In 1922, Maj. William Henry Garrison called together 24 of his fellow Army officers at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss the issue of automobile insurance. As a result of their recurring relocation, many officers’ policies generally were expensive and often cancelled without notice. The officers decided to form a mutual company to insure each other, calling the new venture the United States Army Automobile Association. Throughout the century, the number of wars and military buildups increased the number of eligible members.
In 2009, the company opened up its products and services to all ranks of active, retired or honorably separated members of the U.S. military. Adult children, widows, widowers and separated spouses of USAA members who had USAA policies also are eligible.
USAA offers its products to agents through mail, the Internet and the telephone.
The company has grown to be the country's fifth largest home insurer and sixth largest auto insurer. Its revenue in 2011 exceeded $19 billion.