A Day in the Life:
Ohio National Guard historian
Story by Spc. Jessica Silhavy, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
COLUMBUS, Ohio (06/28/22)
As the historian for the Ohio National Guard, Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Mann has a unique position at Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio, located at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory.
Being a historian for such a large organization with history dating back to the 1700s may seem like a daunting task, but Mann has such a passion for history that the job’s challenges are met with meticulous effort and enthusiasm. He said he “wears several hats” as the historian, such as curator of a collection that includes items such as 380 battle flags and a flintlock pistol from 1836, and as a librarian for hundreds of military manuscripts and documents.
Photo courtesy of T.G. Davidson Photography
“I have a lot of personal drive and a lot of personal connections to do this job because it goes back to the Soldier’s story,”
Mann, originally from Fostoria, Ohio, has served for over 27 years and is a third generation Ohio National Guard member, following in his Family’s footsteps. He began as a cavalry scout in the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, and was mobilized with his unit in 2002 for Operation Noble Eagle, helping provide security for key Department of Defense sites throughout the Midwest. Shortly after, in 2004, Mann began serving as the historian at JFHQ.
“I have a lot of personal drive and a lot of personal connections to do this job because it goes back to the Soldier’s story,” Mann said. “We ask our Soldiers to sacrifice a lot, so it’s equally as important to capture the sacrifices and preserve them and remember them … being able to capture this is a great responsibility and it is an awesome job.”
Mann’s unique role allows him to see beyond the big picture of the Ohio National Guard’s history and dive deeper into the countless stories and lives of the men and women who have served.
“I would say my favorite part is being able to tell our Soldiers’ stories,” Mann said. “The stories of our Soldiers on the ground are often overlooked, but those are the special stories that deserve the most effort to be captured and shared.”