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Old 12-13-2009, 11:28 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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What is the oldest active United States military base?

I live near the Carlisle Barracks, which prides itself on bring the second-oldest active military base. So what's the first?
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:42 AM
Neptunian Slug Neptunian Slug is offline
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West Point - Established in 1779.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:14 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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I thought of that, but Carlisle's claim goes back further than that. I suppose that the official date of establishment could be later than that, though.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:38 PM
IAmNotSpartacus IAmNotSpartacus is offline
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It's West Point. Carlisle was not an active military base in 1879, when control of it passed to the Interior Department. I believe control was given back to the Army in 1918. Cite: http://carlislebarracks.carlisle.arm...ut/history.cfm
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:45 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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If that's the case, then that casts doubt upon their claim as the second-oldest, doesn't it?
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:46 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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I was going to see if the Presidio of Monterey in California might count (founded in 1770 as El Presidio Real de San Carlos de Monterey by the Spanish), but as I recall, it hasn't been in continuous service over the centuries.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:52 PM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
If that's the case, then that casts doubt upon their claim as the second-oldest, doesn't it?
Bear in mind that something like three different places consider themselves the birthplace of the US Navy, including a town on the Great Lakes. IIRC, the US Marines claim their origins to the Continental Marines in 1775, even though the US Marine Corps didn't itself exist until the late 1790's, around ten years after the Continental Marines were disbanded. Historical tradition is funny that way.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:32 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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I can't see any realistic sense in which West Point is older than Carlisle. West Point wasn't occupied by the Continental Army until 1778, and not fortified until 1779. Carlisle was officially declared an ordnance center in 1776, home to the artillery school in 1777. (While it had been a British base since 1757, I don't think that counts.) Thomas Jefferson bought the land in 1801, but surely that's not the touchstone, is it? Because Jefferson also enacted the academy at West Point in 1802, and Fort McNair in DC counts itself third, dating from 1791.

Nevertheless, West Point does claim to be the "oldest continuously occupied military post in America." Maybe there were gaps in occupation for Carlisle and McNair. Maybe it's just The Army Way: West Point is oldest, because it is.

EDIT:
Well, I didn't see the bit about the transfer of Carlisle -- but in that case, they're not even second oldest by a long shot.

And The SF Presidio isn't a military base, it's a park.

Last edited by Nametag; 12-13-2009 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:39 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Never mind, Presidio Monterey, not SF. Nonetheless, the US Army doesn't count Spain or Mexico in its antecedents.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:50 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Ft. Lauderdale in Florida is the oldest military base in the contiguous US that is still active. And it is still manned by its original soldiers. Yuck, yuck. (Just kidding about the whole thing.)
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