He has been a key grass-roots organizer with the WWI Centennial Commemoration since early 2015, helping grow the organization to over 250 stake-holder organizations around Texas, including museums, civic and veteran organizations, historical sites, academic institutions, state agencies, and military bases. He is also a volunteer with the United States World War I Centennial Commission. The commemoration period will span 2017 through 2019 (U.S. entry in the war through signing of the Treaty of Versailles).
Colonel Visconage served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with assignments in the U.S., Asia and Europe. His duties included command of elite Marine reconnaissance forces, in the artillery as a forward observer and battery commander, and as a staff officer. He also served as a White House Military Social Aide and on the Presidential Inaugural (Armed Force Inaugural Committee). As a reserve officer, he was mobilized twice for duty in Iraq before retiring in 2012. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal.
As a military historian, Visconage was the Command Historian for multi-national forces in Iraq in 2007-08, overseeing joint-service military history detachments and documenting the surge of U.S. forces during this period. In 2003 he was a U.S. Marine Corps Field Historian assigned to document aviation forces during the initial invasion of Iraq; collecting key documents, taking photographs and conducting over 200 oral history interviews with Marines in forward combat areas. From 2005-07 he led the Marine Corps’ Field History Detachment.
In private industry, Visconage has held leadership positions in healthcare, franchising and construction for over 20 years. He is currently the Director of Strategic Development for a Dallas-based construction and engineering firm with over 2,100 employees.
Visconage is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and also holds an MBA. He is the author of over 30 professional articles and a book on Marine Corps aviation in Iraq. Visconage resides in San Antonio with his wife, Pamela Parker-Visconage.
John Manguso graduated from the University of Florida with a master of arts degree in U.S. history. He retired from the U.S. Army after 28 years of active and reserve service, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. After 33 years as director of the Fort Sam Houston Museum, he retired in 2011.
His latest book, San Antonio in the Great War, went on sale this past June. It is part of the Arcadia Publishing series called “Images of America.” An earlier book by Manguso, Fort Sam Houston, is also an installment in that series.
San Antonio, Texas, has been called “Military City USA” for many years. It earned this sobriquet not only by virtue of its major military installations but also because of its close and cordial relationship with the US Armed Forces. But in 1916, the year before America entered the Great War, all of that was still in the future. Fort Sam Houston was the largest US Army post in the country, but its attention was focused on the border with Mexico. This changed on April 6, 1917, as the United States needed to quickly raise an expeditionary army of three million men with its attendant air service and send it overseas. This volume portrays the growth of military facilities and infrastructure in San Antonio during World War I that started the Alamo City on the road to becoming “Military City USA.”