Though it appears simple at first blush, the design of the Historian occupational badge—a futuristic, delta-winged aircraft superimposed over a slanted pen—almost perfectly conveys the responsibility of those serving in AFSC 3H0X1: To record past and current events so future generations may be edified and enriched by them.

While the primary focus of Airmen serving as Historians is obviously the recording and preservation of historical documents, images, recordings, and narratives, their duties evoke other occupations such as Librarian, Museum Curator, Archivist, Author, Editor, Journalist, Diarist, and Correspondent.

As part of the process of preparing historical research for publication, they collect, review, and organize letters, correspondence, reports, plans, minutes from conferences and meetings, and other source material. But they also must record events as they’re unfolding, and consequently they sit on meetings, briefings, and other confabs so they can document decision-making processes, if necessary interviewing those involved either directly or on the periphery in order to gain the most complete perspective possible. This function also requires them to deploy with the units to which they are attached, both for unit readiness exercises and for actual operations.

But even the most voluminous records are of little use unless they are organized properly and then used as the basis for narratives that are accurate and well-written. Here, the Historian becomes the Author, writing well-documented, smoothly flowing narratives backed up with charts, reference materials, images, and source documents—but always with an eye for objectivity and accuracy.

For many potential enlistees, the Historian specialty is highly appealing—but it’s also not open to them. A career in the 3H0X1 specialty is only open to Airmen who have qualified at the 5-skill level or higher in another AFSC, and the AFSC 3H031 qualification itself requires the completion of a Unit Historian basic skills course. Other requirements include a rating of 4 or higher on the past five enlisted performance reports; outstanding conduct and bearing; the ability to type at least 20 words per minute; the ability to speak English distinctly and clearly; and, perhaps most critically, successfully passing a Single Scope Background Investigation (these are repeated at regular intervals).

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