February 25 marked a significant day in Fort Gordon history and another in a step toward the future, as one of the installation’s institutions shut its doors in preparation for another.
The U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum hosted a casing ceremony at its Chamberlain Avenue location, signifying the ongoing transformation happening on Fort Gordon.
Maj. Gen. Neil S. Hersey, Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commanding general, provided opening remarks for the ceremony. Hersey reflected on the history and significance of the Signal Corps, some of which were displayed in the museum.
“As you think of the history of the Signal Corps, a history that began in 1860 with Albert J. Myer’s wig wag system of communications, you can understand how far we’ve come from the days of being able to send a few words per minute across the battlefield to now being able to transmit thousands of words per nanosecond, and even live video, across the globe,” Hersey said. “The information networks the U.S. Army has developed and provided over the years have had a tremendous impact on the military and on Western society. Those networks today are more flexible and adaptable than ever, as you are experiencing this virtual ceremony being broadcast digitally over social media.”
Following Hersey’s remarks, Brig. Gen. Christopher Eubank, 7th Signal Command commanding general, explained the significance of the museum’s casing ceremony, noting that it was in preparation for construction of the new Cyber Center of Excellence campus.
“This is not a closure but rather a temporary delay in operations of the facility as we move into the future,” Eubank said. “This is an important day and is another important chapter in the storied history of the U.S. Army Signal Corps and Fort Gordon.”
The Signal Corps Museum had been in its most recent location since 1998, although its lineage dates back to 1918, at which time its historical items were first displayed at Camp Alfred Vail in New Jersey. The museum first relocated to Fort Gordon in 1974 and its artifacts previously occupied several buildings before settling in just outside of Signal Tower on Chamberlain Avenue.
“The displays and artifacts in this building represent the hard work and ingenuity of generations of Soldiers, and they tell a story that goes from support during the Civil War all the way to the birth of the Cyber Corps,” Eubank said. “The history of the Signal Corps will continue, and the next chapter will talk about things like support to COVID-19 operations and rollout of the vaccine.”
Since 2003, more than one million people have visited the museum or attended a public educational outreach program conducted by museum staff in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The museum’s director, Bob Anzunoi, is optimistic that number will rise.
According to Anzunoi, plans are in motion to relocate to the former National Science Center building, located on Gordon Highway a short distance from Gate 1. Anzunoi has toured the museum’s future site and said he was “quite impressed with it.”
“It’s a bittersweet moment that we’re closing, but we’re looking forward to going to a newer building, which we believe will be improved as far as the space and the facility,” Anzunoi said. “It’s easy to get to, it has plenty of parking space, it’s very accessible … we think it will be a great opportunity to move forward.”
An exact reopening date has yet to be determined, but Anzunoi said it will likely be a couple of years until it reopens.