The Camp Bullis Army Base is a 27,990 acre U.S. Army training facility northwest of San Antonio, Texas. The camp serves a vital role in training service personnel for U.S. national security efforts. Camp Bullis is also utilized as a field training site for the various medical units stationed in the San Antonio area.
The base is named after John L. Bullis. During the late 20th century, Bullis gained fame as a war hero after serving in the Civil War, Indian War, and Spanish-American War. Bullis is buried at the nearby San Antonio National Cemetery.
There a variety of transportation options accessible, as the base is minutes from downtown San Antonio. The San Antonio International Airport, which offers flights from around the country, is a short 20 minute drive from base. When traveling around the city, VIA Metropolitan Transit provides many route options. The official address of the base is 6457 Camp Bullis Rd, San Antonio, TX 78257.
History and General Information
Beginnings / World War I
In 1906, the U.S. military bought over 17,000 acres from many ranches in south central Texas. The area was established to be used for training purposes for troops stationed at Fort Sam Houston, a nearby base. Known as the "Leon Military Springs Military Reservation", the site was heavily used by the U.S. Army and Texas National Guard as tensions arose on the Mexican border during the early 20th century.
As World War I began, the Leon Military Springs Military Reservation was split into two portions. The southern part, known as "Camp Bullis", had many facilities including cavalry camps, maneuver grounds, and target ranges. Camp Bullis quickly grew, as administration buildings and rows of halls were constructed.
By the late 1930s, Camp Bullis occupied all the land of the former "Leon Military Springs Military Reservation". The camp was used by many infantry and engineering units stationed in the area. ROTC, CMTC, and CCC training also took place on the base. Multiple motion pictures were filmed in the base during this era, as the camp provided equipment and pleasant scenery.
World War II
As World War II approached, the camp added over 17,000 acres. The "triangular division" organizational approach, tested by Camp Bullis in the 1930s, was the basis of U.S. Army structure during the war. The base was used by many units for training purposes. Mock villages and a bunker complex were constructed so that troops were prepared for a variety of conditions in Europe. Additionally, a prisoners-of-war camp was constructed on the base.
Following World War II, the War Department declared that Camp Bullis did not meet the requirements to use weapons of an infantry division. This was due to the growing urban environment, including air traffic, surrounding the camp. To keep the base active, the Medical Field Service School was moved to nearby Fort Sam Houston. Camp Bullis assisted the MFSS throughout the Korean War, providing medical assistance to the U.S. Army.
During the Vietnam War, the use of Camp Bullis increased significantly. Thousands of soldiers and medical personnel trained on base. A mock Vietnam village was constructed on site to prepare troops on what conditions would be like.
In the 1970s, the Texas National Guard and U.S. Army's use of Camp Bullis amplified. A large armory and maintenance facility was built for increased storage. The army began emergency deployment readiness exercises at Camp Bullis for many units, including the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Marine Amphibious Force.
Recently, Camp Bullis has been used by troops fighting in Asia and the Middle East. The U.S. Army and Texas National Guard continue to use the site, as well as tens of thousands medical trainees. Currently, Camp Bullis has many amenities, including an Urban Assault Course, a live-fire Shoot House, and a Combined Arms Collective Training Facility.
Lodging / Housing
Many nearby commercial hotels are available in the San Antonio area. Affordable 5-star options include the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Northwest at The Rim San Antonio and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Six Flags San Antonio.
The Patriot Inn offers temporary on base lodging. To make a reservation and/or receive information, call (210) 295-8141.
There are two privatized housing options for Camp Bullis and other bases in the San Antonio area. The Lackland Family Housing complex and Lincoln Military Housing complex are both around 30 minutes from the base.