Fort Myer Base Guide

Fort Myer Partners

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall
The Fort Myer Military Community at Fort Myer and Henderson Hall will soon merge as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision to pool installation resources and gain efficiencies as a joint military operation. Fort Myer and Henderson Hall staff are already working together to coordinate the level of support offered to all military personnel, and in January 2009, the two installations will bedesignated as Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall.

Henderson Hall is adjacent to Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. The 14-acre facility provides barracks and support for Marines assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps.

Henderson Hall is situated on Southgate Road on the southern border of Arlington National Cemetery. The Pentagon is a short distance to the east with the Navy Annex just to the south.

Henderson Hall is built on land acquired through deeds and other actions between 1943 and 1952. The site officially became U.S. government propertyFeb. 15, 1954, when the governor of Virginia executed a deed of cession of political jurisdiction to the United States.

With the move of Headquarters Marine Corps to the Navy Annex in November 1941 and Marine Corps expansion following the outbreak of World War II, a Headquarters and Service Company was organized at Henderson Hall March 1, 1942.

3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard)
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) is the oldest infantry unit in the active Army,predating the Constitution of the United States to 1784. Since 1948, The Old Guard has been stationed in the Washington, D.C., area at Forts Myer and McNair.

As a Military District of Washington unit, the 3rd U.S. Infantry is charged with the unique mission of providing security for the nation’s capital, serving as the U.S. Army’s official ceremonial unit andperforming tactical infantry missions.

The unit received its name from Gen. Winfield Scott at the victory parade in Mexico City in 1848following the Mexican War. As the 3rd Infantry approached the reviewing stand, Scott removed his hat and said of the unit that had so distinguished itself in that campaign, ‘‘Gentlemen, take off your hats to The Old Guard of the Army.”

The distinctive dress blue uniforms are a familiar sight to many Americans since the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates in ceremonies at the White House, the Pentagon, national memorials and elsewhere throughout the National Capital Region. Additionally, elements of the unit are regularly on the road,bringing the unit’s brilliant military pageantry toaudiences throughout the nation.

Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry also maintain a faithful 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. They provide casket teams, firing parties and marching platoons forfunerals in the cemetery and participate in parades and festivals throughout the United States.

The Old Guard maintains a constant readiness for its security role and the possible deployment of its Soldiers by conducting a year-round tactical training program culminating with intensive training at various combat trainingcenters. Find more information on The Old Guard at⁄oldguard⁄.

289th MP Company
The 289th Military Police Company was activated on 1 November 1994 and attached to Hotel Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), Fort Myer, Virginia. Read the unit’s history at⁄oldguard⁄companies⁄MP.htm. The unit’s most recent deployment sent a squad with B Co, 3rd U.S. Infantry to Djibouti. The unit’s decorationsconsist of three Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamers from the Korean War (Korea, Korea 1953, and Korea 1954) and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. The 289th’s campaign participation credits include World War II-EAME, Silver band without inscription. In addition to contingency and tactical duties, the men and women of the MP Company participate inceremonial functions and funerals and may participate in specialty units such as the U.S. Army Drill Team after one year of service in the regiment. Men and women of the MP Company are eligible to serve as Tomb Guards and Caisson Platoon riders. On August 15, 2004, the 289th Military Police Company wasintegrated into the Fort Myer Military Police Company, creating ‘‘Team 289th” falling under The Old Guard’s Special Troops Battalion.

The Old Guard Museum
The history of the 3rd U.S. Infantry comes alive at The Old Guard Museum on Fort Myer. Displays dating from the Revolutionary War trace the development of The Old Guard and the Army.

The unit’s most prized possession, the Chapultepec baton, made of wood from the flagpole in the Grand Plaza in Mexico City, stands as a constant reminder of the 3rd Infantry’s bravery in the Mexican War. Other exhibits depict the varied missions of The Old Guard.

To find out more about the regiment and how closely its history correlates with the United States, visit the museum at Fort Myer’s Building 249 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 1 and 4 p.m. on Sundays.

The Fife and Drum Corps
The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is a part of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment and is the only musical unit of its kind in the United States Military. The mission of The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is to represent the United States Army at military and civilian ceremonies, parades, funerals and other functions through the nation and around the world to showcase the professionalism of the U.S. Army Soldier musicians and to revive thecountry’s musical heritage. The unit is designed to represent the musicians of the Revolution and parades in the uniforms of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army, complete withtricorn hats, white wigs, vests, overalls, waistcoats and red great coats. The drum major wears a large fur and leather helmet, which was the British Light Infantry cap.

The Corps, comprising 70 men and women, uses 11-hole wood fifes, one-valve bugles and handmade rope-tensioned drums — replicas of the instruments used during the War for Independence. The unit’s music reflects our American heritage and a time when musicians were the commander’s voice on the battlefield.

In addition to marching at the normal Army cadence of 120 steps per minute, the Corps also marches at the old cadence of 90 steps per minute and at a slow, stately ‘‘troop” of 60 steps per minute when saluting reviewing parties. Log on to⁄fifeanddrum for more information on the Fife and Drum Corps.

Caisson Platoon
The cadence of a funeral procession in Arlington National Cemetery is tapped out by the rhythmic clip-clop of seven handsome horses. Astride four of the horses, Soldiers sit ramrod straight. The Soldiers and horses are members of the Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment.

During a procession, six horses of the same color, matched into three pairs, make up the team that pulls the flag-draped casket on a black artillery caisson. The riders are dressed in the Army blue uniform with riding breeches and boots with spurs. To the left front of the team, on a separate mount, rides thesection chief, who commands the caisson unit.

One of the older traditions in a tradition-rich,full-honor funeral is the caparisoned horse. Allowed for a funeral of a Soldier or Marine in the rank of colonel or higher, the horse is led behind the caisson wearing an empty saddle with rider’s boots reversed in the stirrups, indicating the warrior will never ride again.

The platoon is a welcomed participant inthe command’s other ceremonial events, fromrepresenting commanders of the North and South during Twilight Tattoo performances in the summer to recreating cavalry drill of the 19th century forperformances of Spirit of America.

Tomb Guards
The Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery is guarded year-round, 24 hours a day, by sentinels of The Old Guard. The guard is changed in an impressive ceremony at the tomb every half hour April 1 through Sept. 30. During the winter months, the guard is changed hourly.

Posted, the tomb sentinel crosses the 63-foot walkway in a special measured cadence of exactly 21 steps. The sentinel faces the tomb for 21 seconds before retracing his steps. The number 21corresponds to the highest saluteaccorded to dignitaries in military and state ceremonies. As a gesture against intrusion on his post, the weapon is always carried on the shoulder farthest from the tomb.

Only under exceptional circumstances may the Tomb Guard speak or alter this silent measured tour of duty. In 55 years, the Tomb Guards have never left their post. See more on the Tomb Guards at⁄oldguard⁄ SpecialtyPlatoons⁄Tomb.htm.

Commander inChief’s Guard
In 1776, Gen. George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, issued an order to selectexemplary men for his personal guard. This unit became the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard.

Company A of The Old Guard organized an updated version of the Commander in Chief’s Guard to honor this historically famous unit. The guardis organized as prescribed by Revolutionary War Gen. Baron Friedrich Von Steuben. The group has 58 privates, three corporals, three sergeants, alieutenant and a captain. A color teamof one ensign and five corporals completes the group. The color team bears aduplicate of the flag Washington’sheadquarters carried throughout the Revolutionary War.

Members of Company A also appear at different times in other historically accurate uniforms once worn by Soldiers. The ‘‘tab actors” help to portray to the public the contributionsAmerica’s Army has made. See the Command in Chief’s Guard Web page at⁄oldguard⁄battalion⁄companies⁄alpha.htm.

The Salute GunPlatoon
The Presidential Salute Gun Battery, also known as the Salute GunPlatoon, renders honors to foreigndignitaries and heads of state visiting the White House, the Pentagon and other places in the area. It also fires the final salute during funerals for flag officers at Arlington National Cemetery. Not only does this platoon provide ceremonial support, but also the mortar men provide 75-mm mortar indirect-fire supportduring the tactical training of 3rd Infantry units.

During ceremonies, the platoon fires 3-inch antitank guns mounted on a105-mm howitzer chassis. Three-man crews, consisting of a watchman (time keeper), loader and gunner, fire at intervals from three to eight seconds, depending on the type of ceremony.

Every summer the Salute Gun Platoon joins the U.S. Army Band, ‘‘Pershing’s Own,” in performing Tchaikovsky’s ‘‘Overture 1812” on the National Mall. See⁄oldguard⁄SpecialtyPlatoons⁄guns. htm.

U.S. Army Drill Team
The U.S. Army Drill Team has been thrilling Americans for more than a half a century by silently tossing bayonet-tipped rifles.

The Team’s intricate maneuvers are the result of discipline, training and constant practice. Thedangerous drills are performed without vocal cadence, command or musical cues.

This Team supports MDW’s ceremonialcommitments and Army recruiting from its home at Fort Myer. The Old Guard is the only Army unit authorized to parade with fixed bayonets.

Competition is intense for a place on this elite team, and a vacancy is filled only after months ofdrill practice. The strength and dexterity tohandle the 1903 Springfield rifle along with a trim, polished military bearing are essential. Go to⁄oldguard⁄SpecialtyPlatoons⁄drillteam.htm for more information.

The U.S. Army Band‘‘Pershing’s Own”
For 85 years, The U.S. Army Band ‘‘Pershing’s Own” has maintained a tradition of excellence as the premier musical organization of the United States Army. The Band was founded in 1922 by Army Chief of Staff General John J. ‘‘Black Jack” Pershing toemulate European military bands he heard during World War I. The U.S. Army Band continues to play an important role in events of national andinternational significance, staging performances from the battlefields of World War II to our nation’scapital. In 1925, the Army Band led the inaugural parade for President Calvin Coolidge, a tradition that continues today.

During its early years, The U.S. Army Band became widely known and critically acclaimed for radio broadcasts featured on several networks, including RCA, CBS and the Mutual Broadcasting Network. The band also completed four national tours between 1928 and 1931 and became highly respected for its performances during a trip to Spain for the Ibero-American Exposition in spring 1929.

In June 1943, the Army Band performed first in North Africa and then battle-weary Europe, returning to U.S. soil in June 1945. ‘‘Pershing’s Own” received a battle streamer for its efforts during the Rhineland Campaign, and until recently was the only Washington-based military band to have participated in a theater of foreign combat operations.

The period after World War II saw The U.S. Army Band expand in scope and diversity to keep pace with an increased demand for numerous andspecialized assignments. The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and The U.S. Army Strings wereestablished as regular performing units during this time.

This period also saw the Army Band perform with numerous well-known artists and composers, many as part of the very successful Freedom Sings concert series that started in 1950 and continued for several years. Similarly, several well-known entertainers and recording artists were band members during this period. Eddie Fisher, Robert Dini and Steve Lawrence were very popular during the 1950s, as were harpist Lloyd Lindroth, future Metropolitan Opera tenor George Shirley and announcer Charles Osgood.

Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, The U.S. Army Band continued to perform and serve withdistinction. In 1963, ‘‘Pershing’s Own” participated in the funeral of President John F. Kennedy with Army Band bugler Keith Clark performing ‘‘Taps” at the graveside service in Arlington National Cemetery. Also during this era, The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and The U.S. Army Chorale were officially established as regular performing ensembles.

Today, the men and women in the band carryforward the wish of its founder for a band ofinternational stature. The U.S. Army Band has thrilled crowds in Canada, Japan, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, Novia Scotia and Australia, as well as inseveral of the nation’s most prominent concert halls. In 1984, the band participated in the filming of Francis Ford Coppolla’s movie ‘‘Gardens Of Stone.”

After September 11, 2001, the band assisted in the recovery efforts at the Pentagon, providing musical, technical and logistical support for the efforts. In October 2001, the band performed atribute to the citizens of New York City at the Lincoln Center and performed for a memorial service at Ground Zero the next day.

In December of 2002, a contingent from The U.S. Army Band took part in a six-day Sgt. Maj. of the Army⁄USO tour of Kuwait, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. This was the first time ‘‘Pershing’s Own” had performed ina theater of foreign combatoperations since World War II. It has since become an annual event. Thiscontingent, known as ‘‘Down Range,” has participated on this annual tour each year since.

In 2004, The U.S. Army Band received national attention whileparticipating in the state funeral offormer President Ronald Reagan and played an integral role in the statefuneral of former President Gerald R. Ford in late 2006⁄early 2007. Despiteits international reputation andoccasional tours, The U.S. Army Band is most easily heard locally. During the summer, large crowds flock to outdoor concerts on the West Steps of the U.S. Capitol and throughout the Washington area. Also, ‘‘Pershing’s Own” and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) present ‘‘Twilight Tattoo,” a militarypageant that tells the history of theU.S. Army. During the cooler months, concerts and recitals are presented in local indoor venues and inside Brucker Hall, The U.S. Army Band’s homelocated on historic Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.

The U.S. Army Band performs more than 5,600 times each year and is today made up of nine versatile musical ensembles: The U.S. Army Concert Band, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Strings, The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, The U.S. Army Chorale and The U.S. Army Brass Quintet.

The Concert Band performs the music of the classical masters, such as Debussy, Mozart and Beethoven, plus military music masters such as John Philip Sousa and James Barnes. Also, the Concert Band annually performs aconcert that concludes with Tchaikovsky’s ‘‘Overture 1812” on the National Mall with live cannon fire provided by The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Presidential Salute Battery. Visit for more information.

Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic
The mission of Andrew Rader U.S. Army Health Clinic is to provide primary care services to beneficiaries and support medical readiness for the Army’sshowcase community in the National Capital Region.

The clinic is a command under the DeWitt Healthcare Network, with a detachment of 36 Soldiers and more than 80 civilian personnel.

The facility hours are 7:30 a.m. to4 p.m. Monday - Friday. Pharmacy remains open until 5 p.m. The facility is closed Saturday, Sunday and federalholidays. For appointments please call 703-696-7951.

Services available at Rader include: Primary Care:
Family Practice Clinic, Pediatric Clinic, Internal Medicine Clinic, Well Woman Clinic and Nutrition Clinic.

Specialty Care:
Physical Therapy Clinic, Podiatry Clinic, Behavioral Health Services, Allergy and Immunization Clinic, Optometry Clinic and limited Dermatology Services.

Additional functions include:
Physical Exams, Occupational Health, Community Health, Laboratory, Radiology and Pharmacy services.

Soldiers can have their Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) as well as Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) performed at Rader by calling 703-696-3630. Please note that Rader Clinic does not have an emergency room and provides no emergent care. In the event of an emergency, dial 911 from Fort Myer, Fort McNair and off post.

Washington CIDBattalion
The Washington District of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is headquartered at Fort Myer. This office and its 11 subordinate units provide criminal investigative support to allArmy elements within the states of Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, portions of West Virginia, andthe District of Columbia. Higherheadquarters, the 3rd MP Group (CID) is located in Atlanta, GA.