Located on 42,768 acres in California, Camp Roberts is a National Guard installation that preps troops for training and mobilization at the federal, state and local community levels. Camp Roberts stretches across two counties (San Luis Obispo and Monterey), is operated by the California Army National Guard sitting an hour north of Camp San Luis Obispo. Camp Roberts is also home to the Camp Roberts Historical Museum, California's biggest Army museum.
History & General Information
Camp Roberts was opened in 1941 and sits just north of the Mission San Miguel Arcángel which was established in 1797. Franciscans chose this location due to the large number of Native Americans living on the land; the Mission leaders wanted to evangelize the Native population. The land that Camp Roberts sits on was part of the original Mission property. Today, the Mission is open and acts as a parish for the Diocese of Monterey.
In 1902, Congress tasked the Army Corps of Engineers with identifying property that would be well suited for military use. The Corps settled on the land that would become Camp Roberts; however, President Teddy Roosevelt chose not to move forward with developing the property and Camp Roberts was stalled for the next 38 years. Finally, in 1940, funds were made available to purchase acreage and construction began.
During the nine months it took to build Camp Roberts, the area had the heaviest downpours ever recorded. The original base name was changed from Camp Nacimiento to Camp Roberts after World War I Medal of Honor recipient Corporal Harold W. Roberts. Corporal Roberts was a tank driver who died in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France. Camp Roberts stands as the only major Army base named in honor of a non-commissioned military officer.
In 1944, Camp Roberts had seen approximately 45,000 forces pass through its gates for training. This installation also had a prisoner encampment where German and Italian POW's were held. Camp Roberts also hosted various celebrity entertainers for the Soldier Bowl such as Bob Hope and Lucille Ball.
After WWII, Camp Roberts became mostly inactive and saw to the training of Reserve units during the summer. When the Korean War began, Camp Roberts was fully activated to provide training and support mobilization efforts. By the end of the Korean War, Camp Roberts had prepped over 300,000 troops. In 1954, Camp Roberts again became mostly dormant until the Vietnam War.
In 1970, the U.S. Army closed the base and a year later, the California Army National Guard took control of the site. Today, Camp Roberts trains forces from all military branches and even some foreign troops.
Places of Interest / Things To Do
The Camp Roberts Exchange can be contacted at (805) 238-8195 and is open Tuesday-Friday 11a-5:30p and Saturdays from 10a-2p. The Exchange is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
The Camp Roberts Historical Museum (805-238-8288) is open to the general public on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9a-4p. Admission is free and the museum has various exhibits offering up information about World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and even current mobilization efforts to the Middle East.
Mission San Miguel Arcángel (805-467-3256) is a National Historic Landmark that's over 200 years old and features a museum.
There is no on site lodging at Camp Roberts but there are a lot of hotels in the vicinity including the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites - Paso Robles (805) 238-6500, Best Western Plus Black Oak (805) 238-4740 and Courtyard by Marriott Paso Robles (805) 239-9700.
- Parkfield Elementary School, (805) 463-2331
- Cappy Culver Elementary School, (805) 227-1040
- Flamson Middle School, (805) 769-1400
- Paso Robles High School, (805) 769-1500
- Independence High School, 805) 769-1620
Morale, Welfare and Recreation
Camp Roberts offers outdoor recreation services which can be reached at (805) 238-8312. Additionally, the Camp Roberts Installation Services Facebook page (@CampRobertsInstallationServices) offers updates and information on events and can be reached at (805) 238-8397.