The Society of American Military Engineers grew from our nation's experiences in World War I, when more than 11,000 civilian engineers were called to duty as the United States entered “The War to End All Wars.” Upon their return, many feared the collective knowledge and the cooperation between the public and private sectors that proved vital to combat success would be lost. Industry and military leaders vowed to capitalize on the technical lessons and camaraderie shared during their battlefield experiences.
SAME was formed from this vow. In 1919, Maj. Gen. William M. Black, USA, the Army's Chief of Engineers, appointed a nine-officer board to consider the formation of an "association of engineers" that would preserve and expand upon connections formed in war and promote the advancement of engineering and its related professions. Early in 1920, the first SAME Posts were established, providing former colleagues and new members opportunities to connect face-to-face, and establishing Post-to-community relationships across the country.
The "Reflections" video series continues with historical remarks made by:
In the decades since, SAME has developed a world-class program of conferences, workshops, symposiums, and professional development and networking opportunities in support of its mission: facilitating interaction between the public and private sectors to enhance engineering support to national security. SAME’s membership today comprises more than 20,000 leaders representing the uniformed military services as well as numerous government agencies, nonprofit associations, academic institutions and private-sector firms who will guide the future of the engineering profession and its contribution to the protection of our nation.