Fort Benjamin Harrison

Fort Benjamin Harrison 1903-1995 Chronology, by Stephen E. Bower from his work “The American Army In The Heartland”.

1823    Elisha Reddick, first Lawrence Township settler, bought land destined to be part of Fort Benjamin Harrison.  Both Elisha and his father William, a Revolutionary War soldier, are buried at Spring Valley Cemetery, Fort Benjamin Harrison on Post Road South of Bldg. 600.

1901    Benjamin Harrison, 23d President, died. Theodore Roosevelt becomes President upon the assassination of President McKinley.

1904    G.O. No. 117 [June 281 announced purchase of land for a military installation near Indianapolis

1906    G.O. No. 107 [June 16] officially named the new post near Indianapolis, Indiana, Fort Benjamin Harrison; first Fort Benjamin Harrison training exercise; 20,000 Regular Army soldiers and National Guardsmen participated. The first 30 permanent buildings begin to be built and are completed by 1908.

1908    10th Infantry Regiment first quartered Fort Benjamin Harrison
. This is also the year that President Theodore Roosevelt gives his most influential speech on Conservation.  Indiana's Richard Lieber heard that calling and began a movement to start state parks in Indiana The first of which occurred on our states 100th anniversary, McCormick's Creek SP July 4th, 1916, with Turkey Run to follow later that year.  Eventually, Fort Harrison State Park resulted along with 31 others. Oh, and the last time the Cubs won the World Series!

1911    10th Infantry Regiment departed for Panama

1912    23d Infantry Regiment arrived from Texas for garrison duty

1913    23d Infantry Regiment departed for Texas City, Texas

1917    U.S. declared war on Germany [April 6]; Officer Training Camps opened [May]; Medical Officers Training Camp opened [June]; post's wartime strength reached 12,000 [June]. Indiana's Richard Lieber, father of the Indiana State Park System and organizer of the Department of Conservation, is made an honorary Colonel over the state's militia.

1918    10,000 Engineers (railroad specialists) trained at Fort Benjamin Harrison; General Hospital No. 25 opened

1920     Headquarters, Fifth Corps Area established

1921    11th Infantry Regiment began arriving from Camp Jackson, South Carolina, for garrison duty

1922     Schoen Field dedicated. (Army Air Corps field located where the Finance Center is today)

1925     Citizens Military Training Camp (CMTC) opened

1933    Indiana District Headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established at Fort Benjamin Harrison.

1935   Along with other dignitaries, Richard Lieber presides over the CMTC graduating class and an article appears in the July 20, 1935 issue of the Fifth Corps News and Diamond Dust.

1936    CCC Company 3550 stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison for reforestation and soil conservation work. Most of the CCC orders came from Fort Harrison.  Download the camp locations from our Documents page.

1940    First World War II draftees arrived at Fort Benjamin Harrison Induction Center

1941    Fort Benjamin Harrison Reception Center opened; by June 1943, the largest in the U.S.; first patient admitted to Billings General Hospital [July]

1942    Finance School moved from Holabird Quartermaster Depot, Baltimore, Maryland [January]; Finance Replacement Training Center opened [February]; Chaplains School opened [March]; Medical Technicians School opened [July]; Finance School moved to Duke University and Wake Forest College in North Carolina; Chaplain School moved to Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts [August]

1943    Finance enlisted training returned to Fort Benjamin Harrison

1944    250 Italian POWs arrived; Italians replaced by 300 German POWs from Rommel's Afrika Korps; Finance officer training returned to Fort Benjamin Harrison [June]; Army Service Forces Training Center (ASFTC) formed by consolidating Finance School and Finance Replacement Training Center; Reception Center transferred to Camp Atterbury Indiana; Midwestern Disciplinary Barracks opened with arrival of 250 prisoners

1945    Riot and fire in the Disciplinary Barracks

1946    Finance operations moved to St. Louis; Billings General Hospital closed [March]

1947    Disciplinary Barracks closed (6,285 total prisoners) [May]; Fort Benjamin Harrison declared " U.S. Army surplus"; Fort Benjamin Harrison reactivated and assigned to the Second Army

1948    Benjamin Harrison Air Force Base opened to 10th Air Force

1950    Last Air Force plane left BHAFB for Selfridge Field, Michigan; Army reacquired Fort Benjamin Harrison and assigned it to the Fifth Army, Chicago, Illinois.

1951    Adjutant General School moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison from Camp Lee, Virginia [March 6]; Finance School completed move to Fort Benjamin Harrison [June 1]; post newspaper began publication; MG Eugene M. Foster, former Chief of Finance, broke ground for the new Army Finance Center [August 10]

1953    Army Finance Center dedicated [October 9]

1954    Harrison Village opened; ground broken for Gates-Lord Hall [November 12]

1956    Fort Benjamin Harrison's 50th anniversary; Finance Corps Field service Board established [March 5]; Adjutant General's Board moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison

1957    Finance Center commander Brigadier General Bean assigned command of Fort Benjamin Harrison.   [January 11; Finance and Adjutant General School building dedicated [February 27], named "Gates-Lord Hall" in 1963

1958    VI Corps, U.S. Army Reserve Command reactivated with headquarters in remodeled Fort Benjamin Harrison hospital [January 2]; Office of the Chief of Finance, Field Division transferred from Gravelly Point, Virginia [March]; U.S. Army Enlisted Evaluation Center established at Fort Benjamin Harrison
 [March 1]

1962    Adjutant General's and Finance Schools reassigned from The Adjutant General and the Chief of Finance to the Continental Army Command [July 1]; VI Corps headquarters moved to Battle Creek, Michigan [July]

1963    School Center and Post Headquarters established [October I]; headquarters placed in old post hospital vacated by the VI Corps

1964    U.S. Army Reserve Components Personnel Center activated; U.S. Army Personnel Services Support Center moved to Fort Benjamin Harrison
 from the Pentagon [October] (redesignated the Army Enlisted Personnel Support Center in 1971 and the Enlisted Records Center in 1973)

1966    Defense Information School (DINFOS) moved from Fort Slocum, New York [January]

1971    Administrative Schools Center established [April 19]

1973    U.S. Army Administration Center (ADMINCEN) and U.S. Arm Institute of Administration (USAIA) established under the U. S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) [July 2]; Personnel and Administration Combat Development Activity (PACDA) established as ADMINCEN's integrating agency for Personnel service support mission area [July 2]; William D. McGee, Jr. U.S. Army Reserve Center dedicated [October] (home of the 123d Army Reserve Command)

1973    Hawley Memorial Hospital dedicated [May 12]

1974    Joint Clemency Processing Center opened [September 16]

1975    Troop Command (Troop Brigade) established [January 11; Joint Clemency Processing Center closed [April 11]; Adjutant General and Finance Schools redesignated training departments within USAIA [July]; U.S. Army Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center established from merger of Enlisted Records Center and Enlisted Evaluation Center (October]

1977     Vietnam Deserter Processing Center opened [April 19], closing on October 31.

1980     ADMINCEN and USAIA reorganized into the U.S. Army Soldier Support Center (SSC) and U.S. Army Institute of Personnel and Resource Management (USAIPRM). USAIPRM composed of four schools - Adjutant General, Finance, Computer Science, and Personnel Management [July 1]; U.S. Army Soldier Support Center National Capitol Region established in Alexandria, Virginia [August 7]

1982    Combined Arms Department created from the Personnel Management School's Leadership and Organization Effectiveness Department and Combat Survival Group [April]; Soldier Physical Fitness Center (Physical Fitness School) activated [May 3]

1983     Recruiting and Retention School established from Personnel Management School's Recruiting and Retention Department [February]; Personnel Management School redesignated as the Community Activities School [July 1]; Army Element of School of Music, Little Creek, Virginia, added to the roster of USAIPRM schools [October 1] Reserve Officers Training Corps School opened [July 9]; Office of the Chief, Army Bands established [August 1 ];USAIPRM reorganized as the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute with eight separate schools [August 1]

1986      Community Activities School disestablished [May]; ROTC School moved to Fort Monroe, Virginia [December]

1987 Noncommissioned Office Academy established [March]; Finance Corps Regiment activated [May 7]; Finance Center dedicated as the Major General Emmett J. Bean Center [May 7]; Adjutant General Corps Regiment activated [June 7]; Tenth Pan American Games Athletic Village opened [July 29]; Computer Science School graduated last class at Fort Benjamin Harrison
; completing the school's transfer to Fort Gordon, Georgia [October 6]

1990    Iraq invaded Kuwait [August 2]; 3d Battalion (Provisional), Troop Brigade, established to command and control Reserve Component units mobilized and deployed through Fort Benjamin Harrison  for Operation Desert Shield [August 22]; Fort Benjamin Harrison  staff deployed 24 Reserve Component units (2,500 soldiers) to the Persian Gulf [September 1990 - January 1991]; Soldier Support Center reduced to a school center with the transfer of integrating mission to the new U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command [October 2]; Office of the Chief, Army Bands disestablished [December 1]; Harrison Village explosion and fire [December 9]; Defense Finance and Accounting Service-Indianapolis established [January 22]

1991    Fort Benjamin Harrison  included on Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BCRC) list; SSC and DINFOS directed to move to Fort Jackson, South Carolina [April 12]; BCRC directed closure of the Major General Emmett J. Bean Center [July 1]; Physical Fitness School began transfer to Fort Benning, Georgia (October]

1992     DINFOS realigned under the Armed Force Information Service (AFIS) and directed to move to Fort Meade, Maryland, rather than Fort Jackson [October 1]

1994      Department of Defense selected Indianapolis as one of five major consolidated sites of the DFAS; Bean Center saved from closure [May 3]; SSC Honors Day and activation of the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute (USASSI) at Fort Jackson, South Carolina [September 14]; SSC schools and personnel began transfer to Fort Jackson [October 1], scheduled completion September 30, 1995.

1995    U.S. Department of Interior approved the State of Indiana's request to convert 1,700 acres on Fort Benjamin Harrison  into a state park and nature preserve; base operating staff scheduled to begin closing buildings and transferring Fort Benjamin Harrison  property to new owners [October 1].  Fort Harrison State Park begins.  Fort Benjamin Harrison Historical Society becomes official though formed in 1994.

2005    Fort Benjamin Harrison Historical Society disbands - turns information and website over to www.IndianaMilitary.org

Page last revised 01/06/2007