Telling the Warriors’ Story – Alumnus Col. Mike Alexander
From the Battle of Belleau Wood to the streets of Baghdad, the 2nd Infantry Division, known as “Indian Heads” and “Warriors,” has a rich history as one of America’s most battle-hardened units.
NGCSU alumnus Col. Michael Alexander (U.S. Army, retired) is the current director for the 2nd Infantry Division Museum located in Camp Red Cloud, South Korea.
“We tell the 2ID Warriors’ story,” said Alexander.
As museum director, Alexander organizes the exhibits, programs and outreach activities that showcase the division’s history, transformation and the individual soldier’s experience.
“The museum’s theme is leadership, selfless service and sacrifice,” said Alexander. “It tells the stories of soldiers yesterday, today and tomorrow and the shared pride of service.”
Receiving 25,000 to 30,000 visitors a year, the museum hosts a range of attendees from students to soldiers and top VIPs to members of Congress.
Graduating from North Georgia on Saint Patrick’s Day 1978, Alexander spent his military career traveling across the world.
“I served in Germany, Japan, Hawaii, Korea, Fort Benning, Fort Bragg and Fort Carson. You know the normal rounds,” said Alexander.
“I was infantry and commanded from second lieutenant to full colonel,” said Alexander.
After his retirement, Alexander became the director for the museum, teaching and training visitors as well as new 2nd Infantry soldiers the historical importance and sacrifice of the division.
“Every new soldier to 2ID is required to visit the museum as a part of in-processing. We also have local nationals and VIPs that visit,” said Alexander. “The museum averages around 3,000 visitors a month.”
Along with work at the museum, Alexander reaches out to students and encourages them to seek out family members who served in the military and record their experience.
“It’s important for North Georgia students to get their grandparents or parents to tell their stories so we don’t lose them,” said Alexander.
Each day more and more veterans are dying.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, an estimated 1,000 World War II veterans die each day, leaving roughly two million to share their experience.
As more veterans pass away each year, their war experience could be lost forever.
“There are so many stories, and those stories need to be told,” said Alexander. “Talk to your relatives that served. Get them to write their experiences down for future generations.”
The benefit could be for both the listener and teller.
“When they came home they didn’t talk about their service,” said Alexander. “But it is therapeutic for them to tell about what happened.”
“They were regular folks doing extraordinary things, and we need to preserve their service,” said Alexander.