The United States Government established Camp Meade in June of 1917 to help train the massive Army required to fight in World War I. It was named in honor of the victor of the 1863 battle of Gettysburg, Gen. George Gordon Meade. Located on 8,000 acres in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the post was rapidly created out of privately owned orchards and farmland. By the end of the war, Camp Meade had processed 12,000 horses and over 100,000 men for service overseas. Fort Meade was retained by the Army and became the headquarters (HQ) of the fledgling tank corps from 1919-1932. Both Major Dwight D. Eisenhower and Colonel George S. Patton served here in the 1920s.
World War II gave Fort Meade a new lease on life. Large units like the 76th Division and the Virginia/Maryland 29th Division trained and staged here for service in Europe. A large number of support and tank battalions were also formed here as were the Army's Special Services School and a German/Italian POW camp. For GIs returning from the war, Fort Meade served as one of the primary out-processing locations on the East Coast. First and Second Army HQs were stationed here after WW II, as were the 2nd, 6th and 11th Armored cavalry regiments (ACRs). The 11th ACR departed Ft Meade for service in Vietnam in 1967, thus ending the presence of armored forces here. Fort Meade was also used in the 1960s as HQ for anti-aircraft missile defenses for the Washington DC area. Ft Meade currently supports the National Security Agency (NSA) with its attendant multi-service intelligence units as well as the Defense Information School (DINFOS) and several smaller tenant organizations.