The base was named in honor of Union Army Maj. Gen. Edward Otho Cresap Ord. Initially, horse cavalry units trained at the camp, though eventually, mobile combat units such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, and movable artillery joined the base.
Before its closure in 1994, it stood as a fascinating army base. It is located on the Monterey Bay of California’s Pacific coast, and after its abandonment, some of the land was converted into the Fort Ord National Monument. This monument is handled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
Although it is beautifully situated, the base has a dark history of environmental destruction. It is now one of the most toxic places in America.
Its grounds were the site of 100 square kilometers of petroleum leakages, dump sites, landfills, and a large number of unexploded mines.
During its peak, the base held some 50,000 soldiers, some serving in the Korean War and some in the Vietnam war.