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USD History professor to address to National Guard logisticians

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Steven Bucklin, Ph.D., a professor in the department of history at The University of South Dakota, will address more than 1,200 logisticians as a guest speaker at the 2011 Army National Guard Logistics Management Seminar, May 16-20, in Palm Springs, Calif.

Bucklin’s speech, entitled “Back to the Basics: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Army National Guard,” addresses America’s current foreign policy of promoting democracy abroad and how that policy has changed the traditional role of the National Guard. He is one of four guest speakers who will examine lessons learned from Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the Cold War era.

“When John Quincy Adams was Secretary of State under President Monroe, he believed it was none of our business to get involved in political affairs abroad,” said Bucklin, who has been a USD faculty member since 1996. That philosophy changed, according to Bucklin, during the Spanish-American War. Another turning point for the National Guard was World War I when state militias, as National Guard units were known back then, began to be more integrated with the regular armed forces.

Bucklin’s history with the National Guard is twofold. He was a member of the South Dakota National Guard and he documented the history of the South Dakota National Guard in his book, “From Cold War to Gulf War: The South Dakota National Guard, 1945 to the Millennium.”

“There’s a tradition of service in my family,” stated Bucklin, who has both a B.A. and M.A. from USD and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. “My father served in the Navy during World War II and my brother served in the Army during the Vietnam Era.”

Today, Bucklin is educating USD students on U.S. Diplomatic and Contemporary American History as well as Historical Methods. He has published several articles and books on historical topics, including his background in the Army National Guard and American Foreign Policy. His newest book, “Going Places: A History of the South Dakota Department of Transportation,” is scheduled to be completed later this year.

A photograph of Bucklin is available at