So, Corporal Brody has arrived at Camp Custer, and the First Battalion, Mobile Armored Corps is beginning to take shape. The unit is going to take some time to put together, but you can rest assured that Captain Patton will ensure it is ready to fight the Martians.

Camp Custer is an actual place, built in 1917 for military training during World War I. Named after Civil War cavalry officer General George Armstrong Custer, more than 100,000 troops trained or demobilized there during the war.

Camp Custer

In the years following World War I, the camp was used to train the Officer Reserve Corps and the Civilian Conservation Corps.

On August 17, 1940, Camp Custer was designated Fort Custer and became a permanent military training base. During World War II, more than 300,000 troops trained there, including the famed 5th Infantry Division (also know as the “Red Diamond Division”) which left for combat in Normandy, France, June 1944. Fort Custer also served as a prisoner of war camp for 5,000 German soldiers until 1945.

Fort Custer became home to units of the Navy Reserve in 1949 and to a Marine Corps Reserve Tactical Bridge Company in 1952. Also during that time, approximately 17,000 troops were trained for the Korean War. Beginning in 1959, Fort Custer served for a decade as part of the North American Air Defense system.

In 1968, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs assumed control of Fort Custer. Today, the facility is federally-owned and state-operated.