The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum (MAFM) began in 1984 when two retired military veterans, Donald Evans and Doug White, decided to display their personal collections of war artifacts in a small room inside a warehouse at Camp Shelby. The pair began contacting other soldiers and veterans organizations for items to display, growing the Museum’s collections, and by 1993 the Museum moved to a larger building on Camp Shelby.
In 1999, with the help the Armed Forces Museum Foundation, military veterans, and state and local leaders, the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum was allotted $4.5 million from the Mississippi Legislature to construct a new facility. On October 27, 2001, the new 26,000-square-foot facility was completed at the Museum’s present location.
The facility was renovated in 2015 and was expanded to 36,000 square feet, with 26,000 square feet for exhibition space. The Museum reopened to the public in October 2016 after closing in February 2015 for construction and renovation work. In addition to revamped and new exhibits, a 7,500-square-foot, $2 million dollar addition was made to the facility. The previous center courtyard was enclosed creating the Armed Forces Benefits Association (AFBA) 5-Star Life Grand Gallery, the Museum’s largest new addition to the facility at 5,000 square feet. This gallery provides multi-use space for new exhibits, military ceremonies, civic events, and large-scale traveling exhibits. Two new galleries were also added honoring the state’s 28 Medal of Honor recipients as well as other distinguished veterans from Mississippi.