Fort Rucker Army Base was first founded in 1942 in response to the increased need for army bases due to World War II. The Fort Rucker Army Base is named after Confederate General Edmund Rucker, an officer for the Confederate Army in the United States Civil War. This base is built on a former wildlife refuge in Dale County, Alabama. After World War II, Fort Rucker Army Base was deactivated and was not used again until the Korean War. A few years later it was deactivated and then used as a training base for helicopter pilots. While Fort Rucker Army Base was previously open to the public, after the September 11th attacks the main facilities were closed off from visitors.
Today, Fort Rucker Army Base is home to the main training facilities in the United States for Army aviators. It is also home to the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) and to several other important Army aviation facilities like the United States Army Aviation Museum. Fort Rucker Army Base is nicknamed “Mother Rucker” due to the fact that every army aviator started his career at this base’s facilities. This nickname also stems from the fact that army aviators are required to return to Fort Rucker Army Base regularly for re-education, testing, and training. Fort Rucker Army Base is also home to important testing facilities, both for aircraft and for personnel. There are usually many warrant officers stationed at Fort Rucker. Both the Warrant Officer Candidate School and the Warrant Officer Career College can be found at this army base’s location. Aviation warrant officers will usually continue their training at Fort Rucker’s other facilities.
Fort Rucker Army Base and the history of Army aviation go hand in hand. From its very origins as a facility for training helicopter pilots and their later importance in the Vietnam War to today’s fronts in the Middle East, Fort Rucker Army Base and Army aviation are practically synonymous. This can be seen at the Fort Rucker Army Aviation Museum, in which the relationship between the activities at Fort Rucker and the different wars being fought can be clearly seen.