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Fort Sam Houston

Fort Sam Houston (U.S.National Historic Landmark) Clock tower built in 1870 inside the Quadrangle on Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Location: San Antonio, TexasBuilt/Founded: 1876 Added to NRHP: May 15, 1975NRHP Reference#: 75001950 [1]Governing body: United States Army

Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas. [2] Known colloquially as "Fort Sam", it is named for the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston. Its approximate location is 29°26'56.69"N 98°26'56.04"W .

The installation's missions include being the command headquarters for the Fifth U.S. Army (which became U.S. Army North as of October 2006), United States Army South, the Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) headquarters, the AMEDD Center and School, the Fifth Recruiting Brigade, 12th ROTC Brigade, U.S. Navy Regional Recruiting, the San Antonio Military Entrance and Processing Station, and the U.S. Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda Detachment.


Military medicine

Fort Sam Houston is known as the "Home of Army Medicine" and "Home of the Combat Medic". At the end of the Second World War, the Army decided to make Fort Sam Houston the principal medical training facility. [3] In conjunction with this decision, came the determination to develop Brooke General Hospital into one of the Army's premier medical centers.[3] As of 2007, Fort Sam Houston is the largest and most important military medical training facility in the world. [2][3] [4]

Known as the brain trust for the Army Medical Department (AMEDD), the Army Medical Department Center and School annually trains more than 25,000 students attending 170 officer, NCO and enlisted courses in 14 medical specialties. The command maintains several academic affiliations for bachelor and masters degree programs with major universities such as Baylor University, University of Texas Health Science Centers at Houston and San Antonio, and University of Nebraska.

Also located at Fort Sam Houston are Brooke Army Medical Center, the Great Plains Regional Medical Command, Headquarters Dental Command, Headquarters Veterinary Command, the Institute for Surgical Research (trauma/burn center), the Defense Medical Readiness Training Institute, and the Army Medical Department NCO Academy.

Historic buildings

Construction at Fort Sam Houston began in the middle 1870s under the supervision of the military commander of the Department of Texas, Maj. Gen. Edward Ord, a West Point-trained army engineer. Today, as one of the Army's oldest installations, and with more than 900 buildings in its historic districts, Fort Sam Houston boasts one of the largest collection of historic military post structures. The significant contributions of Fort Sam Houston to the United States were recognized in 1975 when the post was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle is the oldest structure at Fort Sam Houston. It was originally a supply depot, and during that time, it also housed Geronimo and those Apaches captured with him while the Federal government decided whether they were prisoners of war or common criminals. Legend has it that the deer in the Quadrangle were there because Geronimo refused to eat food he did not hunt. In truth, the deer pre-date Geronimo in the Quadrangle, he ate the same rations as the soldiers, and no one really knows why the deer are there. The Quadrangle is now an office complex housing the commanding general and staff of U.S. Army North.

Even more consequential than the number of buildings is the historical integrity of the post's different sections, which represent different eras of construction, and reflect Army concepts in planning and design. Careful preservation of these areas allows the post to live with its history, surrounded by the traditions established when the first soldier arrived here in 1845.

Notable postings

Several famous figures have served at the fort. Maj. Gen. John Wilson Ruckman, Commander of the Southern Department, was based at Fort Sam just after the infamous Houston Riot of 1917. Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell was posted there after being demoted to Colonel for disobeying orders. Dwight D. Eisenhower was posted to Fort Sam Houston twice during his career. During Eisenhower's first post, from 1915 to 1917, he met and married Mamie Dowd, and was again posted at the fort when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred in 1941.

Community connections

Throughout its existence, a close and harmonious relationship has prevailed between Fort Sam Houston and the City of San Antonio. The two have grown and matured together. The city often has been called the "mother-in-law of the Army" because so many soldiers including Dwight D. Eisenhower, met their future spouses here.

More than 27,000 military and civilian personnel work at the post, with an annual payroll and operating budget of $1.9 billion. Local purchases made by installation activities total almost $105 million annually. Funding for construction projects on post average $30 million annually. Fort Sam Houston has also initiated public–private partnerships to renovate and adaptively reuse significant historic buildings.

In June 2006, the San Antonio Express-News reported that Fort Sam Houston received utility disconnection notices due to budget constraints.[5]

See also


  1. ^ National Register Information System. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service (2007-01-23).
  2. ^ a b "Fort Sam Houston, TX • About Fort Sam Houston" (overview), US Army, 2007, webpage: SH-Army.
  3. ^ a b c "Visit Fort Sam Houston" (description),, 2007, webpage: VisitMil-163.
  4. ^ "Installation Fact Sheet" (Fort Sam Houston), 2007, PDF webpage: MilCityUSA-FortSH-PDF: states: "Fort Sam Houston is the largest and most important military medical training facility in the world."
  5. ^ Christenson, Sig. "CPS hits Fort Sam with 1,300 cutoff notices for unpaid bills", San Antonio Express-News, 2006-06-15. Retrieved on 2007-08-09

External links

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Coordinates: 29°26′56.69″N 98°26′56.04″W / 29.4490806, -98.4489

v • d • eU.S. National Register of Historic PlacesKeeper of the Register · History of the National Register of Historic Places · Property types · Historic district · Contributing propertyList of entries
National Park Service · National Historic Landmarks · National Battlefields · National Historic Sites · National Historical Parks · National Memorials · National Monuments Categories: United States Army medical facilities | National Historic Landmarks in Texas | Military in San Antonio, Texas | United States Army posts | Military medicine | Military in Texas | 1876 architecture

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