Having accrued 40 years of inimitable expertise in his discipline, William M. Hammond, PhD, garnered a laudable reputation as a military historian on behalf of the Vietnam branch of the U.S. Army Center of Military History between 1972 and 2001. During that period, he planned, researched and wrote two volumes on the U.S. Army’s relations with the news media during the Vietnam War. His works on military-media relations and race relations in the U.S. Army attracted major attention from the press. As a result, Dr. Hammond has been interviewed over 100 times by various news media, including by the late Peter Jennings of ABC News.
Advancing to become the chief of the general histories branch in 2001, Dr. Hammond served as expert consultant-adviser to the center’s historians and to independent researchers, congressional committees and the news media on topics ranging from press coverage of the Persian Gulf War to the effect of media security violations on America’s conflicts from the beginning of the republic. On his own time, he also synthesized his two-volume work on the media in Vietnam into a shorter work oriented toward the individual soldier and the college student. Titled “Reporting Vietnam, Media and Military at War,” this work was published by the University Press of Kansas in 1998. It became a History Book Club alternate selection and received the Organization of American Historians’ Richard Leopold Award for the best book published by a non-academic historian during the 1999-2000 period.
An alumnus of Catholic University of America, Dr. Hammond received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1967, followed by a Master of Arts in history in 1968 and a PhD in 1973. He has remained active with the Strathmore-Bel Pre-Civic Association as an editor, webmaster and vice-president of the board of directors since 1986. Aligned with several professional organizations, Dr. Hammond is a member of the Society for Military History. He is also a member of the Organization of American Historians, where he was named as a distinguished lecturer in 2002.
Among his recognitions, Dr. Hammond was honored in 1985 with a Commander’s Medal for Civilian Service by the U.S. Army Center of Military History. He received a Commendation Award from the University of Maryland in 1998, and a research fellowship from the Joan Shorenstein Center for the Press and Public Policy at Harvard University in 1999. Upon his retirement from the Center of Military History in 2011, he received a Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Army. A celebrated Marquis listee, Dr. Hammond has been showcased in the 58th through 62nd editions of Who’s Who in America, as well as the 22nd edition of Who’s Who in the World.