Fort Meade is Maryland’s largest employer. It sits on 5,067 acres and has more than 1,670 buildings, according to the Army website, It is “virtually a city in itself, including an exchange mall, bank, credit union, post office, chapels” and other facilities.

Fort Meade is preparing for its 100th birthday in 2017 that will coincide with the 100th anniversary of World War I. It was named in honor of Gen. George G. Meade who is known for his heroics at Gettysburg.

Founded as a place to train draftees for war, the fort was established because it was near the railroad, the Baltimore port and Washington, D.C. The construction at the time cost $18 million. During World War I, more than 400,000 soldiers passed through Fort Meade.

Home to the five branches of the military service — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, Fort Meade is the nation’s center for information, intelligence and cyberoperations. It houses 117 partner agencies including U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, 1st Recruiting Brigade, Defense Media Activity, Defense Information School, Environmental Protection Agency Science Center and the U.S. Army Field Band.

Other statistics, according to include the following.

  • It has a workforce of 51,154 employees, including 14,394 military personnel, 28,004 civilian and 8,756 contract employees.
  • Nearly 6,000 family members live on post.
  • There are 14,679 retirees and 40,357 retiree dependents living within 40 miles.
  • Fort Meade generates $22.3 billion in economic activity.
  • Fort Meade supports 144,377 jobs and provides more $11.5 billion in wages annually.
  • Fort Meade/NSA generates more than $20 billion in economic activity annually in Maryland.