Air Force Enlisted Job Description AFSC 3H0X1 - Historian

Advance Into The Historian Career Field in the Air Force

Air Force Historian Ralph Jackson
Mr. Ralph Jackson is deployed as the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing historian at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. He is deployed from the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., where he is also the wing historian. As the deployed historian, Jackson collects reports, data and interviews for all of the organizations of the wing and writes a monthly history consisting of a narrative, expanded chronology and appendixes. By Master Sgt. Jenifer Calhoun ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a need within the military to have dedicated people record, document, and catalog daily events that occur. The Air Force has a non-entry level job that can answer your passion for reading, writing, and military history - the Air Force Historian - Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 3H0X1. 

The Historian AFSC must be requested from an airman looking at changing his/her career path within the military. They perform and manage historical activities, programs, and functions and provides historical research and reference services. The Historian will also deploy and will perform research, interview personnel, and prepare analytical historical publications. The Historian will assemble and maintain historical document repositories for reference and research. Briefing officials on historical importance of events, dates, and previous wars in certain regions is an asset for any commander. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 570.

Duties and Responsibilities

The historian in the Air Force are few in number and will also be working with many contracted civilian staff members. However, the following is a list of many of the duties and responsibilities a historian in the Air Force provides:

  • Provides historical research and reference services.
  • Receives and assigns priority to historical information queries.
  • Uses reference materials, unit knowledge, and research experience to answer queries. Provides historical information.
  • Plans, organizes, and manages history activities.
  • Drafts revisions, supplements, and annexes for directives.
  • Coordinates involvement in contingency and wartime operations, and readiness exercises.
  • Develops and implements procedures for preparing historical publications.
  • Manages subordinate unit history programs.
  • Conducts periodic visits to assess compliance with policies and directives.
  • Discusses findings and recommends corrective action.
  • Conducts quality assessments of historical products, and rates content, supporting documents, and compliance with security and administrative directives.
  • Performs historical research and reviews unit files.
  • Systematically collects and organizes historical data from correspondence, messages, staff studies, reports, plans, meeting minutes, and other source documents.
  • Attends meetings and briefings to document important deliberations and decisions.
  • Interviews key unit personnel for unique knowledge and insights.
  • Prepares historical publications, including periodic histories, studies, papers, and monographs.
  • Determines topics of special interest or importance. Evaluates data for accuracy, objectivity, and pertinence. Writes well organized, fully documented, analytical narratives.
  • Prepares charts, tables, graphs, and statistical summaries of significant information.
  • Uses selected photographs to support narrative. Selects, reproduces, and assembles supporting documents.
  • Places proper security markings, downgrading instructions, and administrative caveats on products.
  • Deploys to support operational historical requirements and assembles and maintains deployment equipment and kit.
  • Participates in unit readiness exercises.
  • Deploys to meet operational requirements, conduct research, secure significant documentation, and prepare historical reports.
  • Maintains historical document repository.
  • Collects, organizes, and indexes historical reference and research publications and documents.
  • Manages historian functions and activities and advises on historical and museum program matters.
  • Identifies, plans, and maintains facility, equipment, security, and supply requirements.
  • Maintains publications, and administrative and historical files.

Specialty Qualifications

Knowledge of Air Force history, organization, functions, and terminology and the following:

  • English composition and grammar; interviewing techniques
  • Contingency and wartime operational planning
  • Historiography methods and procedures
  • USAF history and museum program directives
  • Computer systems and word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications and historical repositories and reference services.

Education. For entry into this specialty, completion of high school or general educational development equivalency is mandatory. Completion of college-level courses in history, English, speech, technical writing, and political science is desirable. Also the following is needed:

  • ASVAB score of 72 on General 
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing
  • Ability to speak English clearly and distinctly
  • Ability to type 25 words per minute
  • Commander's recommendation following a face-to-face interview

Training. For award of AFSC 3H031, completion of a unit historian development course is mandatory.
Experience. The following experience is mandatory for award of AFSC indicated: (Note: See Explanation of Air Force Specialty Codes).
3H051. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 3H031. Also, experience performing historical research and writing.
3H071. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 3H051. Also, experience performing or supervising functions such as research and preparation of historical documents, or writing historical monographs and special studies.
3H091. Qualification in and possession of AFSC 3H071. Also, experience developing, directing, and managing historical programs.
Other. The following are mandatory as indicated:
For entry into this specialty:

1. Prior qualification in any AFSC at the 5-skill level or higher (3-skill level if no 5-skill level exists).

2. Overall rating of 4 or 5 on last five enlisted performance reports.

3. Outstanding military bearing and conduct.

4. No record of an Article 15 or conviction by court-martial.​

5. No record of conviction by a civilian court, except for minor traffic violations or similar infractions.

For award and retention of AFSCs 3H031/51/71/91/00, eligibility for a Top Secret security clearance, according to AFI 31-501, Personnel Security Program Management.​

Strength Req: G

Physical Profile: 333233

Citizenship Yes

Required Appitude Score : G-72

Technical Training:

Course #: M3ABR3H031

Length (Days): 20

Location: Max