In 1922, 25 Army officers met in San Antonio and decided to insure each other’s vehicles. The group elected William Garrison as its first president. Major Walter Moore purchased an auto insurance policy and became USAA’s first member in 1922. The next year, USAA expanded its membership to include Navy and Marine Corps officers.
The first half of the 20th century saw USAA expand internationally. In 1934, its membership grew to include Foreign Service officers, State Department officials, and their widows. In 1948, USAA opened membership to Air Force officers after the National Security Act of 1947 established the department. USAA opened its first location outside San Antonio in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1952.
In 1961, USAA changed its bylaws to include veterans. USAA reached another milestone in 1969 when its millionth member joined. The company grew in other areas, including banking, over the second half of the 20th century. In 1996, enlisted personnel became eligible for membership for the first time.
USAA’s eligibility requirements expanded again in 2008 to include military retirees regardless of when they retired, as well as their spouses and children. In 2009, all men and women currently serving or who have honorably served in the U.S. military and their families became eligible for membership. USAA’s mobile app launched in 2009. As of 2017, USAA serves over 12 million members with a net worth of $31 billion.