The home of the U.S. Army Signal Center and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon is an ever-changing and growing military installation.
Fort Gordon serves as an integral training center for Signal soldiers who provide communications technology to the armed forces. Other branches of the military, including the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, send their troops to Fort Gordon for communications training. Personnel from the Army and other branches also perform military intelligence tasks.
Communications and intelligence are not the only missions at Fort Gordon. The Army medical center forged a partnership with the Augusta Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in 2004 to create an active-duty rehabilitation wing at the VA.
Fort Gordon's history dates to World War II, when land from several rural communities in Richmond County was obtained to build Camp Gordon in 1941. The move was not welcomed by all. There were many protests from those concerned about old estates, a church dating to 1789 and a cemetery with 150 graves in the Bath community, according to a history of Fort Gordon published by Fort Gordon's command historian office.
The camp was named after a Civil War commander from Georgia, Gen. John B. Gordon. One of the first units to train at the camp was the 4th Infantry Division. Its soldiers were among the first to land on Utah Beach during the D-Day Invasion of Normandy.
Also during World War II, German and Italian prisoners of war were housed at the camp. After World War II, there was a mass departure from the armed forces, leaving Camp Gordon a virtual ghost town and causing Augusta supporters of the base to become concerned about its future.
In 1948, the draft was re-established. With the Korean War on the horizon and the Cold War looming, Camp Gordon was once again a vital entity. A military police school came to the base, as did a Signal Corps training center.
Camp Gordon became Fort Gordon, a permanent installation, in 1956. The MP school moved to Fort McClellan, Ala., in the 1970s and the Signal Center made its home at Fort Gordon in 1974.
Fort Gordon has an annual economic impact of over $1 billion.