Presidio to Pacific Powerhouse: 2015
How the Military Shaped San Diego
November 22, 2014 – November 30, 2015
San Diego has been a military town ever since 1774 when it was officially made a presidio guarding the coast of California against the encroachment from other European nations like England and Russia. Built atop a hill, in what is today Presidio Park, Spanish soldiers lived with their families inside the fort, eking out an existence in defense of the Spanish Crown in the New World.
Since then, San Diego has been a training ground for all services of the United States military and today, San Diego is still inextricably tied to the United States military with naval, Marine, and Coast Guard installations scattered throughout the county. The United States Navy is the second-largest employer in the county and many of the service members who have come through the region during their enlistments have stayed and started families. Many have started their own businesses as contractors to the United States military.
Throughout its existence, San Diego has been impacted in some way by the military’s presence and has benefitted from its proximity as well.