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Camp Dodge: Iowa Time Machine June 18, 1917

Iowa Time Machine ⏰:On June 18, 1917, national authorities assumed control of Camp Dodge north of Des Moines to expand the Iowa National Guard training ground into a regional training center for World War I. Still the Iowa National Guard headquarters today, Iowans originally started construction on the post in 1907.

The United States government quickly expanded the 78-acre site by adding over 6,300 additional acres. One of 16 training sites for the United States Army leading up to American entry into the Great War, Camp Dodge welcomed the 88th Infantry Division in 1917. Over 111,000 soldiers joined up and trained at Camp Dodge over the course of the conflict. 114,000 Iowans answered the call to serve in World War I, and 3,576 gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The 163rd Depot Brigade formed at Camp Dodge, eventually including two African-American soldiers. Eventually reassigned to the 92nd “Buffalo Soldiers” Division, the men represent a movement of early diversity within the American Armed Forces.

After the conclusion of the war, the site reverted to state authorities. Again pulled into federal service during World War II, Camp Dodge played a smaller role in the new conflict as an induction center. Many Second World War records refer to the camp's address as located in the town of Herrold. The base enveloped the small community, and the US Army Corps of Engineers eventually bought the town in 1990 for use as a training range.

Since the close of World War Two, the camp has continued to serve as an Iowa National Guard and Reserve installation. The camp is also home to the Sustainment Training Center, Joint Forces Headquarters, the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, Iowa’s emergency operations center, and other vital components of Iowa’s government. Visitors can learn more about the site’s history by visiting the Gold Star Military Museum. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar 


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