SAME at 100: Bringing Communities Together, 1921

Explore the SAME Centennial Timeline with #SAME100

A prescient understanding of those who established SAME was that future conflicts and sustained security of the nation would depend on military and industry collaboration. It was not just to provide civilians called to support the war with training and understanding of military applications. Those in the regular Army realized that they learned much from their counterparts in the civilian engineering professions. Continuing to maintain that across-the-aisle training would, in the military man, help to avoid the “narrow development that restricts his usefulness.”

As the young Society began to grow, it was two principal means that carried the message of the organization and breathed it life: local Posts in major cities of the nation and The Military Engineer magazine. Success would not have been realized without them.

“SAME Initiates Organization of Local Posts” | TME, Sept-Oct 1920

Collaboration was essential at the local level in order to fulfill a core tenet of the new SAME: “promoting solidarity and co-operation between engineers in civil and military life.” The first Posts were initiated in spring 1920. By year-end, 16 had been established, covering the major geographic regions of the country. Another seven Posts formed in 1921.

Together, Posts these linked members and the mission of the Society in most of the nation’s key engineering centers. “Local posts, in bringing our members into close personal touch with each other, are believed to be essential to the realization of our fullest usefulness,” explained The Military Engineer.

Posts Established 1920
Chicago Post
Cleveland Post
Lake Superior Post
Jacksonville Post
Los Angeles Post
Milwaukee Post
Montgomery Post
New Orleans Post
New York City Post
Philadelphia Post
Pittsburgh Post
Portland Post
San Francisco Post
St. Louis Post
Seattle Post
Wilmington Post

Posts Established 1921
Baltimore Post
Buffalo Post
Denver Post
Detroit Post
Minneapolis-St. Paul
San Antonio Post
Washington DC Post

Today, 100 years later, Posts remain the foundation on SAME’s ability to enable members from the public and private sector to make connections, develop relationships, and build the trust necessary to enable collaboration that supports our nation’s readiness and engineering and technological advantage.

SAME Posts also are instrumental in giving back and providing value to their communities: inspiring students to pursue STEM careers, donating time and resources to deserving local programs, mentoring future leaders, and assisting veterans and servicemembers in preparation for post-service careers.

The Society of American Military Engineers is now 100. Founded in 1920, in the interests of patriotism and national security, the organization has never wavered from a vow to support the needs of the United States and strengthen the profession of engineering. As was stated in the inaugural issue of The Military Engineer a century ago: “this Society will serve no selfish purpose.”

The genesis of SAME was born from the lessons of World War I, and the realization of those who went “over there” that the engineering community was unprepared for what was confronted. That prescient leadership would prove invaluable, as “The War to End All Wars” was anything but. 

During 2020, the Society is celebrating a century of service to the nation through local and national events, programs and special activities, and coverage in print and online. At Bricks & Clicks, we will be publishing information from the TME archives, capturing the growth of SAME and the emergence of engineering and technology on the world’s stage. Follow and contribute using #SAME100