Created as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure in 2005, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall has been a prominent place in the history of the United States. The base is commanded by the U.S. Army and is located in Virginia. Fort Myer is a base composed of Fort Myer, Fort McNair and Henderson Hall.
Aside from Joint Base Myer-Henderson, other joint bases under the base realignments and Closure 2005 of the Department of Defense Joint Basing Program are Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst-Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Joint Base San Antonio, Joint Base Charleston, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and Joint Region Marianas.
Fort Myer started as a military post back in the time of the civil war. Back then, Fort Myer has been one of most important Signal Corps post in the United States which is a showcase for Army cavalry and the site of the first flight of a military installation aircraft. Fort Myer is also the first military air fatality.
The original land of Fort Myer, owned by Mary Anna Randolph, was confiscated by the U.S. government for military purposes. When Mary Anna Randolph and husband Robert Lee, a young Army lieutenant were unable to pay the property taxes that they should be paying in person, the government took over. Part of the property was made the Arlington National Cemetery while the other part became Fort Whipple, which was named after Major General Amiel Weeks Whipple. He is one of the division commanders of Fort Cass and fought in the Civil War battles in Virginia.
Fort Whipple was one of the stronger fornications that are built to defend the Union capital found across the Potomac River. The units stationed in the Fort are living in tents and temporary frame structures. In 1866, Fort Whipple was commanded Brig. General Albert J. Myer as the Armys first chief signal officer. He held the post until 1880 when he died. After the death of Myer, the Fort was named after him the following year. The reason was mainly for his honor but secondary reasons pointed in eliminating confusion that is created by the existence of another Fort named Whipple in Arizona.
Through the years, Fort Myer became the nations cavalry showplace. Communications started moving out while cavalrymen started moving in. 1,500 horses were stabled inside the Fort from 1887 to 1949. The Army horsemanship also became an important part of Washingtons official and social life. Some of the buildings and structures inside Fort Myer were designated as historic landmarks of the United States Department of the Interior as well as the state of Virginia.
During World War II, defensive troops were station inside Fort Myer. It served as their processing station for the soldiers who are entering and leaving the Army. The U.S. Armys oldest infantry unit , which is the 3rd U.S. Infantry or The Old Guard, reactivated in 1948 was assigned to Forts Myer and Lesley J. McNair in Washington. It then became the official ceremonial unit of the Army and security force in the metropolitan area of Washington.
Meanwhile, Henderson Hall was situated on the Southgate Road on the southern border of the Arlington National Cemetery, found next door to Fort Myer. Henderson Hall was built on land that was acquired through deeds and other actions, it then became an official U.S. government property in 1954 when the Virginian governor executed the Deed of Cession of Political Jurisdiction.
During World War II, a Headquarters and a Service Company for the Marin Corps expansion was organized in Henderson Hall. This is made possible with the moving of the Headquarters Marine Corps to the Navy Annex in 1941. The Henderson Hall barracks was made available for billeting of male Marines when a substantial number of female Marines were released from their active duty.
It owes its name to Colonel Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson. The term brevet means an honorable promotion for Henderson. He participated in engagements with the British warships in 1815 and he received a silver medal for it, including one of thanksgiving from the Congress to the men and officers from the USS constitution who have given their gallant service. A jeweled sword was also presented by the state of Virginia to Henderson for his service and duty to different posts and stations. Henderson Hall was successful in its expansion and development from the small fighting force to the well organized and more formidable arm of U.S. military forces.
By 2009, the Fort Myer community and the Marine Corps Facility of Henderson Hall were consolidated into one single facility named Joint Base Myer-Henderson.
Mission of Fort Myer (Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall)
The mission of the Joint Base Myer-Henderson is to provide military members with installation services and support that they need. These services and support is not just limited to the military members but to their families as well. Civilians and retirees along with their families are also aimed to be given the quality of life that they deserve after they have served the nation with all their own lives.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson also provides Base support to MDW/JFHQ-NCR in order to facilitate the deployment of forces for the Homeland Defense and the Defense Support of Civil Authorities in the NCR. They are also focusing on different services like Army Career and Alumni Program, Army community service, casualty affairs service, dental clinic, education and training services, military personnel division and retiree services.
Facts and figures
Currently, Fort Myer is serving more than 150,000 units in the region of Virginia that is made up of military members who are active, inactive and retired. Pentagon, Fort McNair and Crystal City is also found with Fort Myer. Meanwhile, Henderson Hall has a total land area of 22.3 acres. The facilities that can be found inside it date back to World War II as well as the move of the Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps to the Navy Annex building.