Vernon Parish is proud of its history as a part of "No Man's Land" along what was the disputed border with Mexico. Outlaws and bandits as well as heroes and soldiers made their mark on this fertile soil. Louisiana's Legend Country celebrates their stories that shaped the culture of today. Enjoy our historic heritage and hospitality as well as our many outdoor adventures of today.
Fort Polk was first established as Camp Polk, in 1941, as a base during the Great Louisiana Maneuvers. It was named in honor of the Right Reverend Leonidas K. Polk, the first Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Louisiana, and a Confederate general.
During World War II, Camp Polk continued to be used for training, in addition to serving as a prison for Germans captured overseas. When the war ended, the post closed and re-opened several times whenever there was a need for increased training.
In 1962, with increasing US participation in the Vietnam War, the post became a major infantry training center. The end of hostilities with Vietnam inevitably decreased the need for training, and in 1974, basic training at Fort Polk ended and it became home to the 5th Infantry Division.
In 1993, the Joint Readiness Training Center moved to Fort Polk, and once again the post became a major training center. Each year, JRTC conducts several training rotations for military units which replicate many of the challenges faced by today's military.
Today's training scenarios are written to address current military training needs. The scenarios are constantly adapted to demonstrate realistic situations, and employ a wide variety of props, such as foreign language speakers, live animals, and entire villages made to resemble Arabic towns.