Fort Shafter, which is the headquarters of the United State Army Pacific, is the oldest military base on the island Oahu. The first part of it to be built, Palm Circle, was completed in 1907.
It included a barracks and officers’ quarters, and is now a National Historic Landmark that covers an underground command center. The fort grew over the decades, adding more quarters, an ordnance depot and a hospital.
Fort Shafter became the senior Army headquarters in the Pacific after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1944, the Army Corps of Engineers erected three buildings that became known as the “Pineapple Pentagon” in only 49 days.
Located in Honolulu, Fort Shafter is now home to over 5,000 people including soldiers, their families, contractors and civilians. It offers housing both on and off the base. The waiting list for housing can be 14 months long, depending on the soldier’s rank, the desired number of bedrooms, and the time of year. There are on-base schools for children in grades K – 12, as well as a local public school. Fort Shafter also has its own post office and commissary. Services in the area include physical therapy and a hotel with a spa.
Schofield Barracks is also located in Honolulu. It was built in 1908 to defend Pearl Harbor and the rest of the island. Wheeler Army Air Field, which is now part of the Barracks, was one of the chief targets of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. During a lull in the attack, some pilots did get to launch and fight the attackers, taking some of them down in the process.
Since 1941, Schofield has housed the 25th Infantry Division which is also known as the Tropic Lightening Division. It is also the Command Headquarters for the United States Army Hawaii. The training area, which is called Area X, includes training in aerial assault maneuvers. As of 2010, over 16,000 people live there.
Schofield Barracks does have housing both on and off the base — but the waiting list can be as long as 14 months, depending on the soldier’s rank, the time of year, and the desired number of bedrooms. The base has its own post office and hospital. The Education Center helps people prepare for colleges and offers college entry exams like SAT, GRE, and ACT. It also helps people apply for financial aid and it offers classes in languages and mathematics.