Past Internship Experiences

John (Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2006)
Junior, History Major
Virginia Tech, Virginia

Being a summer intern for the Marine Corps History Division was definitely an interesting and rewarding experience. Quite frankly, when I began the internship in May, I knew absolutely nothing about Marine Corps history or military terminology, yet that was never an issue for me, as the historians here were always very courteous in helping to answer any questions I might have. With their help, it was easy to get acclimated to the material, and I quickly found myself getting assigned meaningful work. For example, I did research at the Gray Research Center (which is literally across the street from the History Division) that would be used in updating various Marine Corps units Lineage and Honors certificates. Yet while it was certainly personally satisfying for me to get that kind of professional experience in the historical field, I soon came to feel an even greater sense of satisfaction in the knowledge that my work was being appreciated by Marines (active and veteran alike). Indeed, Marines are justifiably proud of their history, and to feel like you are a part of documenting that history in some way is a great feeling. I thoroughly enjoyed looking up information for WWII Marine veterans who were trying to figure out what had happened to their old units since they had left them after the war, or new Commanding Officers who wanted to know the names of all of their predecessors. I did that kind of work everyday, and that is what made the internship such a rewarding experience, as that kind of work went beyond just another line on my résumé.

Carrie (Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2006)
Senior, Double Major in History and Political Sciences
Westminster College, Pennsylvania

My internship at the Marine Corps History Division was an extremely rewarding experience. Not only did I enjoy the people that I was working with, but I felt that I was making an actual difference in the work that I was doing. During my time as an intern, I assisted the staff of the History Division on many projects including, researching World War II casualities and organizing biographical files. Although some of the work might not have been particularly exciting, it was never just work to keep the interns busy; I always felt like I was making a positive contribution to the work of the History Division.

Evan (Historical Branch Intern, Summer 2006)
Senior, International Affairs Major
The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

My internship during this past summer was very rewarding. As the writing intern, I was working directly with materials that were being used in writing the official history of the Marine Corps. I had three primary activities during the summer. First, I was doing archival research, looking at every Marine unit's performance during the Persian Gulf War. Second, I was responsible for putting together the appendix of every unit and commanding officer that was in combat. Finally, I listened to oral history interviews of individual accounts, including the commanding officer of all Marines in the Gulf, of their roles in the liberation of Kuwait. Additionally, there were smaller assignments which included translating a captured Iraqi map, reading friendly-fire reports, and writing summaries of interviews done with Medal of Honor recipients during Vietnam. Other highlights from the summer included spending an afternoon at Officer Candidate School where we received a briefing from the commanding officer responsible for all officer candidates and a tour of the training courses used on the base, and a day touring Washington, DC and touring several memorials and museums in the Smithsonian.

Mary (Oral History Program Intern, Summer 2006)
Junior, History Major
Virginia Tech, Virginia

While interning this summer with the History Division of Marine Corps University I have completed 21 transcriptions of oral history interviews, as well as 50 summaries of interviews. I have worked closely with both the civilian and Marine Reserve historians to complete the transcriptions accurately. In addition to completing transcriptions, I taught others how to complete transcriptions and supervised their work. Not only did I attend interviews with Medal of Honor recipients at an event in Washington, DC, but I provided research on them for the historians to use during the interview. I researched the career of General Thomas Draude (Ret.) and attended interviews with both him and General Bill Fitch (Ret.). Furthermore, I edited two generals’ career interviews, conducted an interview by myself, attended a lecture at Marine Corps University, and did a variety of other tasks to assist the historians in their writing and research. As an intern, I also had the opportunity to visit memorials and monuments significant to the Marine Corps in Washington, DC, as well as take tours of the Officer Candidate School (OCS), The Basics School (TBS), and the new Marine Corps Museum. I have had a completely positive experience working for the Marine Corps and I can only hope to have many similar opportunities in the future.

Colin (Intern to the Chief Historian, Summer 2006)
(Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2007)

Senior, History Major
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Throughout the three months I have been an intern here at the History Division, I have been lucky enough to accomplish a number of tasks. To begin with, I alphabetized the File Cabinet with all the publications published by the History Division. Through this alphabetization, I gained a general knowledge of the authors and the content of some of the publications. Once I had the file cabinet taken care of, I was able to start revising and completing the Marine Corps publications catalog and database. To do this, I looked at the last three catalogs and merged them together as a new annotated electronic database in Microsoft Excel, making each publication easy to find by simple search words. By this time, I had an extensive knowledge of the publications the History Division has published. Once the initial database was finished, I was sent to the warehouse to organize and label all of the publications stored there. When the warehouse was organized, I took all of the box numbers and added them to the database, so that anyone looking for a publication can easily find whether we have it in stock here at Quantico. After I had finished those duties, and the catalog was edited and touched up, I was able to take on research of my own. Through this internship, I have been able to do research at the Naval Academy, National Archives II, Marine Corps University archives, and our own History Division archives, in order to write a few articles for Leatherneck Magazine. I was also able to accomplish a few transcriptions of Oral History interviews, and help the Chief Historian with his IT needs.

Brittany (Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2006)
Junior, Double Major in History and Anthropology
University of Maryland, Maryland

When I began my internship at the History Division I knew next to nothing about the Marine Corps. Through this internship not only did I learn about the history and some of the internal workings of the Marine Corps, I also gained valuable researching skills. I spent much of my internship working with the Photo Historian, helping her to catalogue photos that had been recently donated, reworking some of the current photo files and assisting with research requests. I also helped to create new entries for the commemorative naming database, with namings dating back to the 1970s. In addition, I researched topics – such as battles, units, bases – that were requested by researchers of various backgrounds on almost a daily basis. I was also given time to research a topic of great interest to me and encourage to write articles. Most people I know have a military service they support because of personal experience, the experience of relatives or other reasons, but until this summer I did not. After learning the history and ethos of the Marines and having the chance to speak with some Marines one-on-one, I am proud to support the United States Marine Corps.

Natalie (Reference Branch Intern, January 2007-July 2007)
B.A., History 2007
Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia

My six month internship with the United States Marine Corps History Division was both an invaluable and prideful experience.  Above all, working side-by-side with the Reference Branch’s group of highly professional, dedicated, and congenial historians was the most gratifying experience for me.  Their guidance, knowledge, and fine example will greatly contribute to my aspiration of becoming a first-rate military historian and defense intelligence analyst.  During my internship, they provided me with the opportunity to wear many hats which allowed me to put my research, analytical, and interpersonal skills, which I had developed as an undergraduate, to very good use by performing many of the same everyday jobs of a Marine Corps Historian.   

The majority of my duties centered on aiding the historians with answering requests for information from: the general public, The Department of Defense, the Office of the Commandant, various Marine Corps units, veterans, and the History and Military Channels (to name just a few).  To help answer these questions, I would intently utilize and assess the fascinating plethora of reference materials which the History Division has been accumulating for nearly a century!  Furthermore, I accomplished a number of significant large-scale projects including: organizing, maintaining, and recording inventories of a significant portion of the photo files to make them more accessible for the Photo Historian, the other historians and interns, and visiting researchers; and digitizing thousands of pages of reference materials (such as scholarly articles, publications, brief histories, and copies of official photos) which are now available via the Division’s CAC protected website.  In addition to day-to-day tasks and activities, I was also granted the unforgettable chance to meet veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm as well as active duty Marines who either worked at the Division or were visiting researchers. 

The U.S. Marine Corps story, as I came to know it during my internship, is truly awe-inspiring and motivational.  From the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Marine Corps has truly demonstrated the highly commendable values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment to one’s Nation, Corps; moreover, one’s fellow Marine.  In my opinion, I believe the Marine Corps’s unique and long lasting heritage sets it apart from the other armed services.  President Theodore Roosevelt once stated, “…let men express the intense admiration, which I share with all other Americans, of the record made by the Marines.”  I too share our Twenty-Sixth President’s admiration of the United States Marine Corps which is why I am proud to have contributed in chronicling its outstanding history.  In closing, I wish everyone happiness, peace, and prosperity as you serve our Nation.  SEMPER FI

(Oral History Program Intern, Summer 2008)
Senior, History Major
Centre College, Kentucky

As a summer intern, I had a very positive experience while working with the History Division.  My primary responsibility involved facilitating the digitization of career length oral history transcripts.  In addition to that, I conducted four oral history interviews and co-authored an article for Fortitudine, the History Division's quarterly publication.  Throughout the summer, the internship helped strengthened a multitude of skills including writing, research and communication.  The History Division provides a great opportunity for individuals to assess a variety of careers within the history field beyond education.

Ashley (Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2008)
Junior, History Major
George Mason University, Virginia

To call my experience interning with the Marine Corps History Division rewarding would be an understatement. Not only did I learn a great deal about Marine Corps history, I was also able to see some of the practical applications of a history degree. I spent much of my time with the Reference Branch working files. I organized files on former commandants, as well as the current commandant. I also organized subject files and then scanned documents for the CAC access database, SharePoint. 

Reference was a very encouraging environment to work in. All of the historians were very knowledgeable and eager to answer any questions that we might have. They passed on a great deal of practical knowledge that will not only help me with the remainder of my college career, but will also be invaluable in any career path that I might choose. 

(Oral History Program Intern, Summer 2008)
Senior, Double Major in History and Political Science
Penn State University,

Interning at History Division this summer has allowed me to gain significant experience in beginning my career as a historian.  Jumping right into important work with HD, I began working with Global War on Terrorism oral interviews; creating a searchable database of them for the use of future researchers.  As an oral history intern, I was also given the opportunity to summarize a number of oral interviews.  I gained a lot of interesting and insightful information in listening to what these Marines had to say.  The interviewees ranged from those currently deployed to highly decorated and well known Marines, such as historian Edwin H. Simmons and former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Henry H. Black. 

The History Division also gives its interns a significant amount of responsibility.  I was given the chance to interview an 89 year old WWII veteran who was the last surviving member of his pre-WWII unit.  The Director also endowed me with the task of performing research for a writing project of his at the Library of Congress.  It can not go without saying that the people at HD, Marines especially, are always pleasant and energetic about their work, creating a fun and comfortable work environment.  Interning at HD is fun and great work experience. I would recommend interning at the Marine Corps History Division to any history student. 

Samantha (Reference Branch Intern, Summer 2008)
Junior, History Major
University of Maryland, Maryland

This summer I worked with the photo historian preserving, documenting and organizing the Marine Corps photo collection. This turned out to be a great summer internship for me because I love photography, especially the old black-and-white photographs. My familiarity with Marine Corps history was quite limited before this summer, but I learned a lot and had a wonderful experience along the way. The reference historians are very knowledgable on the Marine Corps history—and history in general—so I was able to gain a lot of insight. As a history major, I was able to get a good idea of what it is like to work as a historian, which was important considering it is the field I will most likely go into. Much of my summer was spent scanning photographs from World War I, Lebanon, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but I also reorganized a variety of files so I was able to look at many different Marine Corps photos varying from the Civil War to Operation Desert Storm. Additionally, I helped with other projects when needed so I feel I got a well-rounded experience and learned a lot more than I had imagined. In retrospect, I am happy to say that I was able to make a real contribution to preserving Marine Corps history. I was coming from the University of Maryland for most of the summer giving me a long commute, but it rarely bothered me because I enjoyed both my job and the people I worked with. The internship itself, along with our field trips to various DC locations related to the Marine Corps, provided me with a very rewarding experience this summer.

Laura (Oral History Program Intern, Summer 2008)
Masters Canidate, History/Archival Management
New York University, New York

I enjoyed working with the History Division’s staff and my fellow interns this summer. I was responsible for digitizing the Global War on Terrorism oral history collection. This collection contains over 2,000 interviews along with corresponding images, summaries, and transcripts. Although I was unable to finish uploading the interviews to SharePoint, I hope the work will be continued so that users can search and access them for either academic purposes or sheer curiosity. I and two other interns also had the opportunity to interview the members of the Sisters of Fallujah training team. This was an informative and eye-opening experience; we received a first-hand account of the tremendous effort these Marines put into training female Iraqi searchers. We co-authored an article about the team for Fortitudine and I hope it does justice to all their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments. I am glad to have been afforded the opportunity to intern with the Marine Corps; I was able to work with materials relating to current operations and found only at the History Division and to learn new skills.

(Reference Branch Intern, Summer and Christmas Break 2008)
Junior, Double Major in History and Historic Preservation
University of Mary Washington, Virginia

I had the pleasure of interning for the Historical Reference Branch of History Division, and cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed my time there .This internship, unlike many in the field, offered a great deal of variety. I never felt as though I was performing thankless, menial tasks.  While working at Reference Branch, I helped respond to a wide range of inquiries and requests from Marines and Marine units, former Marines and their family members, and the general public. Using Reference Branch's extensive collection of documents relating to a remarkable variety of Marine
Corps-related topics, microfilm, internet databases, and casualty cards for Marines dating back through World War II, I conducted research for the information requested. Interns are also important in Reference Branch's efforts to digitize their holdings.

After having interned with History Division, I feel that I have become a much better researcher, and I am more capable and comfortable in the office setting. The historians, field historians, and other Marine reservists are very experienced, knowledgeable, and just fun to work with. The experience was fulfilling and I can sincerely say that I would have gladly worked at "H.D." even if the internship was an unpaid one. No endorsement of mine can adequately sing the praises of this well-established internship program. I wholeheartedly recommend it.