The Command History Office

Our office advises the command leadership on all matters pertaining to the military history of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) and the Presidio of Monterey. The Command History Office maintains the DLIFLC's institutional memory and ensures that historical information, insights, and perspectives are used in the decision-making process and in other functions and programs.  In general, military history helps strengthen training, leadership development, promotes morale, and fosters general historical-mindedness within the command.

Some of our functions include:

- The collection of historical information, maintenance of historical archives and to write the Command History.
- Advise the Command on historical issues and memorialization program. 
- Provide historical reference services to the staff and general public. 
- Write professional historical studies and monographs. 
- Conduct oral interviews with key leaders.
- Provide tours of the Presidio of Monterey.

For further information about the Command History program, or to request information regarding the history of DLIFLC, the Presidio of Monterey or Fort Ord, please e-mail us.

The Historic Records Collection

The Historic Records Collection (archives) at the DLIFLC contains historic documents, photos, and newspapers that chronicle the history of the institute, its home at the Presidio of Monterey, and the former Fort Ord, which closed in 1994.

Part of the archival collection includes maps and blueprints of Presidio of Monterey and Fort Ord buildings, as well as other associated building records. These are a valuable resource for anyone working on research related to Army buildings, military history, or the Presidio or Fort Ord in general. The general public is welcome to come and view these records by appointment with the archivist.

The photographic collection within the archives spans over 100 years, beginning with early Monterey history. Also available are photos depicting life in the Army at the Presidio, including the cavalry units, infantry units, the 76th Field Artillery, as well as historic images of the base and surrounding locations. Images that can be found within the language school photographic collection begin with the Fourth Army Language School at Crissy Field at the Presidio of San Francisco, the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) in Minnesota, the Army Language School (ALS) at the Presidio of Monterey, and eventually the development of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC). These photos include the development of language instruction using various technological methods, students in the classrooms, instructors, and general student life. The Fort Ord image collection also contains a vast resource of early camp development, including the Gigling Reservation (the precursor to Fort Ord), photos of soldiers on review, marching, training, as well as aerial and building images.

Documents that can be found in the archives range in scope from early 20th century cavalry post returns and journal entries to modern-day administration of Fort Ord, including Project Volar (volunteer Army) and of DLIFLC. As with both the map and image collection, the general public is welcome to conduct research within these records.

Some of the archives most frequently requested materials are from the Fort Ord Panorama, the newspaper of Fort Ord from 1940 to 1994. The Panorama is particularly significant as for fifty-four years on a weekly basis it reported on the day-to-day lives and activities of soldiers stationed at Fort Ord and the Presidio of Monterey. The Panorama ceaselessly apprised readers about the links connecting civilian and military life and explained how such news related to the military or the war effort.

The institute maintains the only known and nearly complete collection of these newspapers. The Command History Office is currently indexing its newspaper collection and will make digital copies available via the web in the future, pending the availability of staff and funds.

To request an appointment to view any of the archival materials within the Historic Records Collection or to make a reference request, please Contact Us by e-mail.

Search our collection for images, maps, blueprints, and documents related to the Army Language School/Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), historic Presidio of Monterey (including cavalry, infantry, and other Army units assigned to the Monterey Peninsula), the City of Monterey, and the former Fort Ord. Use a keyword search or browse by subject matter. The advanced search option allows the user to specify date ranges within an image or document search.

DISCLAIMER: clicking on our archival catalog link will take the user to an external site. Please note that for sites outside of the DLIFLC.EDU domain, the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center does not provide any kind of support. DLIFLC doesn't endorse any external sites. Views and positions expressed on any of the external sites are representative of their respective organizations and do not represent the position of DLIFLC in any way.

                                                        Learn about our collections!
Some of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center's archival collections have significant research value for those studying military history, Monterey History, and the histories of Fort Ord and the Presidio of Monterey, as well as foreign language training. Click on the links below to learn about our Presdio of Monterey Historical Collection, the Fort Ord Historical Collection, the Army Language School Historical Collection, the Black Military History Collection and the General Edward H. Plummer Collection.

Presidio of Monterey Historical Collection
The Presidio of Monterey Historical Collection consists of documents and photographs regarding the history of the Presidio of Monterey from the 1500s to 1980s, as well as local Monterey historical information. Military units included are the 1st, 10th, 8th, 9th, and 11th Cavalry, the 12th and 20th infantry, as well as the 76th Field Artillery, CMTC, ROTC, and CASA. The subject matter consists of marches, maneuvers, parades, training, individuals, and general images of camp life. Also included are documents and images of early Monterey, specifically the landing of Viscaino and Father Serra, as well as downtown and Cannery Row scenes.

General Edward H. Plummer Collection
The General Edward H. Plummer Collection consists of documents, photographs and articles from the personal and military records of General Plummer, builder of the present Presidio of Montery. The collection ranges in subject matter from correspondence relating to Army subject matter as well as orders relating to General Plummer's assignments.

Army Language School Historical Collection
The Army Language School Historical Collection consists of records regarding the history of the Army Language School (ALS) and the creation of DLIWC (Defense Language Institute-West Coast). Valuable historical information about the formation of ALS and DLI available within this collection consists of organizational charts, departmental timelines and instructor recruitment information.

Black Military History Collection
The Black Military History Collection consists of records, sketches and photographs regarding the history of black soldiers who began serving in the U.S. military in the French and Indian Wars, as well as the Revolutionary War.  This record group has specific information on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry. 
The 9th/10th Cavalry came to the Presidio of Monterey in November 1902.  The 425 black troopers of the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry under the command of Captain G.W. Read pitched their tents near the Chinese fishing village in Pacific Grove (near the present day Hopkins Marine Station). The 9th Cavalry were the first black soldiers stationed in California.

Fort Ord Historical Collection
The Fort Ord Historical Collection generally consists of photographs from the early 1940s until the closure of the base regarding the history of the base as well nearby military facilities and areas, but also contains pamphlets and newspaper articles. Subject matter of the collection relates to training, camp life, maneuvers, marches, troop review, inspections, recruits, aerial images, buildings, encampments, etc at Camp Gigling, Camp Ord, Camp Clayton and Fort Ord. Several movies were filmed at Fort Ord; this collection contains publicity photos for the film “Fearless Fagan.”

The DLIFLC Command History issues, written by the Command and Deputy Historians, are available to the public as reference documents. The Command History generally covers one to two years of DLIFLC's academic and adminstrative history and is divided into six chapters with each chapter discussing an important aspect of the function, structure, and management of DLIFLC and its associated garrison—the Presidio of Monterey.  The report includes various appendices, figures, a glossary, and an index to help the reader make efficient use of a document primarily intended to serve as an encyclopedic reference and official history of DLIFLC and the Presidio during this period. Please contact the Archives to learn more about the Command History or to request materials reported in the Command History.

1986 Command History

1987 Command History

1988 Command History

1989 Command History

1990 Command History

1991 Command History

1992 Command History

1993 Command History

1994-1995 Command History

1996-2000 Command History

2001-2003 Command History

2004-2005 Command History

2006-2007 Command History

DLIFLC 1759 Lewis Rd. Bldg 614, Ste. 251 - Presidio of Monterey - Monterey, CA 93944 (831) 242-5119, (DSN-768)