Gallery of Heroes

The National Museum of the United States Army opens in Fairfax County.

Assigned to A Troop, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, the M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, now featured in the Changing World Gallery, was in the 2003 charge from Kuwait to Baghdad. The vehicle and its team were essential to gaining control of several key positions including Baghdad International Airport before the advance into the city. During 48 hours of constant and bitter fighting, the squadron stopped several Iraqi infantry and armor advances and pushed just beyond their objective to strike at an Iraqi Republican Guard tank battalion. By the end of their fight, the Soldiers had destroyed 20 tanks and thoroughly blunted all enemy counterattacks, thereby allowing the U.S. to secure the airport and open the door to Iraq’s capital city.(National Museum of the United States Army, Duane Lempke)

Courtesy of National Museum of the United States Army

The long-awaited National Museum of the United States Army opened in Fort Belvoir in November 2020, after several months of delay tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sitting on 84 acres, the 185,000-square-foot facility is the first national museum to capture, display, and interpret more than 245 years of Army history, bringing to life that history in times of war and peace as seen through the eyes of soldiers.

Several galleries tell the story of the U.S. Army since its founding in the colonial period. Exhibits explore the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the Indian Wars, as well as global conflicts, including both world wars, the Korean War, Vietnam, and more recent wars. The state-of-the-art Army Theater provides visitors with an immersive introduction to the U.S. Army and the museum. 

“The U.S. Army and the American soldier forged the birth of our nation,” U.S. Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy said in a statement. The museum “will be a place for members of the total Army family to gather and share their stories, while also creating an opportunity for visitors to connect with our nation’s history through the eyes and voices of individual soldiers.” TheNMUSA.org


Editor’s Note: While the museum is currently closed due to the pandemic, its website offers extensive articles, online events, and exhibit previews. This article originally appeared in the February 2021 issue.

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