With a history older than the nation itself, Virginia’s role in America’s military background is a long and celebrated one, with origins dating back to the settling of Jamestown.
The state’s military presence is also diversified, with more than twenty installations representing the Army, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps and the Navy.
Founded in 1918, Fort Eustis is situated along the James River near Newport News and serves as home to both the Army Transportation Corps as well as the Army Aviation Logistics School. Fort Eustis, along with its neighboring partner, Fort Story, is a vital component of the Army’s educational and training program in which officers and enlistees are given on-the-job training in the fields of aviation maintenance, logistical training associated with all modes of transportation, as well as education in the deployment of the Army’s doctrine. Also located in Fort Eustis is the U.S. Army Transportation Museum.
Named for the legendary Civil War General (and native Virginian) Robert E. Lee, Fort Lee is located in the Tri-cities area of the Greater Richmond region. Founded immediately following the U.S.’s entry into World War I in 1918, Fort Lee serves as headquarters for several U.S. Army departments, including CASCOM (Combined Arms Support Command), the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, the U.S. Army Ordnance and Transportation Schools, and the ALU (Army Logistics University). In addition, Fort Lee’s 8.4 square miles serves as host to three museums, the Army Ordnance, the Quartermaster and the U.S. Army Women’s Museum.
Steeped in history, Fort Myer is situated next to Arlington National Cemetery just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capitol. Its origin dates back to the Civil War and in 1881 was named in honor of Brigadier General Albert J. Myer. Long a showcase for the U.S. Cavalry, the installation has also served as headquarters for the Army’s elite ceremonial units, including the world-renowned U.S. Army Band. The National Weather Service, founded by General Myer in 1870, also calls Fort Myer home. An historic “first” occurred in 1908 when Orville Wright gave several exhibitions at Fort Myer, becoming the first flight at a military installation by an aircraft. The installation is also notable for being home to General George S. Patton who served as Post Commander prior to World War II.
With over 50,000 employees, Fort Belvoir is Virginia’s largest military installation, and is located in northern Virginia’s Fairfax County, and serves as headquarters to numerous U.S. military departments and their associated agencies. Founded during World War 1, Fort Belvoir was named for the Fairfax family mansion that once flourished on the grounds. Besides representing several U.S. Army command departments, Fort Belvoir also serves as headquarters to various Defense Department agencies, notably in the fields of intelligence, logistics, readiness and data research.
Also located in the Richmond-Petersburg region is Fort A.P. Hill, a multi-purpose installation that serves as a training facility for all branches of the military. Founded in 1941 and named for Confederate General A.P. Hill, the installation trains advanced techniques to both active and reserve military personnel from not only U.S. forces, but also for its allies. The facility also serves to host and train government agency employees including the Departments of the Interior and State, and the U.S. Custom Service. For more than three decades, Fort A.P. Hill also served as host to the annual Boy Scouts Jamboree.