The US Army Finally Gets Its Own Museum


The United States Army now has its own national museum.

The National Museum of the United States Army opened in Fort Belvoir, Virginia on Wednesday, Veterans Day. The site is about thirty kilometers from the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

The museum is aimed at telling the story of the country’s oldest military service, which began 245 years ago in 1775.

The large five-level complex contains interactive and historical exhibits. It includes thousands of documents, pictures, artwork and many kinds of army equipment. Weapons, protective wear and service awards are also shown. 

Many exhibits deal with wartime activity. But others center on peacekeeping operations and humanitarian missions around the world, said the new museum’s director Tammy Call. She also noted the exhibit Soldier Stories, saying it speaks of “the individual soldier story.”

Jack Querfeld, an official with the veterans’ organization, American Legion, praised what he saw at the museum. The exhibits of battle, he said, “put a human face on it, instead of just saying we fought here.”

“The National Army Museum will be a place for members of the total Army family to gather and share their stories,” said Ryan D. McCarthy, secretary of the Army.

That means a lot to museum visitor B.J. Lawrence. He leads the Washington, D.C., office of the organization, Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served in the U.S. Army in South Korea in the early 1980s.

Lawrence said he found the exhibits on the Korean War “especially touching,” and called the museum overall “phenomenal.” “It helps to explain and put into perspective why the American people enjoy the freedoms they do today,” he added.

Today's Vocabulary

1. museum (n)
a building in which interesting and valuable things (such as paintings and sculptures or scientific or historical objects) are collected and shown to the public

2. interactive (adj.)
designed to respond to actions, commands usually the electronic devices

3. exhibit (n)
a show of something to the public such as in a museum

4. phenomenal (adj.)
very good; unusual in a way that is impressive

5. perspective (n)
a way of thinking about and understanding something (such as a particular issue or life in general)

6. complex (n)
a large building with various connected rooms or a related group of buildings

  1. Who has its own national museum now based on the reading?


  2. What does most of the exhibits deal with?


  3. Who is Tammy Call?


  4. What is the aim of the museum?


  5. Who is the secretary of the Army?
  1. What do you like most and least about museums?

  2. Would a museum dedicated to your life and times be interesting?

  3. What exhibitions are on at the moment that you’d really like to see?

  4. Do you prefer going to museums alone or with others?

  5. Are all museums good for children?