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U.S. Army

Rock Island Arsenal, IL

Rock Island, IL 61299  |  Post Operator: DSN: 793-6001, (309) 782-6001

Rock Island Arsenal: Overview

While it has quite a rich history, today the Arsenal serves all branches of the Armed Forces (including the local National Guard and Army Reserves) as the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing arsenal in the United States. Gun mounts, recoil mechanisms, artillery carriages, and other associated equipment are all manufactured on Arsenal Island, as well as tool sets, kits, and other outfits for field artillery equipment. Over 6,000 civilians are employed on Arsenal Island, as well as around 250 military personnel.

Rock Island Arsenal: Education

A military career is demanding and it requires a great deal of training to become proficient at your job duties. Having said that, it is obvious that the military values higher education, which is why it provides such great benefits to service members. Take advantage of these benefits by earning a degree from an online school while stationed at Rock Island Arsenal. Online schools provide a high-quality education in a convenient format. So, you can earn a degree on your time no matter where you are. Learn more by requesting information from a number of these schools. Start by clicking the "Find A School" button below:

Rock Island Arsenal: Location

Situated on 946 acres of land, the Rock Island Arsenal is literally on an island on the Mississippi River. It is nestled between the four cities in Illinois and Iowa known as the “Quad Cities”: Rock Island, IL, Moline, IL, Davenport, IA, and Bettendorf, IA. These cities were originally founded as riverboat communities, but have since flourished into lively Midwestern cities.

Rock Island Arsenal: Interesting Facts

Military presence on the island began in the early 1800's, but an act of Congress officially established the island for military use in 1816. At this time, the predecessor of the Rock Island Arsenal, named Fort Armstrong, was built. The government formally established the Rock Island Arsenal, or "R.I.A", in July of 1862. During the Civil War, the Union army established a Confederate prison camp on the island, housing over 12,000 Confederates during its two years in operation. Over 2,000 Confederate prisoners who perished while imprisoned there still lie buried in the Confederate cemetery on the island. Other notable landmarks on the island include: the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, the National Cemetery, Colonel Davenport's house, the original 19th century stone workshops, and most notably, the site of the first bridge ever to be built across the Mississippi River.

Because of its incredible history, the Rock Island Arsenal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969, and the original Arsenal buildings were named National Historic Landmarks in 1989. These distinctions do not mean the Arsenal is behind the times. Regular updates in the technology used on the Island keep it at the forefront of Garrison support for the Armed Forces of the United States.

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