National Museum of the United States Army
The National Museum of the United States Army will be a national landmark just outside of Washington, DC to honor America’s Soldiers, preserve the history of America’s oldest military branch, and educate all Americans about the Army’s role in our nation’s development. It also will be that one special, central place where Soldiers and Army veterans and their families can reflect, remember, and enjoy the enduring spirit of Army camaraderie.
Under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of the Army and signed in September 2000, The Army Historical Foundation (AHF) was designated the official fundraising entity for the National Museum of the United States Army and is responsible for administering the Capital Campaign. The Army Historical Foundation, one of the nation’s most respected organizations for preserving and promoting the Army’s history, has launched a Capital Campaign. The Army also established the National Museum of the United States Army Project Office to oversee the design and construction of the Museum. In September 2008, the Army selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York as the design architect and Christopher Chadbourne & Associates of Boston as the exhibit design firm. In 2012, Eisterhold Associates Inc. assumed the exhibit planning and Design and Production, Inc. began the exhibit fabrication. The U.S. Army will operate and maintain the Museum when it opens. AHF will be responsible for all revenue-generating operations.
The National Army Museum will serve as the capstone of the Army Museum System and provide the only comprehensive portrayal of Army history and traditions. The Museum will celebrate the selfless service and sacrifice of over 30 million men and women who have worn the Army uniform since 1775. The Museum will be a technological marvel incorporating the latest advances in Museum exhibitions while providing advanced educational opportunities that will capture the attention of visitors, old and young. As the Army’s national landmark, the Museum will honor the American Soldier past, present, and future, and provide an interactive educational experience explaining the Army’s role in creating and defending our nation, as well as the Army’s social initiatives and contributions to society for more than 200 years.
The Museum will also provide one special and central place where Soldiers and Army veterans and their families can reflect, remember, and enjoy the enduring spirit of Army camaraderie. The National Army Museum will be located on 40 acres on the grounds of beautiful Fort Belvoir, Virginia, less than 30 minutes south of our nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. The main building will be approximately 175,000 square feet and display selections from 15,000 pieces from the Army Art Collection and 30,000 artifacts, documents, and images. The vast majority of these rare and priceless artifacts have never been seen by the American people. Outside this facility will be a park with a memorial garden and parade ground. Space is being planned to accommodate ceremonies, reenactments, lectures, educational programs, conferences and reunions. The Museum will welcome an estimated 750,000 visitors every year.
The National Museum of the United States Army describes its objectives as:
- Educate and engage current and future generations about the Army and its contributions
- Preserve the Army’s history and its prominent role in the nation’s past, present, and future
- Honor Army values, such as patriotism, respect, loyalty, and integrity, while providing an understanding of what it means to serve
- Pay tribute to fourteen generations of American soldiers whose leadership, selfless service, and personal sacrifice have forged and safeguarded our nation
- Inspire soldiers of today by connecting their experience to the legacy and leadership of a great nation
- Stimulate the youth of America to pursue scholastic excellence in any field of study that supports the Army’s core missions.
The centerpiece of the National Museum of the United States Army will be a major exhibition facility where the stories of Army Soldiers will be joined with thousands of artifacts, documents, and images tracing the colorful history of the United States Army from colonial times to today. A series of chronological galleries and thematic galleries will show visitors what it means to be a Soldier in times of both war and peace.
The Army has been a constant presence of defense and security. Soldiers have led the way during ten major wars and nearly 200 campaigns. The impact of the Army has literally reshaped the map of our nation and world. “Service and Sacrifice” will be the dominant theme throughout the Museum.
Galleries will show the Army’s strength as an agent of peace and nation-building. Soldiers have conducted countless missions in the areas of exploration and discovery, science and technology, communications and cooperation, and recovery and disaster relief. The ingenuity of American Soldiers has greatly aided the nation’s progress and prosperity during more than 230 years. In September 2008, the Army selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of New York as the design architect and Christopher Chadbourne & Associates of Boston as the exhibit design firm. In 2012, Eisterhold Associates Inc. assumed the exhibit planning and Design and Production, Inc. began the exhibit fabrication.
Ft. Belvoir North Post location
On Friday 17 June 2011 the Department of Defense released a press release, stating:
The Army announced today that the North Post of Fort Belvoir, Va., will be the site of the National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA), scheduled to open in June 2015. Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh approved the decision this week, which also marked the Army's 236th birthday. Initial construction will include a multi-story, main museum building with exhibit halls, theater, Veterans' Hall, food service and retail areas, administrative areas, an experiential learning center and a lobby with visitor reception area.
Ft. Belvoir is spread over several locations, but the main base is in Fairfax County, Virginia and occupies the former Belvoir estate of William Fairfax. The post is bisected by US 1 (Richmond Highway): the area of Ft. Belvoir between US 1 and the Potomac River is the "South Post", while the area between US 1 and Telegraph Road is the "North Post". The preferred site for the museum is on the North Post, along the Fairfax County Parkway at the intersection with Kingman Road.
Ft. Belvoir is about 20 miles south of Washington D.C., but is only three miles south of George Washington's historic Mount Vernon estate, which draws over one million visitors per year. Museum officials hope to establish a connection with America's first Commander-in-Chief in order to attract some of Mt. Vernon's visitors.
Other Army museums
- Army Medical Museum and Library
- Military history of the United States
- National Museum of the Marine Corps
- National Museum of the United States Air Force
- National Museum of the United States Navy
- Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial
- U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
- War in the Pacific National Historical Park
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: the Vietnam Combat Artists Program, part of the museum's collections.|
- National Museum of the United States Army official website
- The Army Historical Foundation website (National Museum of the United States Army)
- U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center alternative website
- Official website of the United States Army Center of Military History