What is it? The Army National Guard (ARNG) has increasingly become aware of how many national and community treasures are represented by approximately 2,700 U.S. armories. From architectural innovations to community outreach and educational events, American armories are unique and ubiquitous. Similar to the community fire house, the armory has increasingly become a symbol and a centerpiece of esprit de corps since 9‑11. With worldwide mobilizations and demobilizations, armories have frequently become emotionally packed theaters of family farewells and yellow-ribbon welcome home celebrations. Armories constitute perhaps the most tangible and visible stateside symbol of the citizen-soldier serving community and nation.
What has the Army done? Recent and historically noteworthy accomplishments and activities at our armories include:
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? Many armories have been demolished (especially after World War II) and many have been converted to other establishments, but a few are scheduled for preservation, restoration, or reuse. Some planned projects include:
Most modern day armories tend to be practical suburban buildings with plenty of parking rather than architectural buildings in the heart of a city. As a sign of the times, we now call most of the armories “readiness centers” as well.
Why is this important to the Army? With smaller numbers of Americans serving in the military than in the past, often community impressions towards military service is based on links to the local armories and the units that serve out of them. The preservation of ARNG traditions, community relations, and history through armories and other installations is a foundation for morale in these communities, making them a keystone for recruiting and retention.
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