The Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) dates to 1949. It is one of the longest serving continuously operating offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and has been recognized for the excellence of its publications and programs for over a half century. It was awarded the OSD Exceptional Civilian Service Award in December 1999.

The mission of the historical office is to collect, preserve, and present the history of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in order to support Department of Defense leadership and inform the American public.

Key Responsibilities
  • Prepare and publish the series, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Provide expertise in support of the historical activities of the Department of Defense.
  • Represent the Department of Defense before other government agencies on matters related to history, including serving on advisory panels and commissions on behalf of DoD.
  • Coordinate joint historical efforts among the military service and Defense Agency history offices.

  • Prepare special historical studies and perform special assignments.


The OSD Historical Office reports to the Director of Washington Headquarters Services (WHS). For information about WHS, see http://www.whs.mil/