Welcome to the Tropic Lightning Museum
The mission of the Tropic Lightning Museum is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit the artifacts and related memorabilia, which reflect the history of Schofield Barracks, the 25th Infantry Division, and Wheeler Army Airfield.
In August 1956, the 25th Infantry Division Association, Schofield Barracks Chapter, started to collect the Division's history, memorabilia and assorted artifacts. On 28 October 1957, the museum committee held its first meeting in a small room behind the Headquarters Commandant’s office. The new museum moved to a more spacious location in November 1958 and featured displays of equipment and uniforms with artillery guns and military vehicles in front of the building.
When the 25th Infantry Division deployed to Vietnam, the museum was turned over to the Installation and became the Post Museum. While in Vietnam, the Division maintained its own collection and displays of captured items. Upon its return, the two unofficial museums were merged to form a historical holding as defined by the Center of Military History.
In May of 1984, the holding was recognized as a provisional U.S. Army Museum by the Chief of Military History. As part of a major upgrade and improvement, the museum moved to the newly renovated space in Carter Hall, the original Post Library. The Tropic Lightning Historical Center was opened to the public on 1 October 1984.
The next major renovation was undertaken for the 50th Anniversary of the 25th Infantry Division. On 1 October 1991, the Tropic Lightning Museum opened two new galleries. The first gallery tells the history of Schofield Barracks from 1908 to 1942. The second gallery picks up the story by following the 25th Infantry Division into the Pacific and traces their combat history from World War II to Vietnam.
In October 2001, in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Division, the Tropic Lightning Museum expanded into the west wing of Carter Hall. The wing opened with a new Changing Gallery and adjoining multipurpose room. Construction for future exhibits is currently underway.
The Tropic Lightning Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday, Monday and all federal holidays. Admission is free.
From Waikiki, take H1 West to H2 North. Follow the interstate Mililani/Wahiawa signs. Pass the exit for Mililani and you will see signs for Schofield Barracks. It will be located on your left as the interstate ends. Turn left at the second light. Pass Foote Gate, located on your right. The second gate on your right will be Lyman Gate.
Enter the post through Lyman Gate. Take Lyman Road straight, then turn right onto Flagler Road. Follow Flagler Road until you come to the traffic circle at Waianae Avenue. Once you have entered the traffic circle, exit at the last turn-off, take an immediate left into the museum's parking lot.
For up-to-date road closures and detours, visit the garrison community calendar.
You will need a photo ID for all adults. Have your registration, insurance and safety check documents or rental car agreement for your vehicle ready at the gate to get a visitor pass.
Find more information about visitor passes and up-to-date information about accessing the installation, visit the Visitor Information page.
As part of our mission to tell the story of Schofield Barracks and the 25th Infantry Division, the Tropic Lightning Museum has been collecting personal accounts from those who lived on Schofield Barracks or served with the 25th Infantry Division through our "The Way It Was" program.
If you would be interested in providing your own personal account, then please contact a museum staff member at (808) 655-0438 for more information.
*Please note that the personal accounts collected through this program have not been edited or checked for historical accuracy. They are the sole representations of their authors.
If you would like to inquire about one of our internship or volunteer opportunities, then please contact a museum staff member at (808) 655-0438 for more information.
The museum can accommodate one intern per semester. The intern must be enrolled in a college credit, degree or certificate program in history, museum studies or a related field.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age. Preference will be given to applicants who have background experience working in an archive or museum setting, or college education in history, museum studies, or a related field. All volunteer applicants, however, will be given serious consideration regardless of their background, as long as they have a strong interest in the museum and its mission.