ABOUT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CIVIL DEFENSE

​MISSION AND HISTORY

Civil Defense is defined as “plans or activities organized by civilians and civilian authorities for the protection of civilian population and property in times of such disasters or emergencies as war or floods.” The United States has had some form of a Civil Defense program since the formation of the Office of Civilian Defense in 1941. Since then, the focus, size, scope, and visibility of the program has ebbed and flowed with the changing geopolitical tides.  Tied to developments in strategic nuclear weapons, missiles, and even spy satellites - it endured name changes to “Civil Preparedness” and later “Emergency Management.” Throughout this time, thousands of men and women (both paid employees and volunteers) at the federal, state, and local government dedicated themselves to the goal of protecting the public against catastrophe.

Today, Civil Defense is often seen in the public eye as a curiosity – and often only in terms of the early Cold War. Too often, the prevailing historical perspective on Civil Defense is less than a superficial footnote. It is the utmost goal of our organization to preserve this history in a way that reflects the dignity and urgency of the program, and the people who created and dedicated their lives to it. The Museum believes that there are many stories remaining to be told.

MEET THE DIRECTOR

NICK STUDER, M.D.

Dr. Studer is a practicing Emergency Physician and the founder of the NMCD. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 first catalyzed Dr. Studer's interest in the history of our Nation's Civil Defense program, which grew into a desire to share his research with others.

 

He then volunteered for the Brevard County (FL) Office of Emergency Management during the early 2000s, and later served at the Florida Department of Health - Bureau of Radiation Control's Radiological Instrument Maintenence & Calibration Laboratory prior to attending medical school at the University of South Florida.

 

His extensive collection of Civil Defense items forms the nucleus of the NMCD's permanent collections.

FRANK BLAZICH, Ph.D.

ADVISORY BOARD

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Frank Blazich, Jr. specializes in the American military experience in the twentieth century. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a doctorate in modern American history from The Ohio State University (2013).

In January 2017, he assumed his current position as curator of modern military history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. His first edited book, "Bataan Survivor: A POW’s Account of Japanese Captivity in World War II", was published by the University of Missouri Press in February 2017. He most recent book, “An Honorable Place in American Air Power”: Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol Operations, 1943-1943, was published by Air University Press in December 2020. His work has appeared in the North Carolina Historical Review, The Northern Mariner, the Naval War College Review, Marine Corps History, Army History, Air Power History, Naval History, Smithsonian Magazine Online, War on the Rocks, Volunteer Magazine, the Center for International Maritime History, The Sextant, and Seabee Magazine Online, and the Washington Post.

He is currently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Society for Military History and the director of the Colonel Louisa S. Morse Center for Civil Air Patrol History. As a colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, Blazich previously served as the organization’s national historian from April 2013 to March 2018. In this position he directed the corporation’s entire history program, providing extensive technical assistance for the CAP’s 2014 Congressional Gold Medal effort and the corporation’s 75th anniversary commemoration in 2016.

BRUCE CURLEY, B.A.

ADVISORY BOARD

Since 2007, Bruce Curley has been a member of the Board of Directors, now Vice President, of The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA). Through the TACDA Civil Defense Journal and his analysis on his civil defense blog (poetslife.blogspot.com) for 20 years, he creates, teaches, shares and implements civil defense strategies.  

In the early 1980’s, his first job post-Air Force, was to inspect numerous county emergency operation centers and wrote articles for Hazard Monthly. Fascinated by the planning that went into these thousands of civil defense shelters then, he has continued to explore their purpose and use.

He presented a talk to the NCT CBRNe USA 2015 conference on Rolling Up ISIS Use of Social Media as a Force Multiplier. https://www.cbrneportal.com/isis-ability-to-use-social-media-as-a-force-multiplier-in-u-s-attacks/.

Bruce is a member of the Carroll County, MD, Community Emergency Response Team and is NIMS 101/102 certified. He wrote the Emergency Response Plan for his hometown of Mt. Airy, MD. He is a member of the Safety and Security Committee at his church where he has helped write the Emergency Response Plan and taught staff how to deal with the threat matrix.

DOUG HARSHA

ADVISORY BOARD

PLACEHOLDER TEXT

 

Dr. Studer is a practicing Emergency Physician and the founder of the NMCD. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 first catalyzed Dr. Studer's interest in the history of our Nation's Civil Defense program, which grew into a desire to share his research with others.

 

He then volunteered for the Brevard County (FL) Office of Emergency Management during the early 2000s, and later served at the Florida Department of Health - Bureau of Radiation Control's Radiological Instrument Maintenence & Calibration Laboratory prior to attending medical school at the University of South Florida.

 

His extensive collection of Civil Defense items forms the nucleus of the NMCD's permanent collections.

DAVID KRUGLER, Ph.D.

ADVISORY BOARD

Dr. David F. Krugler is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin—Platteville, where he has taught since completing his Ph.D. in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997.

 

His research interests include Cold War-era civil defense. He is the author of This Is Only a Test: How Washington, D.C., Prepared for Nuclear War (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and editor of The Cold War: Core Documents (Ashland, Ohio: The Ashbrook Center, 2018). As a scholar of civil defense, he has appeared in the National Geographic Channel documentary American Doomsday and has been interviewed by the Washington Post and the New York Times.

ANGELA MORETTI, M.A.

VICE PRESIDENT, TREASURER

A native of Vero Beach, Florida, Ms. Angela Moretti serves as the Vice President and Treasurer of the National Museum of Civil Defense. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Central Florida and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University. She is a veteran of the United States Army where she served as a Bandsperson until September 2020.

In addition to her active career in the field of education, Ms. Moretti is a freelance performing musician and private lesson instructor in the San Antonio area. As a graphic designer and videographer, her illustrations and videos have appeared in numerous Army social media campaigns, and the children’s book Josie the Itty-Bitty Elephant (2014), features her whimsical artwork.

Within the museum, her primary focus is to expand educational outreach, design and build Museum displays, and continue to develop the Museum’s brand as it expands.

JASON WOOD

ADVISORY BOARD

PLACEHOLDER TEXT

 

Dr. Studer is a practicing Emergency Physician and the founder of the NMCD. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 first catalyzed Dr. Studer's interest in the history of our Nation's Civil Defense program, which grew into a desire to share his research with others.

 

He then volunteered for the Brevard County (FL) Office of Emergency Management during the early 2000s, and later served at the Florida Department of Health - Bureau of Radiation Control's Radiological Instrument Maintenence & Calibration Laboratory prior to attending medical school at the University of South Florida.

 

His extensive collection of Civil Defense items forms the nucleus of the NMCD's permanent collections.

GEORGE WUNDERLICH

ADVISORY BOARD

PLACEHOLDER TEXT

 

Dr. Studer is a practicing Emergency Physician and the founder of the NMCD. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 first catalyzed Dr. Studer's interest in the history of our Nation's Civil Defense program, which grew into a desire to share his research with others.

 

He then volunteered for the Brevard County (FL) Office of Emergency Management during the early 2000s, and later served at the Florida Department of Health - Bureau of Radiation Control's Radiological Instrument Maintenence & Calibration Laboratory prior to attending medical school at the University of South Florida.

 

His extensive collection of Civil Defense items forms the nucleus of the NMCD's permanent collections.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where is the museum located?

The National Museum of Civil Defense is headquartered in Schertz, TX just south of Randolph Air Force Base. The NMCD is currently developing a long term plan to obtain a permanent, dedicated building. We presently schedule private tours of the collections by appointment.

What are the museum's hours?

Our hours are flexible at this time - contact us to schedule your tour!

Is photography allowed?

The Museum is happy to accomodate individuals who have an interest in photographing or documenting an item in our collections. The NMCD has a dedicated area set up for photography of its items which visitors are welcome to use.

Does the museum loan items for outside display?

The Museum is interested in collaboration with organizations who share an interest in public education and raising awareness. Feel free to contact the museum director with any ideas or requests! We look forward to working with you!

Is the NMCD an advocacy organization?

The NMCD staff believe in the mission of the historical Civil Defense program and the personnel that executed it - that of protecting the American people from enemy attack or other disaster. However, the NMCD as an entity is non-partisan, non-political, and does not advocate for contemporary policy or program changes.

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Contact us directly to arrange a tour appointment.

ADDRESS:

Based out of 

Schertz, TX 78154

MAILING LIST:

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