From Saddles to Cyberspace: A century of innovation and security

MAST FROM THE PAST: This is the masthead from the Camp Meade Bulletin, a weekly newspaper at what was then Camp Meade, and its publication date of Aug. 4, 1926. (Courtesy Fort Meade Museum)

Our military installations all have a distinct history of service to nation. Fort Meade is no exception.

The people who have and are serving at this unique post have carved a deep-seated place in the military and community history for Maryland and the United States.

This year provides an opportunity to remember and recognize the significant contributions to the United States military that have come from the personal and professional endeavors of people who lived, worked and played at this illustrious Army post.

SoundOff! will look back and capture again the beginnings and progress of Fort Meade. This look back will also afford the opportunity to look ahead at the bright and evolving future of the “Nation’s Center for Information, Intelligence and Cyber Operations.”

Fort Meade 2017

Fort Meade’s current primary mission is to provide a wide range of services, including the required infrastructure to ensure a safe and secure environment to more than 119 partner organizations from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, as well as numerous federal agencies including U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Defense Media Activity, Defense Information Systems Agency and the Defense Courier Service.

Fort Meade is conveniently located 15 minutes from downtown Baltimore and 30 minutes from Washington, D.C.

The installation lies approximately five miles east of Interstate 95 and one-half mile east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, between Maryland State Routes 175, 32 and 198.

Fort Meade is located near the communities of Odenton, Laurel, Columbia and Jessup, and is home to more than 56,000 military and civilian employees.

In addition, more than 11,000 service members and their family members reside on post. Fort Meade is Maryland’s largest employer and has the third largest workforce of any Army installation in the U.S.

Named For Civil War Hero

Originally called Camp Meade, the base was authorized by an Act of Congress in May 1917 as one of 16 cantonments built for troops drafted for World War 1.

Camp Meade was named in honor of Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, whose victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 proved a major factor in turning the tide of the Civil War in favor of the North.

The 5,400 acres of land on which Fort Meade sits was originally owned by Maj. Samuel Snowden, a Revolutionary War hero.

The present Maryland site was selected June 23, 1917 because of its close proximity to three railroads, Baltimore’s ports and Washington, D.C.

The cost for construction was $18 million, and the land sold for $37 per acre in 1917.

More than 15,000 men were involved in the construction of 1,200 wooden buildings that housed more than 400,000 men who deployed through the camp on their way to France.

In addition to troops, Camp Meade included a remount station, which held 12,000 horses, mules and a blacksmith school.

By the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office

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