Fort Hunter Liggett marks 83 years of service

By Stephen RobinsonJanuary 12, 2024

4th Army Soldiers in formation at Hunter Army Military Reservation, 1941. US Army photo.
4th Army Soldiers in formation at Hunter Army Military Reservation, 1941. US Army photo. (Photo Credit: National Archives) VIEW ORIGINAL

U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. – Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL) military and civilian personnel proudly celebrates 83 years of supporting troop training.

Nestled in the heart of the San Antonio Valley, in Southern Monterey County, California, FHL covers more than 250 square miles (166,000 square acres) of prime pasture and woodland property; from rolling hills to mountains that occasionally get snow-covered. The Army Reserve installation provides critical training areas, ranges and facilities to support year-round joint, multi-component and interagency training. Since its inception on January 10, 1941, hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Allied-nation Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Reservists have trained here.

“Fort Hunter Liggett’s varied terrain makes it perfect to train U.S. and Allied-nation military personnel for deployment to various parts of the globe while maintaining unit readiness during peacetime,” said Paul Lewis, Training Division Chief for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “Additionally, the vast and expansive size of the training area’s land mass and large restricted airspace provides the perfect venue for large-scale land and air exercises: It also allows a multitude of units to train concurrently.”

FHL’s rolling terrain make perfect natural small arms ranges and its six-thousand-foot dirt runway can facilitate aircraft up to Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft.

“Our Vision Statement says it all - We enable today’s warfighter for tomorrow’s challenges” and I am proud to play a part in this important mission” said FHL Commander Col. Stephen Trotter. “I’m also immensely proud to work with the corps of professional Army Civilians that enable troops to train here safely and efficiently.”

Long-time employee working in the Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate Mark Hernandez has seen many commanders and workforce come and go. “When I first started working here as a temp in 1983, I didn’t think I’d be here for 40 years,” said Hernandez. “I have seen many changes at Fort Hunter Liggett over the years and they have been for the better. The quality of life for Soldiers and their family members have greatly improved with the addition of permanent housing, a Commissary and increased programs and services for all ages,” said Hernandez.

FHL and its surrounding areas are rich in culture and history, dating as far back as the early 1400’s. From the Salinan Nation of northern Central California to the Chumash Nation of southern Central California to the establishment of Mission San Antonio de Padua (located just outside the installation’s cantonment area) and Mission San Miguel Arc’angel (located about 25 miles southeast). The historic Hacienda (designed by Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst in the 1930s) located inside the FHL cantonment was once the Army’s headquarters building and today, is a hotel open to the public. Many Julia Morgan fans and other visitors come throughout the year.

The historic Hacienda at Fort Hunter Liggett
The Hacienda is a historic building once owned by media mogul William Randolph Hearst in the 1930s, used a an Army headquarters in the 1940s, and now serves as a hotel open to the public. The building
was designed by architect Julia Morgan used by Hearst as temporary housing for his employees and guests. The property was placed in the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1977. For more information or to make reservations: (Photo Credit: Stephen K Robinson)

FHL takes its responsibility to protect the natural and cultural resources seriously and works with government and community partners to meet regulatory compliance. FHL also integrates environmental considerations into planning and decision-making in daily operations as well as with visiting troops.

Visit the installation website and follow its social media to learn about all the activities at FHL:,