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Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers, 1990-1992: Finding Aid

Published in 1999

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 339
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers
  • Dates: 1990-1992
  • Size: 3.51 linear feet (3 flat boxes)
  • Creator: Coughlin, Sean T., 1965-
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Sean T. Coughlin is a retired United States Marine Corps Officer and member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1987. The Coughlin Papers consist of three binders of materials, composed primarily of Coughlin's personal journal/memoirs of his experiences as Plans Officer with Marine Wing Support Group 37 (MWSG-37) during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the first Persian Gulf War.

Biography of Sean Thomas Coughlin

Captain Sean Thomas Coughlin, USMC (Ret.) was born on March 27, 1965 in California. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1987, Coughlin was appointed to the Academy from Massachusetts. Coughlin, recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, retired from active service on October 28, 1992.

Among his service assignments, Coughlin served as Maintenance Management Officer for marine Wing Support Squadron 372 at Camp Pendleton, California and as Plans Officer, Marine Wing Support Group 37, Headquarters Squadron, in the Operation Department during the first Persian Gulf War.

In addition to his career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Coughlin has worked as an author. His article "Maneuver? Or Victory?", published in the September 1990 issue of U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings took first prize in the Warfighting Essay Contest. Coughlin also served as the assistant author on Thomas J. Coughlin's book, The Confederate Raiders, published by the American Merchant Marine Museum Foundation in 1991. In 1995, Coughlin earned an MFA from UCLA.

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Description of Contents

The Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers consist of three binders of primarily typescript materials coving the time period of 1990 to 1992.

Binders 1 and 2 contain two typewritten versions of Coughlin's personal journal/memoirs of his experiences as Plans Officer with Marine Wing Support Group 37 (MWSG-37) during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the first Persian Gulf War from December 1990 through May 1991. MWSG-37 was responsible for all of the Third Marine Air Wing aviation ground support requirements.

Binder 3 consists of military topic writings authored by Coughlin, as well as related documents, some of which were produced by Coughlin as part of his official duties. Much of the material in Binder 3 concerns Marine Wing Support Group 37 during the Persian Gulf War.

Coughlin's journal was adapted for print in 1996 as Storming the Desert: A Marine Lieutenant's Day-by-Day Chronicle of the Persian Gulf War.

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Arrangement

The Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers are organized into three binders based on document type:

  • Binder 1: Journal/Memoir - First Draft, 1990 December-1991 May
  • Binder 2: Journal/Memoir - Final Draft, 1990 December-1991 May
  • Binder 3: Military Writing, 1990-1992
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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Sean T. Coughlin in April 1997. Accession No. 97-27.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Materials pertaining to Coughlin's time as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy may be found in his personnel jacket in Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library. Access to Coughlin's personnel jacket is restricted until 2054.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Sean Thomas Coughlin Papers, MS 339

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1999. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1999 and revised by David D'Onofrio in January 2014.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Coughlin, Sean T., 1965-
  • Desert warfare
  • Persian Gulf War, 1991 -- Communications
  • Persian Gulf War, 1991 -- Equipment and supplies
  • Persian Gulf War, 1991 -- Personal narratives
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United States. Marine Corps -- Communication systems
  • United States. Marine Corps -- History -- Persian Gulf War, 1991
  • United States. Marine Corps. Marine Wing Support Group 37

Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Diaries
  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
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Contents List

Box 1

Binder 1: Journal/Memoir - First Draft, 1990 December-1991 May

Includes discussions of Coughlin's assignment to MWSG-37, arrival in Saudi Arabia, Marine support structure, scud missile attacks, Marine Pre-positioned Shipping (MPS), fellow Marines of MWSG-37, bunker construction, apprehension at the progress of the war, development of MWSG-37 and other Marine Corps support organizations, supply issues (including ammunition and transportation), Coughlin's questioning of authority, cable news coverage of the war, MWSG-37 organization and leadership, Saddam Hussein's tactics, criticism of Norman Schwartzkopf, adapting to life as a young Marine Corps officer, working on Command Chronologies, frustration with being in supply instead of on the front lines, communication equipment and field radio installation/repair, criticism of the planned ground war, end of hostilities and surprise over the ease of victory, and demobilization after the cease fire.

Box 2

Binder 2: Journal/Memoir - Final Draft, 1990 December-1991 May

Edited version of the journal/memoir in Binder 1.

Binder 3: Military Writing, 1990-1992, undated

Box 3 Folder 1

Section A: Command Directed, 1990-1992, undated

Includes documents entitled: MWSG-7 Southwest Asia History; Marine Wing Support Group 37 History, dated April 1992; For Colonel Coop, dated April 1992; Resume of Outgoing Commanders Unit Accomplishments, dated April 1992; Deployment and Logistics Brief MWSG-37, dated Fall 1991; Narrative of MWSG-37 Achievements June 1990 - June 1991; MWSG-37 Operation Desert Storm Achievements, dated Spring 1991, and a document on women serving with MWSG-37, dated Spring 1991.

Box 3 Folder 2

Section B: Orders & Studies, 1991-1992

Instructions, memos, and studies regarding fuel problems, Motorola Saber radios, information systems management, decontamination operations, and rapid runway repair.

Box 3 Folder 3

Section C: Awards, 1990-1992

Citations for MWSG-37 officers and men.

Box 3 Folder 4

Section D: Miscellaneous, 1991-1992, undated

Includes handwritten notes, a statement on the weight control program, and the Marine Wing Support Group 37 User's Guide.

Box 3 Folder 5

Section E: Articles, 1990-1992, undated

Articles written by Coughlin, including: the first two months of his journal, submitted to the Naval Institute Press; "Airpower," submitted to the Naval Institute's Warfighting Essay Contest in 1992; "Hand-held Radios for the Marine Corps," submitted to the Naval Institute's Warfighting Essay Contest; "The Marine Corps' Computer Problem," undated; and "Maneuver? Or Victory?" first prize in the Naval Institute's Warfighting Essay Contest, 1990. Also included are handwritten notes.

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