|National Infantry Museum|
|Location||1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia 31903, United States|
|Visitors||300,000+ per year|
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center is a museum located in Columbus, Georgia, just outside Fort Benning, the home of the infantry. The 190,000-square-foot museum opened in June 2009. The facility tells the story of the United States Army infantryman, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan. The museum houses artifacts from all eras of American history and contains interactive multimedia exhibits. The National Infantry Museum emphasizes the values that define the infantryman, as well as the nation he protects: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
In addition to galleries, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center also consists of:
• The Patriot Park IMAX Theatre • NIM Sim Combat Simulators • The EST2000 Rifle Range • The Fife and Drum Restaurant • The Soldier Store Gift Shop • Heritage Walk • Memorial Walk of Honor
Until April 2008, the museum was housed in an old army hospital on Fort Benning. Space and conditions for the museum’s collection was inadequate. There was a failed attempt to raise money for a new museum in the 1970s. In 1998, the 501(c)(3) National Infantry Foundation  was formed to plan, raise funds and to operate a new museum. The National Infantry Foundation has since formed a formal partnership with the army to manage the facility and its contents. The National Infantry Museum does not receive federal, state or city funding. Through its lease agreement with the National Infantry Foundation, the army reimburses the foundation for approximately 30 percent of the mueum’s annual operating expenses. The museum relies on donations, memberships and revenue-generating attractions such as the IMAX theatre, combat simulators, Fife and Drum Restaurant, Soldier Store and catering to cover operating expenses.
In April 2012 – three years since opening – the museum welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor. It has received coverage in national and foreign media and it received the Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association in 2011.
Notes and references
- "National Infantry Foundation, Inc. control no. K838308". Georgia Secretary of State. New filing: 10/16/1998. https://cgov.sos.state.ga.us/Account.aspx/ViewEntityData?entityId=1088443.
- "17th Annual Thea Awards (2011)". Themed Entertainment Association. http://www.teaconnect.org/thea-recipients#2011.
- Putnam, Walter, "Powell salutes soldiers at museum opening", Military Times (Associated Press), August 3, 2009.
- Williams, Chuck, "Colin Powell speaks at Infantry Museum grand opening", Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, June 20, 2009.
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