Camp Lee—the installation would not become "Fort Lee" until the 1950s—was first established as a recruit training facility in the summer of 1917, just weeks after the United States entered the World War I (1914–1918). The area chosen for the camp was already steeped in history, with key battles from the Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and the American Civil War (1861–1865) having taken place nearby. Commanders named the new post "Camp Lee" after the Confederate general and native Virginian Robert E. Lee.
In October 1940, as the United States remobilized for action in World War II (1939–1945), the Army reopened the camp. Utilizing the same grounds and many of the same buildings, Camp Lee served as the home of the Quartermaster Replacement Training Center, preparing soldiers for key support specializations such as supply, fuel, food, mortuary affairs, and laundry services. The center trained more than 300,000 officers and enlisted soldiers for service in both the European and the Pacific theaters. From 1948 until 1954, the facility expanded to include a new center for the Women's Army Corps (WAC), even though the Army gave serious consideration to closing the installation permanently.
Fort Lee came under the control of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at the conclusion of the Vietnam War (1961–1973). During the next two decades, Fort Lee's schools and programs continued to develop logistical doctrine and training as well as to send troops to participate in Operation Desert Shield (1991).
Today, Fort Lee maintains its mission as the intellectual center of the U.S. Army's combat service support. It is home to the Army Logistics Management College, Defense Commissary Agency, Quartermaster Corps Historian, the U.S. Army Women's Museum, and U.S. Army Quartermaster Museum. The installation continues to train 25,000 quartermasters every year to meet the Army's logistical missions.
1917 - Fort Lee, known until the 1950s as "Camp Lee," is established as a recruit training facility in the weeks after the United States enters the World War I (1914–1918). Commanders name the new post after the Confederate general and native Virginian Robert E. Lee.
October 1940 - As the United States mobilizes for action in World War II, the Army reopens Fort Lee near Petersburg.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Wineman, B. A. Fort Lee. (2010, November 23). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Fort_Lee.
- MLA Citation:
Wineman, Bradford A. "Fort Lee." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 23 Nov. 2010. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: November 19, 2008 | Last modified: November 23, 2010