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2023 On War Military History Symposium Agenda

April 13 - 14, 2023
In-person and virtual attendance options available.

Join to discuss the theme “The All-Volunteer Force Turns Fifty: Past Successes, Future Challenges"


Recordings of the 2023 On War Military History Symposium will be available soon. 


2023 Sponsors

With generous support from the Dr. James L. Willey Trust

Vincent K. Brooks, General, US Army (Ret)


Thursday April 13th

Introduction - 3:30pm

Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., President of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library


Opening Panel - 3:35pm

Those Who Serve in Today’s All Volunteer Force 

This panel will discuss who joins, and who is recruited to serve in today's military.  Why they serve; what impact does it have on the force and society; and what short, and long term implications has the decision to move to an AVF created within American society. This panel will touch on the social, cultural, and economic implications, past and present, associated with the draft and AVF. 

Panel Chair

  • Colonel (USA) Jaron Wharton, Ph.D., Military Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies


  • Kenneth O. Preston, 13th Sergeant Major of the Army  

  • Adrian R. Lewis, Ph.D., David B. Pittaway Professor of Military History, University of Kansas

  • Major General (USA Ret.) Dennis Laich, Author of Skin in the Game: Poor Kids and Patriots


Literature Award Presentation - 4:50pm

Dr. Craig L. Symonds will be awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.


Cocktail Reception & Dinner - 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Join us for a cocktail hour and seated dinner for all in-person attendees. 


Keynote Speech and Q&A - 7:00pm

Transforming Army Recruiting

In an ever-changing recruiting environment, military recruiters must continuously adapt to ensure the value proposition of Service reaches and resonates with America’s youth. In one of the most difficult periods of recruiting since the establishment of the All-Volunteer Force, MG Johnny Davis addresses how he’s leveraging the Army’s greatest asset: it’s people. Through talent management, initiative development, and research on today’s youth, Davis strives to provide recruiters all the resources needed to unleash their Superpowers and CRUSH it!

  • Major General Johnny K. Davis, Commanding General of U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Fort Knox, Kentucky


Friday April 14th

Continental Breakfast - 8:00am - 10:30am

Join us for a continental breakfast for all in-person attendees. 


Introduction - 9:00am

Opening Remarks

  • Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., President of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library


Panel #1 - 9:05am

Impact on Civil-Military Relations and on Civic Engagement and Democracy

This panel will discuss civil-military relations and civic engagement in the AVF environment and whether it impacts the way civilian and military leaders operate and engage with each other. It will address the influence of the civil-military gap on democracy and America’s ability to maintain national security. This panel also seeks to touch on social, cultural, and economic implications, past and present, associated with the draft and AVF.

Panel Chair   

  • Isaiah "Ike" Wilson III, Ph.D., President of the Joint Special Operations University


  • Colonel (USMC) Eric Reid, Director of the Marine Corps' Talent Management Strategy Group

  • Carrie A. Lee, Ph.D., U.S. Army War College, Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy

  • Risa Brooks, Ph. D., Allis Chalmers Professor of Political Science at Marquette University


Panel #2 - 10:40am

National Security in an Increasingly Technology-Dominated World: Populating the Military Forces

This panel will discuss how modernization and technology has impacted the force structure and those who serve in an all-volunteer environment. It will address how we are, or should be, recruiting and sustaining the force. Panelists will touch on existing tools, and tools that might be implemented, to maintain a military force strong and viable enough to sustain America’s national security into the future.

Panel Chair

  • Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., President of the Pritzker Military Museum and Library


  • Colonel (USA Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson, Past Distinguished Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at the College of William and Mary

  • Lieutenant Colonel (USA) Keith Carter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the US Military Academy & Director of the Defense and Strategic Studies Program

  • Jackie Schneider, Ph.D. (USAF Res.), Hoover Fellow and affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, both at Stanford University


 Lunch - 11:55am - 1:25pm

Join us for a catered lunch for all in-person attendees. 


Panel #3 - 1:25pm

Partner Perspectives: How America's Allies Man Their Militaries

America's allies and security partners have a diverse array of military manpower systems, yet all grapple with keeping their militaries manned, retaining talent, and being able to properly mobilize in the event of crisis or war. With the participation of foreign officers and experts, we discuss how universal service, selective conscription, and other recruitment systems address the contemporary security environment, alongside the implications and applicability of these models for the United States.

Panel Chair

  • Gil Barndollar, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow at the Catholic University of America’s Center for the Study of Statesmanship


  • Hitoshi Kawano, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Department of Public Policy at National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Japan

  • Colonel Juha Helle, (Finland) Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché to the United States of America and Canada

  • Max Z. Margulies, Ph.D., U.S. Military Academy, Director of Research at the Modern War Institute and the Defense and Strategic Studies Thesis Program Director



Watch the 2022 On War Military History Symposium

Featuring Dr. Margaret MacMillan, the recipient of the 2021 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. In these recordings, Dr. MacMillan and fellow military historians explored and identified today’s challenges in researching, writing, and presenting military history, and how they are impacted by the needs and interests of diverse audiences.

Get the Videos


Watch the 2021 On War Military History Symposium

Featuring Colonel David M. Glantz, USA (Ret), the preeminent historian on the Soviet Red Army during WWII. In this recording, Colonel Glantz and fellow military historians discuss the role of the Red Army on Germany’s Eastern Front in World War II, and chronologically explore the nine seasonal campaigns comprising the Soviets and Germans at war.

Get the Videos