The lifespan of most Western military posts was measured in months, or several years. Accordingly, their structures were temporary, and many have long since vanished from the landscape. Fort Yellowstone was unusual because of its permanence and the corresponding substance of its buildings. It also bore little resemblance to older, barricaded forts.
Because of its good facilities, relaxed discipline, and interesting surroundings, Fort Yellowstone was considered a prized assignment by many officers and enlisted men. But protection of the park did not suffer. Soldiers were ordered to "conduct themselves in a courteous and polite, but firm and decided manner" when carrying out their duties.