A modern, high-tech museum dedicated to the backbone of the United States Army features detailed dioramas and informative displays from all eras of U.S. military history.
Fort Benning, outside Columbus, Georgia, is named after Confederate Brigadier General Henry L. Benning. It is home to the United States Army Infantry School and Basic Combat Training for most infantry recruits, so it is generally recognized as the traditional home for U.S. infantry. It comes as no surprise that the National Infantry Museum is located there.
The museum used to be in a former Army hospital on base, but in 2008 the National Infantry Foundation, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, built a brand new museum on a 155-acre campus just off post. The 190,000 square foot state-of-the-art museum, featuring combat simulators, dioramas, a theater, a restaurant, and over 100,000 historical artifacts, opened in 2009.
It’s hard not to be in awe walking through displays spanning the history of U.S. conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present day. The dioramas feature real military equipment, lights, and sound. There’s even a section where you can walk through a simulated Vietnam jungle while listening to a narrator describe what it was like to be there.
Outside the museum, you can walk in WW2-era buildings taken from Fort Benning and reassembled on site in “World War II Company Street“. There is also a Global War on Terrorism Memorial, dedicated in 2017, commemorating 6,800 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines killed in service since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The National Infantry Museum is located at 1775 Legacy Way in Columbus, Georgia. It is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm, Sundays from 11am to 5pm, and closed on Mondays, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Admission is free (or a $5 donation) and tours are self-guided. Contact the museum at (706) 685-5800.