The brand new National Museum of the United States Army is scheduled to open sometime later this summer. The museum will educate visitors about the foundation and history of America’s oldest military branch, and will offer state-of-the-art exhibits perfect for student groups of all ages.
Only 30 minutes from the U.S. Capitol and less than 15 minutes from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the museum is located at Fort Belvoir, VA. According to the Army Historical Foundation (AHF) website, “the main building will be approximately 185,000 square feet and display selections from the Army Art Collection, artifacts, documents, and images.” The museum will be a celebration of 240 years of Army history, including the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.
The museum will feature several exhibits in three main galleries - Soldier Stories, Fighting for the Nation, and Army and Society. According to the Army Historical Foundation, “the Fighting for the Nation Galleries will be broken down into six galleries that cover a different period in the Army’s history starting with the Revolutionary War and ending with the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The exhibits are appropriate for all ages, but the Experiential Learning Center was created specifically for school age children and teenagers. Younger students (8 and younger) can visit Fort Discover where they can climb the Army Tower, use radio sets, and play interactive games at various places around the play area. The Training Center is geared towards older students, and is equipped with various learning stations and simulators that focus on geography, science, technology, engineering and math. There will also be a Learning Lab where student groups can work together to respond to a simulated crisis.
While the museum itself will be massive, the outside land of the museum campus will be used for live reenactments and educational programs throughout the year.
The museum will be open daily 9-5 and tickets will be free, but you will have to reserve them ahead of time online. All visitors will be screened through metal detectors prior to entry, and the museum encourages visitors to leave their bags on the bus when possible. Boxed lunches are available for purchase at the Museum Cafe.
Interested in putting the National Museum of the U.S. Army into your future trip itinerary? Contact us here!
If you have a group that wants to focus on military history, check out the National Marine Corp Museum in Quantico, VA as well (just an hour from Washington, D.C.).