The National Museum of the Army, in Virginia, about 30 minutes south of Washington DC was opened in 2021. There are still construction going outside when I visited in the spring of 2022. The first real military museum that I had a chance to visit since the pandemic hit. Everything is new, it design is fresh, and has great items on display. The galleries flow from pre-revolutionary war right through the wars in the 21st century in Iraq and Afghanistan. Being the ‘official’ US Army Museum, it of course pays homage to the men and women who served. At the same time, it was a very balanced view of the role the US Army played, good and bad. There was a great balance of views about segregation, treatment of minorities and females. Politics are considered but kept at a minimum to understand context.
Like the US Marine Museum that opened not long ago (and also not far away), the displays are fresh and well done. The cold war presentation short film was especially nice with a red phone and period items. There are life size ‘dioramas’, the highlight of which are the soldiers climbing down onto landing crafts and the individual wax figures. These figures are all different and was cast from actual serving military members – as one of the very nice guides told me. She even showed me a picture of when one of the soldiers visited, standing next to ‘himself’. The staff seems to be all current and ex-military.
Finally, the presentation of medal of honor recipients is a sobering look at what sacrifices were made.
As most official museums in this area, there are no entrance fees. Support by individuals and grants. Highly recommended.
link to their website – National Museum of the United States Army (thenmusa.org)