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8 New Military Museums That Will Honor Veterans and Inspire All Americans

Exciting plans for new opportunities to learn about military skill and sacrifice in U.S. history


spinner image a photo illustration depicts the outside of a building surrounded by blue skies and trees. the modern building includes floor to ceiling windows, with a plane inside the museum.
The new National Museum of the U.S. Navy announced five design finalists this year. The museum is expected to break ground in 2025.
Quinn Evans/DOD
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You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published twice a month. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

The United States is blessed with some wonderful military museums, and AARP Veteran Report was pleased to highlight nine of them in March.

Subscribers to this newsletter pointed out that a number of new museums will be coming our way. Here are eight of them:

1. National Mounted Warrior Museum

This 58,000-square-foot museum is being constructed on 17 acres next to Fort Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) in Killeen, Texas, and is due to open November 8. The goal of the National Mounted Warfare Foundation and U.S. Army is to tell the story of the mounted units and soldiers — on vehicles, horses and aircraft — who have been based there.

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An preview tour is available online, and Open House Thursdays allow the public to see progress. The museum, run by the U.S. Army, will be free to the public, and visitor passes will not be required. The museum is expected to bring in 377,000 visitors a year, contributing $45 million to the local community.

spinner image an aerial rendering shows a spear shaped building that will be the future national museum of intelligence and special operations
The National Museum of Intelligence and Special Operations will focus on the history of the Office of Strategic Services.
The OSS Society

2. National Museum of Intelligence and Special Operations

Due to open in Ashburn, Virginia in July 2027, this museum has $125 million of private funding and will focus principally on the history of the Office of Strategic Services, the intelligence agency that was the forerunner of the CIA and Green Berets and existed from 1942 to 1945 under the leadership of Gen. “Wild Bill” Donovan.

The building will be shaped as a spearhead, which was the gold-on-black insignia of the OSS. It will feature 14,000 square feet of exhibit space, an educational program area and an outdoor event pavilion called Tip of the Spear.

Charles Pinck, president of the OSS Society and son of Dan Pinck, an OSS operative in China, says, “I hope people will take away how important these communities are to our national security and why they deserve our support.” A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for July 2025.​ ​

spinner image a digital rendering shows the minnesota military and veterans museum, a dark building in front of a blue sky and green grass
The new Minnesota Military Museum will open in 2025 and honor all branches of the military.
Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum

3. Minnesota Military Museum

This $13 million new museum will be located at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota and is due to open in spring 2025. The project includes a 40,000-square-foot facility on 32 acres of land. It will honor all branches of service.

Permanent exhibits will include Forts on the Frontier, about how Minnesota’s early forts and garrisons kept the peace and aided settlement on our early frontier, and the Story of the Jeep, highlighting Minnesota’s role in the vehicle’s development with six Jeeps from WWII through the 1980s on display.

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Visitors will be able to see more than 60 vehicles, tanks, aircraft and artillery pieces, step inside a boxcar used to transport American troops and horses in France during WWI and climb into the driver's seat of a tank turret.

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Multiple designs were submitted for the future National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Five finalists were announced earlier this year.
DoD photo illustration by DLR Group

4. National Museum of the United States Navy

The current National Museum of the United States Navy, established in 1962 and located on the grounds of the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., is preparing for an entirely new museum outside the Navy Yard.

Groundbreaking for the new museum is expected in the fall of 2025. Five ambitious designs were unveiled as finalists in April after an open competition. The Corsair aircraft, swift boat and sail of a submarine in the current museum will be transferred to the new one.

The current museum is open during limited hours and includes exhibits on the American Revolution, the Forgotten Wars of the 19th century and the Civil War. About 100,000 people visit it each year. The Navy expects 1.5 million annual visitors to the new museum.

spinner image a photo illustration shows a tall, white triangle sculpture outside a gray, multi-story modular building. the building is the future p o w m i a museum.
The new POW/MIA Museum will be used to educate the public about POW/MIA history.
POW/MIA Memorial & Museum

5. POW/MIA Museum

This center and museum, located in Jacksonville, Florida, will be used to educate the public about POW/MIA history. In 1973, 591 POWs returned home from Vietnam, signaling the approach of the end of the war. Over 500 troops were still missing. The mission of this museum is to ensure a future that honors and celebrates our American prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Exhibits will include The Heroes Walk and Freedom Trees; Chapel of High-Speed Pass, featuring a Missing Man Pew; and the Cecil Field Legacy Plaza and Memorial. Memorial bricks can be purchased in honor of any who have served or are currently serving our country. There is currently no scheduled opening date.

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spinner image a photo rendering shows the future national medal of honor museum at night. an american flag flies next to the museum, which is on the waterfront.
The future National Medal of Honor museum will tell the life stories of those who have received the nation’s highest honor.
National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation

6. National Medal of Honor Museum

This Arlington, Texas, museum is due to open in late 2024 and will give a narrative journey of the life stories of those who have received the nation’s highest honor. Of the 40 million Americans who have served in the armed forces since the Civil War, only 3,515 have earned the Medal of Honor.

Exhibits will be housed in 31,000 square feet of space. In addition, there will be space for meetings, memorials and ceremonies. To receive updates on the museum’s progress, subscribe here for its newsletter.

spinner image a photo rendering shows a waterfront museum with white flags and multiple coast guard boats in the water
The new National Coast Guard Museum will feature virtual reality simulators that place visitors in the role of an active duty Coast Guard member.
future Coast Guard Museum

7. National Coast Guard Museum

This museum is due to open in New London, Connecticut, by the end of 2024. It will cover 80,000 square feet, with 38,000 square feet of exhibit space spread out over six decks.

Exhibits will include Lifesavers Around the Globe, Defenders of Our Nation and Enforcers on the Sea. The Stem Discovery Center is guaranteed to appeal to all ages. The virtual reality simulators will allow visitors to place themselves in the role of an active duty member of the Coast Guard.

8. Navajo Code Talkers Museum

Navajo Code Talkers Day was instituted in 1982 to recognize the contributions of 400 Native American marines who used their language to deceive the Japanese enemy in the Pacific in WWII. Now there are plans for a Navajo Code Talkers Museum in Tse Bonito, New Mexico.

Although the Navajo Nation received $1 million in funding from the state legislature, the project is currently struggling financially and there is no scheduled opening date.

You can subscribe here to AARP Veteran Report, a free e-newsletter published twice a month. If you have feedback or a story idea then please contact us here.

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