2018.043.001 This photograph shows a group of soldiers stationed at Camp Dodge near Johnston, Iowa, participating in morning exercise.
2018.043.004 Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
2018.043.005 Rifle training at Camp Dodge, Johnston, Iowa.
~ Matthew Miller, Teaching Iowa History Team
Camp Dodge was established in 1909 under Major General Grenville M. Dodge from Council Bluffs, Iowa who had served as Iowa's strongest commander during the Civil War. On June 15, 1917, the camp was chosen by the US Army Selection Board as one of 16 regional training camps for the U.S. Army. The camp began to train soldiers from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. From July to November 1917, 30 barracks (each held 150 men) were constructed including a mess hall, assembly hall, post office, two headquarters buildings, an auditorium, a hospital, three fire station, libraries and eight YWCA halls.
After the United States entered World War I in 1917, Camp Dodge played a significant role in the expansion of the United States military. Between September 5, 1917 and December 15, 1918, 111,462 recruits, including 37,111 Iowans, trained for service at Camp Dodge. The camp contained 1,409 buildings, twenty miles of streets, 8,000 horses and mules, a power plant, a hospital, and a peak garrison of 46,491 soldiers in July 1918. After the war ended, Camp Dodge became a demobilization center, and over 208,000 soldiers were discharged at the camp.
After the war, Camp Dodge only housed Iowa National Guard soldiers. In 1921, the majority of the camp was sold to the Northwest Lumber and Wrecking Company in Minneapolis. The company bought 1,200 buildings for $251,000 and seven miles of the camp was demolished. Since the war, the Camp has served as the Iowa National Guard headquarters and in the 1990s, the addition of the United States Army's National Maintenance Training Center was built to continue the training of state soldiers.