The Arizona Military Museum is operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, a private non-profit corporation. The officers and directors serve as docents, and they perform other necessary functions in conjunction with National Guard support to operate and maintain the museum.
The Historical Society’s purposes are: “To enhance the appreciation of the military history of Arizona and the contributions of the Militia of Arizona and the Arizona National Guard to the State of Arizona and to the Nation…” (Bylaws, Article I, Section 1). To accomplish its purposes, the Historical Society shall strive: “…to discover and memorialize the history of the Military of Arizona, the Arizona National Guard, and the general military history of Arizona, and to establish and maintain a museum on land leased, owned, or otherwise controlled by the Society.” (Id.). The policy statement states that the Historical Society is “…to portray events, persons, and other historical information relating to…the military service of Arizonans in wars and other military actions in Arizona and around the world”.
On September 30, 2006, the Arizona Military Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The museum building is a significant part of Arizona's military history. The raw adobe building was constructed in 1936 as a Depression-era public works project. It served as a National Guard arsenal until World War II, when it was converted into a maintenance shop for German prisoners of war confined at a nearby POW camp.