After around three years of construction and many years of planning, the National Museum of the U.S. Army will open on an 84-acre site at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, on November 11, 2020 - Veterans Day.
In a partnership between the Army, the Army Historical Foundation, and over 30 different organizations, over 240 years of Army history has been preserved and will be displayed for many future generations. This museum will be the only museum to tell the entire history of the Army since its inception in 1775.
In addition to displays honoring war efforts, visitors will also find educational exhibits about the Army’s role in humanitarian efforts, as well as technological and medical breakthroughs.
To keep all visitors safe, the museum is maintaining a high safety protocol, including issuing timed tickets. The tickets are free and can be reserved on the museum website.
A trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the museum may seem like a huge undertaking, but we’re here to help. Flying from the Fort Leonard Wood Region to Washington, D.C. is incredibly simple, as there are at least two different airlines that offer direct flights from St. Louis to Washington, D.C. What does that mean for you? It means you’ll have a single layover in St. Louis and be in Washington, D.C. about 8 hours after you leave your front door! The same would be true for your returning flight, as well.
When planning a trip to Washington, D.C., military retirees should look into leisure lodging on military installations in the D.C. metro area. There are a number of installations in the area that offer lodging through IHG and you can search for a room here. If you choose to stay at a hotel in D.C. and plan to travel out to Ft. Belvoir to visit the museum, you can easily take the WMATA Blue Line to the Franconia-Springfield stop (last stop on the route), and then take a ride share service or bus to the museum.
For veterans who are interested in visiting Washington, D.C., we highly encourage you to take advantage of the many military discounts that are offered at museums and attractions in the metro area. You can start here with these discounts and if you’re interested in visiting other military-specific areas of D.C., this veteran-owned company has many tours to choose from. If you’d rather explore on your own, here are our top 5 must-see recommendations for a visit to Washington, D.C.
Arlington National Cemetery - if you are a military ID card holder, we recommend going onto Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall and entering the cemetery through this entry point. You won’t be overwhelmed with crowds and there’s ample parking, if you’re driving. If you’re using the WMATA, take the Blue Line to the Arlington National Cemetery stop.
Washington Mall - Make sure to set aside plenty of time to enjoy and take in the monuments and museums along the mall.
U.S. Capitol - Contact your representative to arrange a tour of the capitol building. These tours are free and are well-worth the time.
Washington Cathedral - Often over-looked because it is kind of out of the way, but this national treasure is worth the extra time it takes to get to it. The Red Metro line is the closest to the cathedral, but if you’re booking a sightseeing tour, look for one that includes the cathedral.
Any D.C. Museum - all of the museums in D.C. are incredibly well-done and leave a lasting impact. You won’t want to rush through any of them, so plan your trip accordingly and leave enough time to fully explore all they have to offer.
Due to COVID-19, some of these attractions aren’t available right now and there may be other travel restrictions in place. However, a trip to D.C. requires careful planning, so if it is something you’d like to do in the future, now might be a great time to start making that plan. For those who won’t be able to get to the National Museum of the U.S. Army for a while due to the pandemic or other reasons, the museum is offering a free monthly virtual book club with books that are focused on the Army’s history.
Enjoy your travel planning and we look forward to seeing you at the airport when you’re ready to take your next trip!