The Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) can trace its roots to the establishment of a Signal Corps training facility
and radio research and development laboratory at Fort Monmouth, NJ in 1917. The installation was originally named Camp Little Silver and was responsible for training the 1st and 2nd Reserve Signal Battalions. It was renamed Camp Alfred Vail shortly after its establishment in 1917. The Chief Signal Officer authorized the purchase of Camp Vail in 1919. The Signal Corps School relocated to Camp Vail from Fort Leavenworth that year. The Signal Corps Board followed in 1924.
The installation was granted permanent status and was renamed Fort Monmouth in August 1925. It was named in honor of the soldiers of the American Revolution who died in the battle of Monmouth Court House.
In 1929, the Signal Corps’ Electrical Laboratory of Washington and the Signal Corps’ Research Laboratory of New York merged with the Radio Laboratories at Fort Monmouth to form the consolidated “Signal Corps Laboratories.” Squier Hall was built to house these laboratories in 1935.
Increased wartime mission necessitated the purchase of additional sites throughout NJ in the 1940s. This included field laboratories at Camp Coles, Camp Wood, and Camp Evans. Field Laboratories were located at these sites.
In 1949, the Signal Corps Center was established and consolidated many existing Signal functions to include: the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories, the Signal Corps Board, Signal School, Signal Corps Publications Agency, Signal Corps Intelligence Unit, Pigeon Breeding and Training Center, the Army portion of the Electro Standards Agency, and the Signal Corps troop units.
The forerunner of the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force had its roots at Fort Monmouth. In 1928, the first radio-equipped meteorological balloon soared into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, a forerunner of a weather sounding technique universally used today. In 1938, the first U.S. aircraft detection radar was developed here. In 1946, space communications was proved feasible when the Diana Radar was used to bounce electronic signals off the moon.
The Myer Center was constructed in 1954 at the Camp Wood, NJ site to house the Signal Corps Laboratories.
The Army's homing pigeon service, headquartered at Fort Monmouth since the end of WWII, was discontinued in 1957 due to advances in communication systems. Many courier pigeons were sold at auction, while “hero” pigeons with distinguished service records were donated to zoos.
The Army disbanded the technical services and established the Electronics Command (ECOM) at Fort Monmouth in 1962. This CECOM predecessor was charged with managing Signal research, development, and logistics support. As a subordinate element of the newly formed Army Material Command (AMC), ECOM encompassed the Signal Research and Development Laboratories, the Signal Materiel Support Agency, the Signal Supply Agency and its various procurement offices, and other Signal Corps logistics support activities.
In 1974 ECOM leased the GSA Office Building in Tinton Falls to house logistics and management support organizations, and closed operations in Philadelphia and Camp Coles. That same year, the Signal School began its move to Fort Gordon. This move was completed in 1976.
ECOM was fragmented in January 1978 on the recommendation of the Army Materiel Acquisition Review Committee (AMARC) in order to form the following three Commands and one Activity: The Communications and Electronics Materiel Readiness Command (CERCOM), the Communications Research and Development Command (CORADCOM), the Electronics Research and Development Command (ERADCOM), and the Avionics Research and Development Activity (AVRADA).
In the end, AMARC was a failed experiment. Reassessment of the changes at Fort Monmouth, begun in August 1980, concluded that, while the emphasis on research and development had increased for the better, there was also much duplication of effort. Thus, on 1 March 1981,
AMC combined CERCOM and CORADCOM to form the new Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), effective 1 May 1981.
In 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission mandated the closing of the Evans Area, Vint Hill Farms Station, and the Command Office Building in Tinton Falls. Additionally, CECOM gained some missions and personnel from the Fort Belvoir Research and Development Center.
In 1995, BRAC ordered the relocation of the avionics logistics support mission from St. Louis to Fort Monmouth.
In 2005, BRAC ordered the closure of Fort Monmouth and the relocation of CECOM to Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland. The CECOM flag was cased at Fort Monmouth on 10 September 2010, and the colors were uncased on 22 October 2010, marking CECOM’s official arrival at APG, occupying the newly completed C4ISR Center of Excellence. Comprised of six primary organizations, the C4ISR Materiel Enterprise includes
three organizations from AMC and three from ASA(ALT). AMC organizations include: U.S. Army
Communications-Electronics Command; the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research,
Development and Engineering Center; and the Army Contracting Command-APG (C4ISR).
ASA(ALT) provides three Program Executive Officesto the team including: PEO for Command,
Control, Communications-Tactical; PEO for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors; and PEO for Enterprise Information Systems