Special Report

The Oldest Military Bases in the United States

Photo by Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Dozens of military bases and installations throughout the country are rich with history, dating back more than a century. Many American bases predate the Civil War. Others, amazingly, are almost as old as the country itself. Over the years, some of these very old bases have grown to be truly massive, covering tens of thousands of acres. Here is a look at America’s largest military bases.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed and independently verified the history of active military installations listed on MilitaryBases.com to identify America’s oldest military bases. Bases were ranked by the year in which they opened. The number of active duty service men and women assigned to each base came from the 2017 Demographics Report, compiled by Defense Department contractor Military OneSource. Installations outside the 50 states were not considered. 

The majority of active military bases in the United States were built in the first half of the 20th century, before and during World War I and World War II. All of the bases on this list were established in either the 18th or 19th centuries. Almost all are used by either the Army or the Navy, and the two bases on this list now used by the Air Force — the newest service branch — were initially built as Army installations. Most of these bases are located in older states, east of the Mississippi River.

Many of the cities and towns that are host to the historic bases on this list have been shaped, in part, by the men and women in uniform who have been stationed there over the decades and centuries. Here is a look at America’s military cities.

Click here to see America’s oldest military bases

28. Offutt Air Force Base
> Year opened: 1891
> Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
> Total active duty personnel: 6,120

[in-text-ad]

27. Naval Station Newport
> Year opened: 1883
> Location: Newport, Rhode Island
> Total active duty personnel: 2,920

26. Picatinny Arsenal Army Base
> Year opened: 1880
> Location: Morris County, New Jersey
> Total active duty personnel: 124

25. Fort Huachuca Army Base
> Year opened: 1877
> Location: Cochise, Arizona
> Total active duty personnel: 4,018

[in-text-ad-2]

24. Fort Sam Houston Army Base
> Year opened: 1876
> Location: San Antonio, Texas
> Total active duty personnel: 10,735

23. Fort Sill Army Base
> Year opened: 1869
> Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
> Total active duty personnel: 11,739

[in-text-ad]

22. Naval Submarine Base New London
> Year opened: 1868
> Location: Groton, Connecticut
> Total active duty personnel: 6,249

21. Francis E Warren Air Force Base
> Year opened: 1867
> Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
> Total active duty personnel: 3,075

20. Fort Myer Army Base
> Year opened: 1863
> Location: Arlington, Virginia
> Total active duty personnel: 2,090

[in-text-ad-2]

19. Rock Island Arsenal Army Base
> Year opened: 1862
> Location: Arsenal Island, Illinois
> Total active duty personnel: 361

18. MCRD Parris Island Marine Corps Base
> Year opened: 1861
> Location: Port Royal, South Carolina
> Total active duty personnel: 7,063

[in-text-ad]

17. Fort Riley Army Base
> Year opened: 1853
> Location: Riley, Kansas
> Total active duty personnel: 15,651

16. Point Loma Navy Base
> Year opened: 1852
> Location: San Diego, California
> Total active duty personnel: N/A

15. Yuma Proving Ground Army Base
> Year opened: 1850
> Location: Yuma County, Arizona
> Total active duty personnel: 145

[in-text-ad-2]

14. Fort Bliss Army Base
> Year opened: 1849
> Location: El Paso, Texas
> Total active duty personnel: 25,291

13. Presidio Of Monterey Army Base
> Year opened: 1846
> Location: Monterey, California
> Total active duty personnel: 3,485

[in-text-ad]

12. Naval Academy Navy Base
> Year opened: 1845
> Location: Annapolis, Maryland
> Total active duty personnel: 1,282

11. Fort Hamilton Army Base
> Year opened: 1831
> Location: Brooklyn, New York
> Total active duty personnel: 184

10. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
> Year opened: 1830
> Location: Portsmouth, Virginia
> Total active duty personnel: 2,646

[in-text-ad-2]

9. Fort Leavenworth Army Base
> Year opened: 1827
> Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
> Total active duty personnel: 3,435

8. Naval Hospital Pensacola
> Year opened: 1826
> Location: Pensacola, Florida
> Total active duty personnel: 798

[in-text-ad]

7. Pensacola Naval Air Station
> Year opened: 1826
> Location: Pensacola, Florida
> Total active duty personnel: 7,189

6. Key West Naval Air Station
> Year opened: 1823
> Location: Key West, Florida
> Total active duty personnel: 770

5. Watervliet Arsenal Army Base
> Year opened: 1813
> Location: Watervliet, New York
> Total active duty personnel: 119

[in-text-ad-2]

4. Portsmouth Shipyard Navy Base
> Year opened: 1800
> Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
> Total active duty personnel: 1,075

3. Norfolk Naval Shipyard Navy Base
> Year opened: 1794
> Location: Portsmouth, Virginia
> Total active duty personnel: 105

[in-text-ad]

2. US Military Academy Army Base West Point
> Year opened: 1790
> Location: West Point, New York
> Total active duty personnel: 1,518

1. Carlisle Barracks Army Base
> Year opened: 1776
> Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
> Total active duty personnel: 515

No Commission Fees, No Minimums, No Velvet Ropes. (Sponsored)

Robinhood revolutionized commission free investing, and it continues to do so today. With a few simple taps you can trade stocks like Nvidia and Amazon, market beating mutual funds, and trade options with Robinhood Financial. FDIC insurance coverage is just another benefit.

And, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) with Robinhood Crypto.

Sign up today using the link below or click here to start your journey.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.