Camp Gordon was named for Confederate Lieutenant General John Brown Gordon. The camp was activated for infantry and armor training during World War II. During that time, its 55,000 acres served as a divisional training base for the 4th and 26th Infantry Divisions and the 10th Armored Division that fought in Europe in General George S. Patton’s Third Army. The inactivated 10th Armored Division still calls Fort Gordon home. After World War II, more than 85,000 officers and enlisted personnel were discharged from Camp Gordon’s Army Personnel Center. Other facilities included a U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and, beginning in 1943, a prisoner of war camp for German and Italian World War II captives.
The camp was nearly deserted after June 1948. The camp became a “virtual ghost city”, the command historian office writes, as the post hospital, separation center, the disciplinary barracks and other facilities were closed.
With a looming communist threat in Korea, the camp increased military activity and were once again training soldiers for combat.
Later, in the 1970’s the army went through several more reorganizations. The Military Police School moved to Fort McClellan, Alabama, and in 1974 all army signal- school training was consolidated to Fort Gordon, making it the largest military telecommunications center in the world.
As America is facing a new type of enemy, the war on terror has Fort Gordon soldiers playing a part from Afghanistan to Iraq. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, Fort Gordon is taking a lead role in developing the “new digitized battlefield”, allowing commanders and troops to communicate instantly and effectively on the battlefield.
In 2007, Fort Gordon began construction on a new headquarters for NSS/CSA Georgia, making military intelligence a part of the posts’ critical missions. Operated by The National Security Agency and The Department of Defense, its specific operations are kept secret. Its overall general mission is to have service members and intelligence personnel training others and listening to terrorist chatter.
Information provided by Fort Gordon
The following facts and figures were recently released by The CSRA Alliance regarding Fort Gordon’s impact on the local Community. (April 1, 2010)
- Fort Gordon remains the CSRA’s largest employer with over 24,000 military, civilian and contractor employees, a growth of over 6,000 since 2002. Using a conservative Dept of Commerce multiplier of 2:1 this equates to 48,000 community jobs as a result of Fort Gordon.
- About 800-1200 service members separate from the military at Fort Gordon each year. These are primarily highly skilled information technology or medical professionals. Surveys show about half plan to or would like to remain in Augusta area if there were jobs available.
- There is over $450M worth of construction currently on-going or programmed for this year.
- Ft Gordon has contracts with 26 area hotels to provide lodging for students and others on official travel, with an average daily usage of over 170 rooms.
- The Fort Gordon Retirement Services area of responsibility includes 30 Georgia counties and 10 South Carolina counties, within which there are over 51,000 military retirees and family members.
- There are over 73,000 vehicles registered on Ft Gordon. Per Edmunds.com and area auto dealers, the average driver buys a different vehicle every 5-6 yrs, thus about 13,000 vehicles are sold annually to people affiliated with Ft Gordon. Consider 2nd order affects of repairs, car washes, oil changes, tires, etc.
- Over $150M in health care was purchased from area medical facilities in FY2009. This includes TRICARE in/outpatient care at area civilian facilities, specialty care/referrals for treatment not available at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, and contracted care at civilian facilities such as all obstetric care for military being provided by Trinity Hospital and the Medical College of Georgia.
- Area school districts receive over $1.2M annually in impact aid, which is funding provided by the Department of Education to compensate for federal employees who do not pay property or GA state taxes because they live in government housing or are out-of-state residents.
- DoD has reinstituted the adopt-a-school program permitting military units to establish partnerships with area schools. These partnerships permit service members to assist students as big brothers/sisters, tutors, coaches, etc. Thus far, 2 schools in Richmond County and 2 in Columbia County have unit sponsors through this newly reinstituted program.
- Fort Gordon is the CSRA’s largest contributor to the Combined Federal Campaign, collecting over $472,000 for CFC in 2009.
- The US Army Signal Corps Band provides over 300 performances annually in parades, ceremonies, receptions, schools, nursing homes, museums, funerals, and other area activities.
- Fort Gordon service members, civilians and family members volunteer over 5000 man hours annually in area schools, nursing homes, food banks, and for other community activities and events.
- Fort Gordon facilities are used for community activities such as the Soap Box Derby, Special Olympics, Motorcycle Safety Course, and ROTC/JROTC training. The 27-hole Gordon Lakes Golf Course, Ft Gordon Bowling Center, Riding Stables, Dinner Theater, Gordon Club, and the Sportsman’s Complex with skeet, trap, archery, and firearms ranges are all open to the public.
- Ft Gordon is home to the GA National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy which is a program for high school dropouts, offering a chance to complete their GED and gain experience as responsible adults. Each session is 5 months long and graduates over 200 students.
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