Military museums cover the region with some focusing on specific conflicts while others talk about the region’s impact on that war. But the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center is set apart from all the others. Located at Fort Benning, home of the Infantry and Ranger School, Columbus, Georgia is the ideal setting for such a space.
In fact, many graduations are held here. Be sure to give yourself at least a few hours to spend at the Smithsonian-quality museum, even though you could easily spend an entire day here. Guides provide great information on the infantry roles in wars throughout the years. Perhaps the most impressive is that the museum is run entirely on donations.
What to See at the National Infantry Museum
Start your journey in the section called “The Last 100 Yards,” named for the infantry’s place on the battlefield. This section features eight significant battles and the figures in the display are modeled after real soldiers. The tanks, helicopters, and other pieces of machinery are also real, some taken from the battlefield.
It includes the battles of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War, Antietam in Civil War, Soissons in World War I, Normandy in World War II, Corregidor in the World War II Pacific campaign, Soam-Ni in Korea, LZ X-Ray in Vietnam, and Iraq in the Persian Gulf War.
Another section shows the future, which focuses on soldier training, especially infantry training, at Fort Benning. Others honor the winners of the medal of valor and exhibits focus specifically on the Cold War, the World Wars, and modern conflicts.
You can also watch a movie in the museum’s theater, which place large-scale and 3D productions. The Fife & Drum Restaurant is another feature of the museum, serving hearty sandwiches.
Tips for Visiting the National Infantry Museum
National Infantry Museum And Soldier Center is located at 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia 31903. Parking is free. Admission is a $5 suggested donation. They’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Where to Eat Near the National Infantry Museum
Located inside the National Infantry Museum, the Fife & Drum Restaurant is the perfect spot for lunch after exploring the galleries. The menu has a little bit of everything, including flatbreads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Rose’s Caribbean Restaurant has Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken, curry goat, and oxtails. Orient Express has a little bit of everything, including bulgogi, egg drop soup, and Mongolian beef.
Where to Stay Near the National Infantry Museum
Hampton Inn Columbus/South-Fort Benning is the closest to the entrance of Fort Benning and the National Infantry Museum. Amenities include an outdoor pool, continental breakfast, and a fitness center.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus-Fort Benning has coin laundry, an onsite gym, and a pool, along with daily breakfast and WiFi.