CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa. (Dec. 4, 2008) - Army War College students, staff, faculty and guests gathered together to celebrate 107 years of educating strategic leaders Dec. 4 in Bliss Hall, a building named after one of its first presidents, Gen. Tasker H. Bliss.

Established from the principles learned in the Spanish-American War, the college was founded by Secretary of War Elihu Root, and formally established by General Order 155 on Nov. 27, 1901. Washington Barracks - now called Fort McNair - in Washington, D.C., was chosen as the site.

The first students attended the War College in 1904. The College remained at Washington Barracks until 1940, when it was closed due to World War II. It reopened in 1950 at Fort Leavenworth, and moved one year later to its present location at Carlisle Barracks.

At Carlisle, the Army War College grew steadily as it performed its mission of preparing officers for leadership at the highest levels. The college soon outgrew its main academic building (the current Upton Hall) and transferred to the newly constructed Root Hall in 1967. Two specialized agencies evolved into integral parts of the Army War College: the Strategic Studies Institute, first formed in 1954, and the Military History Institute, established in 1967.

The Center for Strategic Leadership, a state-of-the-art war-gaming complex that opened in 1994, contributed another unique dimension to the college and to Carlisle Barracks' history as a distinctive U.S. Army campus. Other organizations like the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute and the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute also contribute to the students' experience.

"You don't realize it now, but this is the fastest year of your life," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Richard Trefry, the last Alumni Association President and 1969 graduate of the Army War College, at the ceremony. "Three years from now you'll realize what you have here. You will continue to foster the relationships you have developed here."

The celebration was sponsored by the Army War College Alumni Association and the Army War College Foundation.