In 2018, the City of San Antonio will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding. This once in a lifetime event will highlight the close relationship between City and the military—a bond that began with the establishment of the Presidio de Bexar in 1718, which at the time, served as the seat of government and headquarters of military power in Colonial Texas.
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In the past 300 years, military units in San Antonio have partnered with the City in a number of historic milestones. This long relationship and close cooperation continues to strengthen the bonds between the military and its citizens. One of the more recent milestones, and significant pillars of the Department of Defense, was the establishment of Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) in 2010. JBSA is the largest joint base in the Department of Defense and is home to several commands whose missions are essential to national defense.
JBSA is comprised of four primary locations, JBSA Randolph, Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, and Lackland Air Force Base. The bases serve as a major hub for medical training, flight training, cyber/surveillance operations, and military intelligence. Nine percent of the region’s residents are associated with JBSA. In addition, JBSA supports 266 mission partners and is home to more DoD students than any other installation, more active runways than any other installation, and houses the DoD’s largest hospital and only Level One Trauma Center in the country. Additionally, every medic and Navy Corpsman in the DoD is trained at JBSA; every Airman in the Air Force completes their basic military training at JBSA, and over 800 pilots accomplish their training on JBSA facilities.
JBSA supports the region’s more than 250,000 retirees, including approximately 425 retired general officers, and interfaces 1,000 civic leaders of San Antonio, 20 smaller communities, four counties and four Congressional districts. JBSA serves as the home to vitally important operational headquarters that support homeland defense and defense of the Western Hemisphere.
JBSA is the largest single employer in San Antonio contributes nearly $49 billion to the Texas economy and supports about 283,000 Texans in some capacity, contributing about $17 billion in disposable personal income.
The Tricentennial Celebration will not be complete without highlighting the immense importance of the past and present contributions of the military to the community. Of note, the San Antonio region is one of the most lucrative for military recruiting in the nation.
We believe this year will provide increased, invaluable opportunities for the Armed Services to showcase their operational capabilities, professionalism and most importantly, the superb quality of our young men and women who serve in uniform through the year. Examples include parade participation, presence at various events (e.g., approved recruiting opportunities), and supporting events created specifically for the Tricentennial.
We appreciate the support that local commanders, business and civic leaders from throughout the region have expressed in supporting this effort. We look forward to working with each Service and community in making this event a great success. We are soliciting their ideas to celebrate active, Guard, Reserve, civilian, and family contributions to our nation and influence on “Military City, USA.”
During the month of May, the Tricentennial Celebration will commemorate its past during Commemorative Week. This week includes a weekend exclusively dedicated to the military, 4-6 May 2018 (Military Appreciation Weekend).
Throughout the Tricentennial year, the City of San Antonio wishes to highlight the importance of our military missions and educate the community of our rich marital heritage locally, but also our national and worldwide importance to the DoD and our nation. The City of San Antonio is planning on show casing the following events during Military Appreciation Weekend and at sanctioned Tricentennial military events throughout the year.
We are known as “Military City USA” because of the high value we place on our military, veterans, and families for their significant contributions to our community over the centuries. As home to the largest joint base in the DoD, the increased benefits for military Services’ Tricentennial support include year-long recruiting opportunities as well as outreach initiatives yielding worldwide, positive public relations impacts. Funding and sponsorship is instrumental in making these events a reality.