Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst


Joint Base MDL remembers 100 years of Dix missions

By Mr. Shaun Eagan | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | July 17, 2017


Joint Base MDL celebrates its rich heritage this week as Army Support Activity recognizes the centennial celebration of Camp Dix here, on July 18.


Created by the War Department in support of World War I, the joint base has continued to maintain its importance to the Army through many wars and military advances: providing training opportunities for its Soldiers.


“Through all its various name changes, Joint Base MDL has been and will remain hallowed ground,” said ASA Command Sgt. Maj., Patrick McKie.  “The sacred trust of training to our service members to fight and win our nation’s wars while keeping our citizens secure has remained unbroken for 100 years.”


Named after Maj. Gen. John Adams Dix, a War of 1812 and Civil War veteran, Camp Dix had a vital role of becoming a mobilization, training and staging sites for supporting World War I.  It quickly became the largest military reservation in the Northeast, providing training for all components of the Army.


Leading up to World War II, the installation was named a permanent Army post in 1939.  The base served as a reception and training center for Soldiers inducted under the draft of 1939, ultimately becoming a separation center for more than 1.2 million Soldiers leaving the Army following World War II.


Regardless of events happening around the world at any point in time, Fort Dix continued to thrive as a training base, putting its emphasis on preparing Soldiers to win the Nation’s wars.


“The base has been able to withstand the test of time,” said McKie.  “No matter what war our nation was in, Fort Dix was able to answer our Nation’s call.  The base was uniquely able to provide support that was critical to the training mission of the Army.”


In 1947, Fort Dix became a basic training center, a mission that would continue until 1992 - a 45-year mission.  Throughout this period, Fort Dix, then a member of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, adapted its training efforts to the military’s conflicts, to include standing up a mock Vietnamese village for Soldiers supporting the Vietnam War and 24-hour operations for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.


Similar to its mission in 1917, Fort Dix was responsible for mobilizing and demobilizing Soldiers until 1997, when the base transitioned to U.S. Army Reserve Command. 


In 2009, Fort Dix consolidated with the other installations in the area, forming the Defense Department’s only tri-service joint base. 


Even after becoming a joint base, Joint Base MDL continued to prioritize one of the main elements of its history: training.  Now, as a joint base, the installation is able to partner with its sister services to bring training to the joint warfighter.


Joint Base MDL now focuses on supporting and conducting training in support of mobilization and demobilization operations: continuing its mission from 100 years ago.  Primarily serving as training installation for reserve components, Joint Base MDL still has the capability to prepare its service members for contingencies around the world.


“Dix will continue to serve as a premier installation for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen,” said McKie.  “The joint base will continue supporting our military to meet any challenge, defeat any foe, and honor our nation for the next 100 years and beyond."


100 Army ASA camp Celebration Centennial Dix fort