1920's picture of building 6 and the parade ground of Camp Mabry.

Ordnance Shop at Camp Mabry during World War II

F-4C Phantom II on static display

F-4C Phantom II  This aircraft was flown by the then 147th Tactical Fighter Group to support their Cold War commitment. Two aircraft were kept fueled and armed to perform interceptor missions.

Old main entrance to post, now closed.

36th Division Headquarters preparing for deployment.

A brief history of Camp Mabry

Sketch of old entrance to Camp Mabry

General MabryCamp Mabry, named after Brigadier General Woodford H. Mabry, the Adjutant General of Texas from January 23, 1891 to May 4, 1898, is the headquarters of the Texas Military Forces. The original 90 acres, located on an elevated plain, overlooking the Colorado River about three miles northwest of the Capitol Building in Austin, was selected and donated by a committee of prominent citizens, businessmen and Guardsmen. It was accepted by Governor James S. Hogg on behalf of the state in 1892.

The same citizen’s committee raised and spent $25,000 for improvements, including a mess shed and an attractive grandstand. The Adjutant General’s Department had the prerogative of naming the camp and the choice was given to the 59 companies of the State Militia. Fifty one out of 59 voted to name it Camp Mabry in honor of General Mabry.

Through the years Camp Mabry expanded by various means and new construction on the site continued. The committee obtained permission from the legislature to charge admission to the public for activities held at the camp grounds. The Militia held annual encampments on the post and by 1911 Camp Mabry had expanded to more than 385 acres. The citizens of Austin donated 80 acres. Ninety acres were purchased from the proceeds of sham battles, horse races and polo games that were conducted on the post. Two hundred acres were purchased with federal funds. In 1915, the first building, an arsenal, was completed by the state for the National Guard. Immediately after its completion, all military equipment and weapons that had been in the state capitol building were moved to the arsenal. The building (41) stands on the east side of the post.

With the onset of World War I, the Texas National Guard, was mobilized for the war and Camp Mabry was used by the Army as a school for auto mechanics.

112th Cavalry troops standing at mount When World War II erupted, Camp Mabry continued in existence as the Headquarters of the Texas Defense Guard, the only remaining State Militia. When the war ended, Camp Mabry was again the Headquarters for the State Military Forces. It was the focal point for the reorganization of the Texas National Guard, as well as the Texas State Guard. Additionally, the Adjutant General’s Office moved from the state capitol building to Camp Mabry during this period.

The post observed its 100th anniversary in 1992. It has the distinction of being the third oldest active military installation in the state, behind Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and Fort Bliss in El Paso. In the past, Camp Mabry has been the home for the Department of Public Safety training schools, the host for many visiting military dignitaries, served as a Totem Polerecreation ground for the citizens of Austin and served as a school for auto mechanics. It has heard the beat of the cavalry horse’s hooves, the tramp of the infantryman’s feet and the sharp crack of rifle fire. The roar of aircraft engines and the beat of helicopter blades resounded over the post when it was home for the aviation assets of the Army Guard. The shouts of airborne troopers in training echoed through the hills on the western edge of the post, bringing back memories of the 36th Airborne Brigade’s basic airborne school conducted during the early 1970’s. A totem pole was dedicated by the Royal Canadian Air Force in honor of all Texans who served in the RCAF during World War II.

Currently, the post is home to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Texas Military Forces, the Headquarters of the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, the Texas State Guard and the 36 th Infantry Division. In addition Camp Mabry's 800 plus acres are the location of the 136th Regional Training Institute located in the Texas National Guard Academy building, the United States Property and Fiscal Office, one of two state Combined Support Maintenance Shops, a PX, a troop medical clinic, temporary billeting, a parachute packing and storehouse, numerous supply and warehouse facilities, the offices of the Adjutant General and the Assistant Adjutant Generals for Army and Air, as well as all the civilian offices of the Adjutant General's Department of Texas. A Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center is also located at Camp Mabry .

Among the more interesting parts of the post for the visiting public, is the Lieutenant General Thomas S. Bishop All Faiths Chapel. The chapel was built in the early 1970s and its entire cost paid for with funds raised by members of the Texas Military Forces. The 45,000 square-foot Texas Military Forces Museum is located across the street from the chapel.  The running track around the parade ground, which is also the location of aircraft and artillery displays from the museum, is also a popular facility available to all Austinites.

Camp Mabry is an open post and all adults possessing a valid photo ID (such as a driver's license), as well as children accompanied by adults, are welcome to enter the post during daylight hours to visit the museum and/or its outdoor exhibits, shop at the PX, or run on its track.