, and often makes a mockery of what the original veterans endured and accomplished. To this end the USMCHC does not portray combat, or participate in mock battles. When utilizing living history techniques, what we do attempt to create is a realistic interpretation for the audience that reflect the conditions historical Marines lived under, their training, and how they prepared for combat.
If you feel that we can be of assistance please feel free to contact our office at any time.
Consultation, Program Development, and Support to other Agencies
The USMCHC also provides behind the scenes support to other agencies assisting them with the development and presentation of their own programs, exhibits, and events. This includes Script writing, exhibit design, historic uniforms and equipment acquisition, training, and onsite technical support.
Some of the agencies we have supported include Marine Barracks “8th & I,” Washington and the Commandant of the Marine Corps Protocol Office for a wide variety of activities including the 200th anniversary of the Home of the Commandants and annually supporting the CMC’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball; Marine Corps University with Exhibits, PMEs and Research; The National Museum of the Marine Corps with materiel support, research, and training. We regularly support functions for the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation along with support for ceremonies, classes, and pageants to other Bases and Commands throughout the country, just to name a few. If we can assist you please contact the Directors office at [email protected], or call (301) 662-3141.