Formed “in the interest of National Defense… bringing together all phases of U.S. engineering, [in both the] civil sector and military, for the advancement of knowledge…and the rapid mobilization of engineering capabilities.”
- The Charter of the Society of American Military Engineers, founded in 1920.
The mission of the Society of American Military Engineers is to promote and facilitate engineering support for national security by developing and enhancing relationships and competencies among uniformed services, public and private sector engineers, and related professionals.
SAME is the premier professional engineering association in the United States for connecting architects, engineers and builders in the public sector and private industry, uniting them to improve individual and collective capabilities for national security. Our goal is to unite A/E/C entities and individuals in the public and private sector so that we can prepare for – and overcome – natural and manmade disasters, acts of terrorism and improve security at home and abroad.
That goal grew from our nation's experiences in World War I. More than 11,000 civilian engineers were called to duty when the United States entered the conflict. As they returned home after "the war to end all wars," many feared we would lose this collective knowledge and the cooperation between public and private sectors that proved vital to combat success. Industry and military leaders vowed to capitalize on the technical lessons and camaraderie shared during their battlefield experiences.
SAME was formed from this vow. In 1919, Maj. Gen. William M. Black, USA, the Army's Chief of Engineers, appointed a nine-officer board to consider the formation of an "association of engineers" that would preserve, and expand upon, connections formed in war and promote the advancement of engineering and its related professions. Early in 1920, the first SAME Posts were established, providing former colleagues and new members opportunities to connect face-to-face, and establishing Post-to-community relationships across the United States.