Frank A. Blazich, Jr., PhD is a Curator of Modern Military History for the Division of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History. He is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, and specializes in the American military experience in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a doctorate in modern American history from The Ohio State University. Following his doctoral studies, Blazich served as the historian at the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme, California before moving to Washington, DC to serve as a historian in the History and Archives Division of Naval History and Heritage Command. 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 has published articles, essays, blog posts, book reviews and delivered public talks on numerous topics relating to modern American military history. His published work has appeared in the North Carolina Historical Review, The Northern Mariner, Marine Corps History, MCU Journal, Volunteer magazine, the Center for International Maritime History, War on the Rocks, The Sextant, Seabee Magazine Online, and the National Museum of American History’s blog, O Say Can You See.
Additionally, he served as the national historian for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) from April 2013 to March 2018. In this position he directed the corporation’s entire history program. Blazich provided extensive technical assistance for the CAP’s 2014 Congressional Gold Medal effort and this past year’s seventy-fifth anniversary commemoration. The latter work included arranging historical displays at the Pentagon, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, National Museum of the U.S. Navy and local and regional museums nationwide. In March 2018, he became director of the Colonel Louisa S. Morse Center for Civil Air Patrol History at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC. The center will serve as a professional archive, storage facility, and research center for CAP history, the first such center in the corporation’s 76 year history.