Named for ConfederateLieutenant GeneralAmbrose Powell Hill, Fort A.P. Hill, known as the place "Where America's Military Sharpens Its Combat Edge" is an all-purpose, year-round, military training center strategically located approximately 90 minutes south of the National Capital Region. With 76,000 acres of land, including a modern 28,000-acre, live-fire range complex featuring more than 100 direct and indirect fire ranges, it is one of the largest East Coast military installations. Military units can engage in training ranging from small unit operations to major maneuvers with combined arms, live-fire exercises.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Army General Staff faced the task of raising, training, and developing an army of men to fight for the United States. With no military post located between the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay, the Army sent agents to inspect several sites, including what is known as present-day Fort A.P. Hill. It was established on June 11, 1941 by War Department General Order #5 and became the staging location for Gen. George Patton's North African campaign. It was used for field portions of Officer Candidate School and was a staging area for units on deployment to Europe during the Korean War and also hosted Engineer Officer Candidate School training during the Vietnam era. Since 1981, the U.S. Army has allowed the Boy Scouts of America to use Fort A.P. Hill as the home of the national Scout jamboree. Today, the installation serves every component of the U.S. Armed Forces, active and reserve, and several other governmental agencies with year-round, realistic training.