The Society of American Military Engineers is now 100. Founded in 1920, in the interests of patriotism and national security, the organization has never wavered from a vow to support the needs of the United States and strengthen the profession of engineering. As was stated in the inaugural issue of The Military Engineer a century ago: “this Society will serve no selfish purpose.”
The genesis of SAME was born from the lessons of World War I, and the realization of those who went “over there” that the engineering community was unprepared for what was confronted. That prescient leadership would prove invaluable, as “The War to End All Wars” was anything but.
Never again would America face an enemy for whom it was not ready. SAME would exist to enable three core tenets: promote solidarity and co-operation between engineers in civil and military life; disseminate technical knowledge bearing upon progress in the art of war and the application of engineering science thereto; and preserve and maintain the best standards and traditions of the profession.
It was the commitment to developing relationships between industry and government (and the technical collaboration it would bear) that made the Society unique at a time of great proliferation for many other discipline-specific professional societies.
Today, as we begin our second century, our mission of building leaders and leading collaboration among government and industry to develop multi-disciplined solutions to national security infrastructure challenges indeed echoes the motivations of SAME’s founders, who, very clearly valuing diversity of thought and the benefits of welcoming many perspectives, proclaimed 100 years ago that “eligibility qualifications for membership in this Society are drawn on the broadest possible lines, consistent with the achievement of its aims.”
SAME is vital and enduring. And after 100 years, our role has never been more clear. Let’s help secure America’s future, together.