Nestled on the southern end of Prince William Country, Virginia, 200 yards west of Route 1 and Interstate 95, construction for a museum "unlike any in our nation's history" progresses at a deliberate pace. With a November 2006 planned opening, the National Museum of the Marine Corps will be, according to retired Marine Colonel John Ripley, "the first purpose-built museum in the history of the Department of Defense."
"Most military and war museums were originally built as warehouses, supply depots, or armories and then converted to their present form," Colonel Ripley, the former Marine Corps History & Museums Division Director, explained. "We wanted this museum to preserve Marine heritage and to show American history through the eyes of Marines. We also wanted visitors to walk away with a clear understanding of the experience of being a Marine."