The term quarters is described in old military regulations as buildings assigned to house military personnel. Our family has been fortunate to enjoy some of the oldest and finest quarters on military posts across the United States. With each move,MoreThe term quarters is described in old military regulations as buildings assigned to house military personnel.
Our family has been fortunate to enjoy some of the oldest and finest quarters on military posts across the United States. With each move, we have found neighbors, surroundings, and history to amplify the experience and help transform our assigned quarters from a building to a family home.
This is certainly true here at Quarters Six on Grant Avenue at Fort Myer. Quarters Six at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the official residence of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sits atop Arlington Heights overlooking Washington, DC. When completed in December 1908, the original structure was designed as a duplex housing the families of two lieutenants.
As time passed, particularly during expansion of the Army in World War II, the quarters and other homes along Grant Avenue were occupied by increasingly senior officers and eventually became known as Generals Row. Regretfully, many of the early administrative records for Fort Myer were consumed in celebratory bonfires following the Allied victories over Germany and Japan in 1945. Although this destroyed much of our knowledge of those who lived in Quarters Six prior to that date, evidence suggests that Major George S.
Patton, Jr., lived there from 1921 to 1923, while commanding a squadron of the famous 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Other notable residents following World War II include Major General Ira C. Eaker, who lived there from 1945 to 1947, while serving as deputy commander of the Army Air Forces and chief of the Air Staff, and Lieutenant General George H. Decker, who lived there from 1950 to 1955, while serving as Comptroller of the Army.
Five years later, Decker became the Army Chief of Staff and occupied Quarters One, situated at the head of Grant Avenue. When established as the home of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962, Quarters Six was reconfigured as a one-family residence consisting of 34 rooms. General and Mrs. Lyman Lemnitzer were the first to occupy the remodeled quarters, and since then all but one of the Chairmen have lived there.
For over one hundred years-in times of peace and war-the residents of Quarters Six have played a leading role not only in the military but also in national life. To recognize their significance, Quarters Six and the other dwellings along Grant Avenue were designated a National Historic District in 1972. Throughout this stately home, occupants and visitors are reminded of the unique heritage and tradition of this special place. Upon entering the foyer, the visitor sees a residency plaque accompanied by a companion image of each former Chairman.
We feel a special affinity for General Lyman Lemnitzer, the 4th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first to occupy these quarters. This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of 110 Grant Avenue as the home of the Chairman. Shaded by handsome trees, the grounds and unmatched vistas of Washington from these hills above the Potomac are a beautiful setting year round. A newspaper account from July 12, 1888, describes a residence that once stood here.
It would be impossible to imagine a more delightful home than on this high plateau commanding on every side views that are magnificent in their scope. We have been assisted by many knowledgeable people as we have made Quarters Six the Dempsey home. I want to especially recognize and thank Debbie Biscone, who was a huge help in decorating the quarters.
We also appreciate the dedication of the Joint Staff historians and are especially grateful to former occupants for taking the time to share their memories. With this edition, we acknowledge this homes unique status as a national and institutional landmark, and more significantly, we remember the families who have lived here over the past half century-it is their legacy we celebrate.