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Military Challenge

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What is the Military Challenge?

Everyone is invited to take part in the Military Challenge!

Our goal is to add and improve profiles of military veterans on WikiTree.

In May-June 2017, the challenge was focused on connecting veterans to the global family tree.

In November-December 2017, the challenge is focused on adding a Military Service section to the Biographies of veterans.

How Does it Work?

The first Military Challenge had a complicated points system; the current second challenge is using the new Challenge Tracker!

Please comment on the Military Challenge G2G thread to indicate that you will be participating in the challenge. After that, you will need to find or add profiles for veterans that do not already have a section in their Biography for military service. Try starting with your Watchlist, and once that's exhausted, you can start creating new profiles (see the "Creating New Profiles" section below).

Once you've found a veteran's profile that does not have a description for military service, click to edit the profile and under the "==Biography==" section create a new section for Military Service by using three equals signs "===Military Service===" (without the quotation marks). Write a few sentences or paragraphs about the person's service, making sure to cite your sources. Then, save your changes and click on the Challenge Tracker. Make sure to select Military Challenge in the tracker.

What Should I Write?

If your Grandpa John fought in World War II, try to be more specific than "John fought in World War II." For this example, see if you can answer any of the following questions:

  • What are his dates of service?
  • What theater of the war did he fight in? (Examples: Europe; Africa)
  • What specific countries did he serve in?
  • What branch did he serve with? (Ex: Army; Navy)
  • Do you know what part of the branch? (Ex: Infantry; Naval Construction Brigade)
  • Do you know the name of the division, unit, ship, etc? (Ex: 382nd Field Artillery Battalion)
  • What was his rank?

Any other information you might have, such as specific battles he participated in or medals he received, are of course welcome.

Depending on how many of the questions you are able to answer, you might end up with a Military Service section like this:

"John enlisted in the United States Army in 1942. He fought as an Infantryman in France and Germany. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war with the rank of Sergeant." [don't forget a citation!]

Creating New Profiles

The Challenge Tracker will count any new profiles that you create for this challenge! There are many fantastic resources you can use for this purpose. But the general guideline to be aware of is, don't create duplicates!

Before you create a new profile, check WikiTree to make sure the profile doesn't already exist. Make sure your source has an exact date or year of birth, or exact date of death, so that this process will be easier. You might find a great roster list for a Navy ship that fought in the First World War, but other than the names and the current year 1917, it doesn't have any dates or ages for the sailors. I would avoid using this source to create profiles! Do some research on the names first and see if you can find a different source with a firm date of birth. Then, you can check WikiTree for any matches before you create the profile. Never create a new profile that doesn't have any dates.

You should also be wary of creating a profile for someone with a very common name and not a lot of information. For example, maybe you found a United States Civil War muster roll for an 18-year-old named "T. A. Smith." If you created a profile for T. A. Smith, born about 1844 in Virginia, fought in the Civil War...and that's it...would anyone be able to figure out who that is? See if you can positively identify the person before you create the profile! He may already exist on WikiTree.


Here is a profile that was created as part of the last Military Challenge. Keith McDonald added a section for military service:


What About Military Categories and Templates?

This challenge is focused on writing a Biography section, so adding categories and templates is not part of it. Military Categories are currently undergoing a lot of changes on WikiTree. Please do not add categories unless you are very familiar with the up-to-date guidelines!

List of Past Challenge Winners


Amy Kelly won the first Military Challenge in June 2017. Will you be next?

Comments: 11

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I'd like to submit as my entry Francis Currey, recipient of the Medal of Honor:

Francis Sherman Currey (1925 - 2019)

I wrote the bio and organized getting him connected.

posted by SJ Baty
Is this challenge still open? If so, I am participating.
posted by Gary Christopher
I will participate in the challenge, see how far I get.
posted by Dave Haddock
I would like to see one like this in 2019
posted by Bryan Shannon
I liked doing the bios and adding substance to the profiles, but I liked the connector version we did the first time better.

There was a sense of accomplishment when you managed to CONNECT a profile to the tree finally. With the bios it was more of a cut and paste thing. I did really enjoy reading the stories that I was posting though.

posted by Jim Parsons
I have some relatives with military service. I would like to participate.
posted by Jim Andrews
I have updated my profile with my military service information using suggestion from here as well as added myself to the military challenge.
I would like to participate
posted by Richard Van Wasshnova
I'd like to participate in this Military Challenge. It should be fun and add to my interest in things military. DJ Allen
posted by Jan Allen
Thanks to everyone helping to recognize our veterans!
posted by Russ Gunther KT CH
Is this only for American soldiers??