THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY CELEBRATES OVER 245 YEARS OF ARMY HISTORY AND HONORS OUR NATION’S SOLDIERS—PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE—THE REGULAR ARMY, THE ARMY RESERVE AND THE ARMY NATIONAL GUARD.
In 1814, with the War of Independence still fresh in the minds of Americans and the War of 1812 still being waged, Congress enacted legislation directing the Secretary of War, the precursor of today’s Secretary of Defense, to gather symbols of combat from the young nation’s military struggles. The British invasion of Washington, and the subsequent burning of the White House and many other federal buildings would occur just four months later. Such was the start, some 200 years ago of what is now the National Museum of the United States Army.
As the Army’s national landmark, the National Army Museum is an enduring effort to tell the Army’s story and honor the accomplishments, sacrifices and commitment of American Soldiers.
The Museum is the first comprehensive and truly national museum to capture, display and interpret over 245 years of Army history. The Museum brings to life that history in times of war and peace as told through the eyes of Soldiers.
The Museum also offers educational experiences illustrating the Army’s role in building and defending our nation, humanitarian missions and technological and medical breakthroughs built on Army ingenuity.
The construction and maintenance of a national museum of this scale was and is a massive undertaking. The Museum is a joint effort between the U.S. Army and the nonprofit The Army Historical Foundation. The U.S. Army designated the Army Historical Foundation as the official fundraiser to support the building’s construction on federal land—an 84-acre site at Fort Belvoir, Va.