There has been a military presence in Fort Drum, New York since 1908. It was first used as a training facility for the military but was known as Pine Camp. Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant was in charge of Pine Camp and 2,000 regulars and 8,000 militia were trained there. In 1909, the government official purchased the land for Pine Camp and was used as a summer training facility over the years. The 100 miles surrounding Pine Camp, Pine Plains, was used for training soldiers in peacetime maneuvers starting in 1935. From all across the northwest portion of the country, approximately 36,500 traveled to the area to be part of the exercise. The War Department decided that this area was so beneficial for training exercises that they purchased an additional 9,000 acres of land adjacent to the camp.
When World War II started in 1939, the government decided that Pine Camp should be expanded even more. As a result, a further 75,000 acres of land was purchased. Although this was good from a military standpoint, it meant that a total of five villages had to be destroyed. In fact, over 500 families lost their homes and had to move. A total of 3,000 buildings were abandoned before construction could start on the new city to support the base. Twenty million dollars later, eight hundred buildings were constructed. Pine Camp had three major divisions, the 4th Armored Division, the 5th Armored Division, and the 45th Infantry Division. It also served another purpose, as a prisoner of war camp. Italian and German troops who were captured during the war were kept there.
In 1951, Pine Camp received a new name, Camp Drum. It was named after Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum who was the chief of staff during World War I. In 1974 when a permanent garrison moved to Camp Drum, its name again changed to what it is now, Fort Drum. The 76th Engineer Battalion moved there from Fort Meade and in 1984, the 10th Light Infantry Division did the same thing. Over the years, the fort has seen many changes. At least $1.3 billion was put into the fort to help expand building and roads and more and more units have made it their base.
As of the last census done by the U.S. Census Bureau, the fort now occupies a total of 25.4 square miles (107,265 acres), 35% of which is water. There are over 12,000 people at the fort, made up to 2,253 households and 2,203 families. The breakdown of the demographics is as follows: 64.2% are white, 19.8% are African-American, 13.3% are Hispanic, and 2.4% are Asian. Approximately three-quarters of the households have children under the age of 18 and 92% are married couples. The highest percentage of people are between the ages of 18 and 24 with the next biggest age bracket those between the ages of 25 and 44. The median income for households is $31,699 and about 6% of the population is living below the poverty line.
At The Federal Practice Group Worldwide Service, we are committed to defending those who have been accused of crimes while on military bases. We not only are able to defend those on Fort Drum, but in military bases across the country. If you have questions about military criminal defense and how we could help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our legal team today. You need someone on your side who understands both military law and criminal law.
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