It is a gift. It is a sacrifice. It is a duty of many, taken up by few. This site is dedicated to the men and women of the American military, past and present. The National Park Service preserves and shares the stories of the American military over the last three centuries. We also provide opportunities for our military community to connect to the beautiful landscapes and important history they defend.

National parks and the military have strong ties dating back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world's first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America's national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created 44 years later. During World War II, many parks were set aside for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

Discover the people who have protected our freedom. Learn about the places that shaped our military history and culture. Explore opportunities for active-duty military, veterans, and their families.

Ranger talking to a World War II veteran
Military Lifetime & Annual Passes

Learn about entrance passes that give current US military, veterans, and Gold Star Families free access to national parks.

Winter camp of the Colonial Army
Revolutionary War Pension Project

Uncover stories of the American Revolution told by the people who lived it

A map shows Veterans Administration and Military locations near national parks.
Visiting DoD or VA? Find Parks Nearby

With over 400 units you can find a national park wherever you are.

Three backpackers spaced out on the trail with mountains in the background.
Healing Journeys

Discover ways nature has helped others heal from stories of active-duty military and veterans. Each one is unique. Find your own inspiration

Several divers prepare to dive into a lake.
Volunteer With Us

Veterans and groups who serve as volunteers preserve the national park mission and find meaning in their own.

a native american in traditional dress and with face paint on
Native American Military Heritage

Fighting for their people and later for a country, American Indians have served with distinction.

Last updated: December 1, 2023