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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Vietnam vets to hear military historian

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A local military historian who was recently featured in a nationally broadcast Civil War documentary is slated to speak to a local group of Vietnam veterans this week.

Dr. Derek Frisby, professor of military history at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), will speak to the Vietnam Era Veterans of Shelbyville/Bedford County on Thursday, Jan. 3 at American Legion Post #23 on Kingree Road starting at 6:30 p.m.

A home-cooked meal will be provided for $10.

Frisby is an Associate Professor of History at MTSU teaching Tennessee, US, and military history. He is a Middle Tennessee native, MTSU alum, and US Marine Corps veteran whose research interests deal with military occupation and reconstruction strategies.

He recently appeared on the National Geographic Channel's Civil War series, "Civil Warriors: Episode 3: Hard War" detailing the perilous conditions in Union occupied Middle Tennessee.

Career details

Frisby received his doctoral degree from the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa and has authored numerous articles and essays dealing with Tennessee's Civil War occupation and Reconstruction experiences. He also is completing his first book dealing with southerners who remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and their role in the region's occupation and restoration.

In 2007, MTSU tasked Dr. Frisby with publicly outlining the institution's association with Nathan Bedford Forrest's image as controversy again swirled over proposals to rename Forrest Hall, the university's ROTC building, and presented this research discussing the role of Confederate iconography in southern history and MTSU's heritage for the 2009 MTSU Honors Lecture series and in essay form for the university's book, MTSU: A Centennial Legacy.

Dr. Frisby was a 2003 military history fellow at the US Military Academy at West Point, was coordinating director of the Society for Military History's 2009 annual conference in Murfreesboro, and edited the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers for six years.

He also serves a historical consultant to the staffs of regional ROTC programs (including MTSU), Fort Campbell, and Fort Knox, frequently leading battlefield tours, conducting "staff rides," and teaching military history courses.

Overseas work

In 2009, Dr. Frisby led a group to explore and study World War II battlefields in the Central Pacific, including Guam, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima. He returned to Guam and Peleliu in 2010 and conducted a tour of World War I and World War II Europe in 2011 and 2012. Those courses are just one of three "Signature Study Abroad Programs" and plans are underway to visit Vietnam and Europe in 2013.

Frisby is also actively involved in various campus initiatives as a member of the MTSU Veterans Memorial Committee that established a monument plaza to MTSU veterans near the Tom Jackson Building and continues to enhance veterans' services on campus as a grant writer and representative on the MTSU Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

He was appointed to the MTSU Centennial Celebration Planning Committee and selected as Theme, Events, and Scheduling subcommittee chair. He was also honored with a 2009 MTSU Outstanding Teaching Award and a 2009 Daily News Journal Ruthie Award for "Favorite MTSU professor."


For more information about the Vietnam group, call Tom Taylor at 684-2557 or 703-5096 or Bob Eid at 680-9679.

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