The area that is now Quantico was long the home of the Algonquin Indians and the name Quantico comes from their word for ?by the stream.? They recognized the ability of the land to sustain them and also the scenic beauty of the area. The first Europeans arrived around the turn of the 17th Century when Spaniards visited the area. Tobacco was the main product of early Scottish settlers in the Quantico area, which was the home of many Revolutionary War heroes. American, British and French armies used nearby roads to move from one battlefield to another. During the Civil War, Confederates used the Potomac's banks as gun positions to halt Union traffic on the river.
While the Town of Quantico was rapidly growing as a fishing village, excursion center and a shipbuilding center in early 1917, the town was not large or significant, and was suffering many financial difficulties. Around the same time, then-Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General George Barnett, sent a board to find possible sites for a new Marine Corps base in the Washington, DC, vicinity.
Since 1917, Quantico has initiated Marine Corps concepts, doctrine, training, and equipment. The Marine Corps and other branches of service look to Quantico to lead the way with technological advances as well as creative and innovative thinking for present and future battles. Quantico is also the academic platform for the Corps, from Officer Candidates School to the Marine Corps University.
The FBI Academy is located at MBC Quantico. The Facility, which opened in the Summer of 1972, is situated on 385 wooded acres of land providing the security, privacy, and safe environment necessary to carry out the diverse training and operations functions for which the FBI is responsible. The Drug Enforcement Administration also has their training academy at Quantico, Virginia.
The 1990s were a great time of growth for Quantico. In 1995, the base became home to one of the Corps' most forward-thinking organizations, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. The lab's mission is to conduct experimentation in 21st century warfare. Wargames and experiments produce new tactics and technologies to make the Marine warfighter more capable.
Additionally the United States military, particularly the Marine Corps, began to play a greater role in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance operations. The Department of Defense established the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate in 1997 to provide the military with greater flexibility in dealing with the challenges of Military Operations Other Than War.
With so many diverse yet intricately woven units, it is appropriate that Quantico is called the "Crossroads" of the Marine Corps. This is perhaps the only command whose mission touches the farthest reaches of the Corps; decisions made here impact Marines aboard ship, fighting in the global war on terrorism, on guard duty at embassies across the globe and reserve duty throughout the United States.
Always a priority, new housing is being built as well as renovations to some current housing units. The Public-Private Venture program is working to build more than 990 new homes and renovate more than 140 existing units.
The Quantico Naval Medical Clinic was named after Medal of Honor recipient John Henry Balch, and the new MCCDC Headquarters was named after General Raymond G. Davis.
Throughout the decades, Quantico has continued to change, grow and prosper, becoming a nucleus for Marine training, education and technology, and doctrine development.
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