Installation served U.S. armed forces for 94 years
FORT MONMOUTH, NJ – The American flag was lowered at Fort Monmouth for the final time yesterday, signaling the closure of the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command (CECOM).
“This is a sad day for Monmouth County and the thousands of veterans and civilian contractors who lived or worked at Fort Monmouth over the years,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA).
The final retreat ceremony commemorated and celebrated 94 years of historic achievements at the Fort Monmouth installation, which was built in 1917 as a World War I signal training camp. Since then it has served as home to U.S. Army Chaplain School, the U.S. Military Preparatory School and the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade prior to housing CECOM.
It also has been the home for soldiers, civilians, contractors, scientists and engineers who have provided technological support and innovations that have saved the lives of many of America’s armed forces and helped secure the safety of the United States.
“For almost a century this has been a special place where people forged life-long relationships,” said Garrison Manager George E. Fitzmaier. “Where they met friends and future spouses, where soldiers were trained to serve our nation, where generations of families have lived, loved and worked with great enthusiasm, and where lasting memories were made by, and for, us all.”
In 2005, Fort Monmouth was selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission and soon embarked on a transition to move operations to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The BRAC decision called for the transfer of 4,950 civilian and 450 military positions.
The American flag was lowered by a contingent of Department of Defense police officers and was presented to Maj. Gen. Randolph Strong. It will be will be encased in the CECOM building’s lobby at Aberdeen. Other flags that have flown over the fort were presented to Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian G. Burry and representatives of Oceanport, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, where the fort is located, and the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA).
“The great things we accomplished together will live on in our memories,” Fitzmaier told the large crowd that came to witness and participate in the final retreat. “The legacy of this great installation will remain forever as a proud part of our region’s and our nation’s history.”