FORT BENNING, Ga. — Change of commands are pretty routine at Fort Benning. One is coming up at the National Infantry Museum Foundation that has just been announced.
Greg Camp will be retiring in a few months as President and Chief Operating Officer. I spent some time with Greg at the museum reflecting on his 15 years of service there.
Can you believe it’s been over eight years since the National Infantry Museum held its ribbon cutting ceremony? For Greg Camp, it’s been an incredible experience watching the museum go from a rendering on paper to a $110 million world class attraction.
“In looking back at some of those old renderings and so forth, we didn’t have enough imagination. It was never as good in the early days in our mind as what it turned out to be,” says Greg Camp.
Greg was brought on board the museum project in 2002 by his good friend Ben Williams, the former president of the foundation. They along with General Jerry White forged the team charged with raising the funds to build the museum. It has attracted millions of visitors since opening in 2009. Greg says one of the museum’s biggest honors came last year, when it was voted the best free museum in America.
“Our fan base if you will…those families that have been here with their soldiers, those reunion groups, those kids who come here with school groups, those visitors who saw us on Trip Advisor…voted for us all over the country,” says Camp.
Greg’s office is located just above his favorite exhibit at the museum called “The Last 100 Yards.”
“The last 100 yards of that battle belongs to the infantryman. And we take them on a journey as infantrymen have fought that last 100 yards from Yorktown all the way to Afghanistan and Iraq and even now in Syria and other parts of the Middle East,” says Camp.
As an infantryman himself, and the former Chief of Staff at Fort Benning, Greg loves to witness soldiers young and old immerse themselves in the rich heritage housed within the museum’s walls.
“You see these young soldiers come here that are brand new and they look at this museum and say WOW – what a heritage I’m joining. And then you see these reunion groups come back and in many cases now we’re getting the tail end of the Korean War and the Vietnam reunion groups that are coming back, and they’re looking at this and they’re saying…I just can’t believe that we’ve got some place that’s going to keep our legacy alive, that’s going to preserve the selfless service of my buddies and our unit and our endeavor,” says Camp.
Colonel Greg Camp will be retiring on January 10. He’s being replaced by Brigadier General Pete Jones, who just retired as Commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School at the Maneuver Center of Excellence. Greg says he intends to stay involved with museum and wants to help raise the final $5 million to make it debt free.