Camp Mabry is a Texas landmark with history that dates back to the 1800s. The Texas State Guard (TXSG) is stationed in Camp Mabry. It’s one of three components that create the Texas Military Forces. The Governor of Texas is the Commander in Chief of the Texas Military Forces. The other two components include the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. Camp Mabry is located in Austin, Texas and houses the headquarters of Texas Military Forces, which comprises all three components. Originally, the site comprised 90 acres just three miles north of downtown when it was first given from the city to Texas in 1892. The camp also houses the Texas Military Forces Museum that exhibits old military tanks, military vehicles, large dioramas of famous battles, firearms and international flags. In 1996, Camp Mabry was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Lodging and housing are provided on Camp Mabry in barracks-style facilities.
History of Camp Mabry
Camp Mabry got its name from Brigadier General Woodford Mabry. He was the Adjutant General of Texas serving his state from 1891 to 1898. The camp is the third oldest active military installation in Texas with Fort Sam Houston and Fort Bliss being the first and second. The office of the Adjutant General and the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces are located here. Facilities also include the 136th Regional Training Institute, state combined support maintenance shops, armory of the 36th Infantry Division headquarters, clinic, storage facility and parachute packing in addition to other storage buildings. The Texas Military Forces Museum opened in 1992.
The camp was home to annual encampments by the Texas state militia at the start of the 20th century. They conducted reenactments and demonstrations for the citizens of Austin. There were grandstands built inside the camp and other improvements were made thanks to admission fees to the events. By 1911, Camp Mabry spanned over 385 acres. Its first permanent building was an arsenal that was completed in 1915 and stored military weapons and equipment that was original from the capitol building.
As World War I approached, the Texas National Guard and the Oklahoma National Guard formed the 36th Infantry Division, which was mobilized for war. The Army also used Camp Mabry as an educational facility to teach auto mechanics. After World War I, Camp Mabry remained open and would again see new excitement with the rumblings of World War II in 1940. The 36th Division and 56th Cavalry Brigade mobilized for war and went to Camp Bowie before heading to Fort Bliss in El Paso.
The 111th Quartermaster Regiment, which was a part of the 36th division, created a parade on the ground at Camp Mabry before troops were sent off to Camp Mabry. As war was eminent for America, the camp became the headquarters of the Texas Defense Guard and what was left of the state militia. As the war ended, Camp Mabry resumed its place as the headquarters for the Texas Military Forces. It helped to organize the Texas National Guard and create the Texas State Guard. The Adjutant General’s Office also moved from the capitol to Camp Mabry at this time.
Camp Mabry celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1992. In addition to its military affiliation, the camp has also been home of the Department of Public Safety training schools and hosted other military dignitaries as well as the recreation ground for citizens of Austin. The camp continues to provide a school for auto mechanics. As much as Camp Mabry is apart of the military training for troops, it’s also a historical landmark and has seen a great number of men marching along camp streets. No one can forget the proud march of troops nor the echoing sounds of the 36th Airborne Brigade pilots taking off in basic maneuvers for the first time.
You’ll find a totem pole that was dedicated to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The pole stands as an honor to all Texans who served in the RCAF during World War II.
Units At Camp Mabry Today
Camp Mabry currently houses the 136th Regional Training Institute, which you’ll find in the Texas National Guard Academy facility. This facility also provides the Officer Candidate School, the Non-Commissioned Officer Courses and other specialty educational facilities for the military. The United States Property and Fiscal Office is also located at Camp Mabry, and it is one of two state combined support maintenance shops.
You’ll also find a medical clinic, storage facilities, supply warehouses and the army of the 36th Infantry Division located here. The Adjutant General’s Office, headquarters for the Texas Joint Military Forces and 49th Troop Command are located in building 8 of the camp. Beside it, you’ll find the Lieutenant General Thomas S. Bishop All Faiths Chapel. This chapel is significant as it was build solely by Texas Military Forces.
Building 6 is another historical part of Camp Mabry’s history. It was the first mess hall built in 1918 and contained both a bakery and kitchen facilities.
Housing at Camp Mabry
You can reach the billeting office of Camp Mabry at 512-782-5500. Housing is available for all those stationed at Camp Mabry through this office.
If you are planning to lodge or visit Camp Mabry, you may also contact the billeting office or go to Building 83. Those eligible to stay at Camp Mabry include AD, NG, Res, Ret, dependents of those mentioned, widowers, DoD-Civ, DoD-Div Ret and any dependents. Availability is not always guaranteed, so it’s best to call beforehand.
Lodging includes barracks rooms with amenities such as handicap accessible, housekeeping, air conditioning, TV/cable and private bath. Guests are welcome to eat at the Exchange Food Court.
Off-base housing may be preferable to some families and individuals stationed here. Communities surrounding Austin that are excellent for military service men and women include Rosedale, Highland Park West, Rollingwood, Windsor Park and West Lake. Both rental and homes for sale are available at lower prices for military families.