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How San Antonio Became 'Military City USA'

You’ve probably heard San Antonio be called ‘Military City USA’, but have you ever wondered why? The city of San Antonio has a rich history and deep roots with the military that date back to the 1700s. 

How San Antonio Became 'Military City USA' JBSA Karina Gafford Your San Antonio Community Real Estate Texas Homefront United

San Antonio is the oldest municipality in Texas, celebrating its 300th anniversary in May 2018. The first Spanish soldiers founded the San Antonio de Bexar Presidio as a mission and colonial outpost in 1718. Since then, San Antonio has been included in many historical affiliations, including:

  • Mexican Republic: 1821-1836
  • Republic of Texas: 1836-1845
  • Confederate States: 1861-1865
  • United States: 1846-1861, 1865-Present

While San Antonio was unofficially known as ‘Military City USA’ for many years, it was made official in 2017 when the city trademarked the phrase and began using it on logos and marketing materials. The City of San Antonio unveiled the registered trademark on June 19th on the steps of City Hall. This logo celebrates San Antonio’s deep-rooted history with the military, going back over 300 years.

San Antonio is home to the largest joint base in the U.S. Department of Defense, which is also part of the reason for the trademark. Joint Base San Antonio was established in 2005 and includes four primary locations: Fort Sam Houston, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland Air Force Base, and Camp Bullis. Fort Sam Houston’s roots trace back to 1845, making it the oldest military base in San Antonio and one of the oldest of the U.S. Army. 

In addition, the largest military healthcare organization within the U.S. Department of Defense, Brooke Army Medical Center, is located in San Antonio. BAMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center is the sole center within the Military Health System and serves more than 4,000 military and civilian trauma patients each year.

Due to the city’s huge military presence, Bexar County is home to over 159,000 veterans and over 80,000 active-duty military service members. If you’d like to learn more about the history of San Antonio, visit:

  • U.S. Army Medical Department Museum at Fort Sam Houston
  • Fort Sam’s Historic Quadrangle Museum – the second oldest military facility in San Antonio

If you have any questions about San Antonio, JBSA, or military life, please reach out to us! We would love to be a resource for you!

Blog photo credit to SanAntonio.gov