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Visiting the impressive National Infantry Museum

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National Infantry Museum entrance statue
A statue of a soldiers at the entrance of the National infantry Museum. (Photo courtesy of author/National Infantry Museum)

For Veteran’s Day weekend last year, my wife and I visited some family at Fort Moore in Columbus, Georgia. As we rode into the town of Columbus, I knew we had some time to kill, so we planned to visit the National Infantry Museum. As an infantryman myself, I couldn’t wait to see it, but I knew there was only one way my wife would want me to visit – with a belly full of BBQ and a few beers! So we hit lunch and a brewery first, and then I was in the proper infantry mindset.  

I was pleasantly surprised as we arrived at the location and my excitement grew: the National Infantry Museum is tucked away but is impressively big. As we entered the lobby, a very nice man pointed out my multitool and acknowledged the metal detector. So I ran it out to the car and came back, now unarmed and without the infantry’s second favorite tool. I entered, still optimistic and still slightly buzzed. 

I joke, but I was honestly excited to see what the museum had to offer. It was a nice bonus to our trip, and I do love my infantry. 

The Last 100 Yards 

Capture of Redoubt #10 display at the National Infantry Museum
The Capture of Redoubt #10 display at the National Infantry Museum. (Courtesy of author/National Infantry Museum)

There is a saying the infantry controls the last 100 yards of any battle. Therefore, it’s proper that the museum’s first display is called The Last 100 Yards, which chronicles the Army’s various battles throughout history and around the world. It features engagements from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and finally, the “desert war” which encompasses Desert Storm and the GWOT. The museum has a display for each major American.

A WWI display at the National Infantry Museum. (Courtesy of author/National Infantry Museum)

Each display portrays life-like soldiers fighting an enemy we don’t often see. The statues are all based on real soldiers who auditioned to play their predecessors. Each scene recreates specific events, like Millett’s Bayonet Attack and the Battle of Antietam, and the soldiers have period-correct uniforms and equipment. The displays are aided by audio and visual accouterments that bring the scenes to life. It’s an impressive exhibit and pumps you up to see the rest of the museum. 

Related: The history of MARSOC is the history of the Marine Raiders

Inside the National Infantry Museum 

The Last 100 Yards serves as a teaser trailer for the rest of the museum.

The museum has rooms dedicated to each era, as well as to the modern soldier. Each room catalogs the era’s war and the battles that were fought, and lays out the environment; it also features displays illustrating the gear and weaponry used in that era both by the American soldier and the enemy.

Belly Flopper
The Belly Flopper experimental vehicle. (Courtesy of author/National Infantry Museum)

We see various uniforms, rifles, handguns, machine guns, and even vehicles including a World War I light tank that was found in Iraq in 2003 and brought back to the museum. 

The displays deconstruct generations of soldiers and conflict. The rooms also feature items like Audie Murphy’s cap , enemy coffee cups, and similar others that paint a more personal picture. 

As a bit of a historical weapons nerd, I was ecstatic to see the development of the M16 display and weapons like the Stoner 63 in various configurations, not to mention weapons that were stripped from high-ranking Nazis or highly experimental rifles. 

For the low low price of free

Audie Murphy’s officer cap. (Courtesy of author/National Infantry Museum)

The National Infantry Museum is very large, easy to move around in, and even when there’s a crowd, you aren’t congested. It’s quiet and peaceful, and you have ample time to see every display without rushing. Taking my time, I saw everything in about two hours. It also has a VR simulation room, but to my great dismay, it was temporarily closed. 

The National Infantry Museum is free, but there is a suggested donation, as the museum is held together by them; I was more than happy to drop a donation in the box. The staff was courteous and friendly, and as we left, they were setting up for a Marine Corps ball. While it’s an Army museum, it would be an awesome place to host a ball. 

If you are in Columbus or near Fort Moore, I’d suggest swinging by. It’s an awesome museum, and I was thoroughly impressed.

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Travis Pike

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.

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