Fort Leavenworth is a military base located in Kansas, in the immediate proximity of the city with the same name. It has almost two centuries of existence and it is by far the oldest and most important such post located in the western side of Washington, DC. It is still referred to as the intellectual center of the US Army, as it used to be named once. The base spreads over 2,300 ha and hosts more than 1,000 buildings. It is currently commanded by LGT David G. Perkins.
The fort began as a camp and was operated by the French forces in the 18-th century. It was then handed over to New Spain, only to be abandoned. This is when the Americans stepped in. Some of the initial explorers of these new lands decided to reinforce and renovate the fort, especially since it was pretty close to a very powerful village. In 1827, the authorities held the groundbreaking ceremony with Colonel Henry Leavenworth in the lead. The primary mission of this new base was to take care of the Santa Fe Trail. The name it has today was given in 1832, after the Indians were removed from the area. Two years later, the colonel ordered the construction of an officer quarters that was referred to as The Rookery. This building is currently the oldest one in Kansas.
Fort Leavenworth played a major role during the Civil War. It was then responsible for the returning groups of Indians. Such operations took a few decades, but they went on without any major incidents. As time passed by, the fort got through a series of improvements. By the end of the 19-th century, it had a prison, a church, a few schools, a cemetery and an advanced medical center.
World War I was the first chance for Fort Leavenworth to stand up in the crowd. The schools on site trained some of the finest officers to be sent on the field. The schools attracted a lot of new recruits between the two major wars. Some of the most famous ones include Dwight D. Eisenhower or George S. Patton. Over World War II, close to 20,000 recruits were trained at those schools and not less than 26 divisions were supported.
In 1960, the fort became a a National Historic Landmark. It is also supported by the Sherman Army Airfield and is said to be one of the most representative military bases of the United States of America.
Aside from a lot of temporary and less significant tenant units it hosts, Fort Leavenworth is also the home of a few major names and units in the US Army. Some of these units include the Munson Army Health Center, the Combined Arms Center, the Disciplinary Barracks, the 35-th Infantry Division or the Foreign Military Studies Office. A low security jail is also active on site.
Fort Leavenworth is more important from a historical point of view, rather than a military one. Its activity is not as intense as it used to be anymore.