Warrior of the Week: James Malachowski

  • Published
  • By Public Affairs
  • Public Affairs
Jim Malachowski, 71st Flying Training Wing historian, was nominated as Warrior of the Week because of "his outstanding service as only the third civilian historian to deploy in support of military operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom," according to his supervisor, Lt. Col. Bob Brumley.
"His enthusiasm for his work is apparent in everything he does," he said.
Mr. Malachowski's enthusiasm for history began after doing a book report in fifth grade. While searching through an encyclopedia, he encountered a photo of two soldiers standing in a snowy boxcar in Siberia during World War I. The historic photo struck a chord with him. Years later, he joined the Army so he could jump out of airplanes.
Eventually, he was assigned to the same unit in Hawaii those two freezing soldiers in Siberia had belonged to, and his dedication to history escalated from there. He attained his bachelor's degree in history and later his master's degree in public history.
"I like being able to relate where we are today with where we were," said Mr. Malachowski. "If you go back in history far enough you can see essentially the same issues come right back up again, over and over."
Mr. Malachowski's recent deployment to Southwest Asia included writing historical reports for Air Force operations in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and Combined Joint Task Forces Horn of Africa.
His enthusiasm showed again in his deployment when he developed a Web site link on the Intranet, pushing statistics and historic information out to the wing.
"I did everything I could think of to prove the historian position was valuable to the wing," said the self-proclaimed military "brat."
The retired Army Airborne Ranger involves history in every aspect of his life, from his job to his hobbies. He enjoys browsing in antique stores and collecting old history books.
He also enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.
Mr. Malachowski is presently working on his doctorate in education and would eventually like to add teaching to his daily duties.
Until Mr. Malachowski leaves his history job, which according to him is when they pry him out of here, one can always drive up to 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and see an effigy of him enforcing the importance of "the old helping the new."
While running the mountaineering safety course at Fort Carson, Colo., he was selected as the model for a statue titled "Military Mountaineer." The statue is of a mountain soldier from World War II assisting a young soldier of the 10th Mountain Division. The young soldier is Mr. Malachowski.
In an article published in the Mountaineer, Fort Carson's newspaper, the statue was described by the artist as, "The historical soldier sitting at the top, helping the younger one over a difficult passage."
Ironically, this offers a concrete, or in this case bronze, reinforcement of the importance of history helping us navigate our future.