California State Military Museum
The Official State Resource to California's Military History
By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force
In February of 2017, the ground breaking of the new California State Military Museum in Sacramento was announced and has been making steady progress.
In addition to its main location in Sacramento, the Museum has five satellite Museums located at Camp Roberts in southern Monterey County, Camp San Luis Obispo, Fresno Air National Guard Base, the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base in Orange County and the National Guard Armory in San Diego.
Californians have a long and proud tradition of service that stretches back over two centuries when Alta California was a Spanish colony and later a Mexican province, and the California State Military History Museum desires to share that with our citizenry. Since joining the Union, California has provided more of its citizens to our common defense than any other state.
As an example of the California soldier's commitment, consider Nelson Holderman, thought by many to be the most decorated American soldier of the First World War. He served in the California National Guard before and after the war. He is most notable for commanding a rifle company of the famous Lost Battalion during World War I for which he received the Medal of Honor.
Status of the California State Military Museum System
Since February of 2017, the museum team has taken possession of the first of five buildings at the 28th and B streets site in Sacramento. This building will serve as a workshop and large item storage area. for vehicles, helicopters, tanks, and more. Also being prepared is an additional building for transfer. This is a large open warehouse that will become the main public space.
The initial proposed floor plans, which have been delivered to the Military Department's facilities branch for the development of architectural and engineering plans, have been prepared, and over $100,000 worth of display cases from the California Department of Parks and Recreation have been received.
While they will use some appropriated funds for the development of the site, many items such as new display cases, mannequins, mobile display sets and conservation and restoration supplies and services will need to be funded by private donors and sponsorships.
You are encouraged to learn more about the California State Military Museum by visiting their website at http://www.militarymuseum.org where you may consider making a tax deductible donation to the California State Military Museum via the California Military Department Support Fund.