Founded in 1947 as the Veterans of OSS by General William J. Donovan, The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society honors the historic accomplishments of the OSS during World War II, the first organized effort by the United States to implement a centralized system of strategic intelligence and the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Command. It educates the American public regarding the continuing importance of strategic intelligence and special operations to the preservation of freedom in this country and around the world.
The OSS Society and its predecessor, the Veterans of OSS, have sponsored, organized and participated in educational events and programs such as presentations to the Society by Gen. Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by Gen. Wayne Downing, former Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command; presentations of the prestigious William J. Donovan Award® to Presidents Reagan, Eisenhower, and George H.W. Bush; and Admiral Lord Mountbatten, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Admiral Eric Olson, USN (Ret.), Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral William McRaven, USN (Ret.), and Secretary Leon Panetta; and symposia with the U.S. Special Operations Command and other government agencies. It also presents four other awards: the Hugh Montgomery Award, named in honor of The OSS Society's executive vice president, which is presented to a retired officer from the Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service; the John Waller Award, named in honor of the previous chairman of The OSS Society, which recognizes achievement in OSS scholarship; the Virginia Hall Award, named in honor of the only civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II; and the Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to OSS veterans and other individuals who have made significant contributions to its operations or legacy.
The OSS Society offers research assistance in response to requests from historians, educators, students, US military and intelligence organizations, and descendants of OSS veterans. The OSS Society provides speakers to a wide array of groups and has established OSS memorials throughout the United States and in Europe. The OSS Society Journal is made available to members of the U.S. intelligence community and U.S. Special Operations Forces. The OSS Society plans to build a museum that will educate the American public about OSS and its successor organizations.
The OSS Society is a 501(c)3 charitable organization (EIN #55-0810619). All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Membership in The OSS Society is available to OSS veterans, their descendants, current and former members of the U.S. intelligence community and U.S. Special Operations Forces, and people who have a serious interest in General Donovan's "unusual experiment" - the Office of Strategic Services.