Our Soldiers’ selfless service has had a profound impact on our nation and the world’s history, and the National Museum of the United States Army’s 3,500 square foot Soldiers’ Stories Gallery will tell the stories of their accomplishments in unique and engaging ways.
This striking entry gallery experience will begin outside the Museum with seven pylons designed to set the tone and central theme of the Museum– the story of the Army is the story of Soldiers.
The pylons will bear personal accounts of ordinary men and women from all historic periods and walks of life to introduce visitors to Army history in a way that transcends generations, connects the visitors to places and events, and mirrors them as a nation.
Another seven pylons will line an interior wall of the lobby leading to the full Soldiers’ Stories’ Gallery space with its 27 free-standing stainless steel pylons squared up into an organized marching formation, symbolizing the structure and uniformity of the U.S. Army while expressing the individuality of every Soldier.
Each of the 41 pylons will include a larger-than-life bas relief image of a Soldier’s face, his or her service history, and a brief but compelling personal story illustrating one of the Army’s seven core values—Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.
Among the stories will be those of an aide to General Washington, a chaplain POW, a female combat aviator, a Red Ball Express driver, a Soldier-poet, a War of 1812 drummer, a Vietnam War “tunnel rat,” and a Cold War veteran.
One of the pylons will feature Korean War veteran SGT Donald W. “Dutch” Hoffman, a 20-year-old graves registration technician-turned-infantryman who distinguished himself in combat during the battles of the Bowling Alley and the Natkong River and earned the Silver Star during the Pusan perimeter breakout.
High on one wall of the gallery “The Soldiers’ Creed,” beginning with the declaration, “I am an American Soldier,” will be carved into a large stone-like monolith, creating a monumental and reverential backdrop to the “marching” Soldiers whose personal accounts will engage, educate, and inspire Museum visitors.
The Soldiers’ Stories Gallery is sponsored by The Boeing Company.