Fort Custer – Michigan (PDF)



Fort Custer is located six miles west of Battle Creek and 18 miles east of Kalamazoo, Mich. During World War I, thousands of troops were trained on the site of the present Fort, then known as Camp Custer. Following the war most of the buildings were dismantled and the site continued to serve as a summer training camp. In August of 1941, Camp Custer was renamed Fort Custer and designated as a permanent Army post. The first barracks completed were occupied by troops on November 20th, 1940. A Reception Center was established and the balance of the buildings were soon occupied by the Fifth Division which was scheduled for combat training. With the completion of training of the Fifth Division, the 94th was activated and started training at this site. It was, however, moved to another locality when the Fort was established as the HOME OF THE CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE. The Military Police train on terrain and with equipment that is ideal for the highly specialized work that they perform. The modern and ever busy ranges include facilities for the many weapons employed in training; inclusive art the machine gun, the mortar, shotgun, rifles, pistol, etc. Also in continuous use are special training courses such as the Infiltration Course, The Obstacle Course, Jungle Course, The Anti-mechanized Defense Course, The Demolition Course and Mine Field Area, The Street Fighting Course and Live Hand Grenade Courses. In addition there are the Debarkation Nets, Gas Chambers, Prisoner of War Enclosures and training aids too numerous to mention. Fort Custer comprises many types of training and schools for specialists. The First Training Regiment is charged with the mission of providing basic, technical and tactical training for individual soldiers. The Second Training Regiment trains companies and Military Police Battalions for duty in any desired theatre of operations. Such organizations include Post Camp and Station, Prisoner of War Processing and Escort Guard Companies. The Provost Marshal General’s School is the service school for the Corps of Military Police and provides specialized training for officers, officer candidates and selected enlisted men. In addition there are such Auxiliary Troops as Quartermaster and Medical Sanitary Units. Here, also, are located two companies of the Woman’s Army Corps known as the WAC Detachment. Appropriately stationed at the Fort is the Military Police Board which carries on extensive research of Military Police equipment and methods of use, as utilized by the Corps of Military Police; also the Advisory Liaison Branch of the Military Police Division, Provost Marshal General’s Office. It is hoped this picture record of Fort Custer will serve as a permanent “memory-log” of the Army training period here.