Fort Sam Houston is another US Army Installation located in San Antonio, Texas. Sam Houston is the First President of the Republic of Texas, and the base was named after him. One of the main missions of the military installation is to provide support for the US Army North, the US Army South, and the Army Medical Command.
Fort Sam also houses the Army Medical Department, the Fifth Recruiting Brigade, Navy Regional Recruiting, and the Medical Education and Training Campus. In October of 2010, Fort Sam Houston partnered with the Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base to establish the Joint Base San Antonio, which is under the administration of the Air Force.
History of Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston finds its roots way back in 1845 when it was established in the Alamo city. The Army also established garrisons and headquarters in the Alamo, where they occupied rented buildings and kept their Quartermasters Supply Depot.
When the Civil War ended, the Army then moved out of the Alamo city and into the donated piece of land by the city of San Antonio. In 1876, the Army began the construction of the Quadrangle, and finally in 1877, the Quartermasters Supply Depot was removed to the same place.
The garrison at Alamo moved in to the land donated by the city of San Antonio, and were content with the tents erected to the West of the Quad in 1879. The expansion of the military post in San Antonio continued through the 1880s, and finally, in 1890, the post was formally named Fort Sam Houston. The post again saw expansion in 1905, bringing in the Cavalry and Light Artillery posts.
The buildings inside Fort Sam Houston, around 800 of them, make up most of the very first and historic collection of buildings of the Department of Defense. They are largely preserved, and together, these form the Fort Sam Houston National Historic Landmark.
Fort Sam Houston is credited as being the birthplace of aviation dream of the US Military. In fact, it was here in that the first airborne operations were conceived and the first military aircraft were flown. Aside from this turning point in military history, the post is also credited for being the Home of Military Medicine, thanks to the establishment of the Medial Education and Training Campus after World War II.
However, even before World War II, the post was already nicknamed the Home of Army Medicine, because it was here that health care professionals in the army studies and practiced their profession. The base was also a source of field medics, who were invaluable to the troops during the two World Wars.
Fort Sam Houston Today
The 502d Mission Support Group has very simple goals, and these are to maintain and train quality work force; to provide support for worldwide contingencies; and finally, to be able to sustain a good quality training, working, and living environment.
Keeping it plain and simple makes the mission broader in scope. For example, the living environment in the mission statement did not specify whether this is an environment locally, or worldwide. Also, providing support for worldwide contingencies also enjoys a broad focus, as there are many kinds of contingencies around the world involved in various conflicts and humanitarian missions.
The clearest mission statement is also the first, which is to train and maintain a quality work force. Take note that the Group uses the term work force instead of soldiers. The reason for this is that the base does not only train soldiers; it also trains professional health care providers, who are sent out the world over to support various campaigns and missions that require medical support.
Today, when one speaks of the Fort Sam Houston, one is always reminded of the Medical nature of the military base, a thought which is further bolstered by the establishment of the Medical Education and Training Campus in 2010. This is considered as another brave foray of the US Army into Medical Science. The mission of the Campus is to provide a pool of healthcare professionals to US troops here and abroad, and to be of assistance to other nations in need of aid, especially during natural disasters.
Fort Sam Houston Services
The post has a range of services that are family-oriented and designed for relatives of the soldiers residing in the Fort Sam Houston. Some of the Services include:
- Morale Welfare Recreation
- Education and Training Services
- Community Support Services
- Medical Services
- Retiree Services
These are just some of the basic yet efficient services provided by the post for its soldiers, employees, and family members.
Interesting Facts and Figures
The Fort Sam Houston Museum keeps some of the most interesting War Artifacts dating back from the First World War, and items from the Second World War. The Museum is open 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Sunday.
Fort Sam Houston is one of the few Military Posts in the US to host BOTH the Army and the Air Force. This is possible through the Joint Base San Antonio.
Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, was one of the notable figures who were posted to Fort Sam Houston. It was here where he met his wife, Mamie Dowd.
Fort Sam Houston is popular for the careful preservation of all its areas since the first arrival of troops here in 1845. It is for this reason that the post was recognized as one of the very few National Historic Landmarks granted a military post.
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission or BRAC assigned all military medical training and education be consolidated at Fort Sam Houston. One of the reasons it was granted this mission is that it was already known as the Home of Army Medicine during World War II.
Fort Sam Houston is now the largest and the most significant and important Military Medical Training Installation and Facility in the world. All Military medical education, training, and preparation are done in Fort Sam Houston.