FORT DETRICK, MD: IN-DEPTH WELCOME CENTER
By Tracy Fuga
IntroductionWelcome to the home of the 302nd Signal Battalion and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command! Fort Detrick supports five cabinet-level agencies - the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services - and is the only organization solely focused on research and development to address the military’s unique medical needs. It’s a great place to live and work, with a long history of advancing military medicine. The post employs nearly 10,000 active duty personnel, civilians and contractors, and covers about 1,200 acres in the heart of Frederick County in Maryland. The military installation traces its roots back to 1929 when a small municipal airport was established in Frederick, Maryland. The airfield was named in honor of squadron flight surgeon Maj. Frederick L. Detrick who served in France during World War I. The field was upgraded in 1939 and served as a Cadet Pilot Training Center until the U.S. entered into World War II. After that, it became the site of biological warfare research which continues today. Continue reading for an in-depth guide to help aid you in your transition to living and working on Fort Detrick.
- Where Is Fort Detrick?
- Google Map View
- Getting There – Directions to the Post
- Entering Fort Detrick and Post Amenities
- Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel
- Fort Detrick Visitor Center
- Fort Detrick DEERS Office
- Fort Detrick Gate Hours
- Fort Detrick Commissary
- Fort Detrick PX
- Fort Detrick Barber Shops
- Fort Detrick Post Office
- Fort Detrick Finance Office
- Fort Detrick Legal Office
- Fort Detrick Library
- Fort Detrick Hotels
- Where Should I Live Near Fort Detrick?
- What Schools are Near Fort Detrick?
- What’s the Weather Like in Fort Detrick?
- Things to Do Near Fort Detrick
Where Is Fort Detrick?
Fort Detrick Visitor Control Center9000 Veterans Drive Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Phone:1 (301) 619-0101
Fort Detrick Map
Directions to Fort Detrick
Public TransportationThe nearest Amtrak stop to Fort Detrick is in Frederick, roughly 3 miles away. This stop will connect you to major routes that lead across the country. Alternatively, you could take a Greyhound bus from Frederick and connect to Baltimore, New York City and most other major cities on the East Coast.
Flights to Fort Detrick, MDThe closest airport to Fort Detrick is Washington Dulles International Airport. It’s about 45 miles from the front gates of Fort Detrick. The airport is served by nearly all major airlines via daily direct or connecting flights. The post is located less than 60 miles from Baltimore/Washington International and Reagan National Airport.
Driving Directions to Fort Detrick, Maryland
- If you drive from the airport, you will get on VA-28 North from Aviation Drive.
- Take the VA-7 West exit from VA-28 North.
- Get on US-15 North/Leesburg Bypass from VA-7 West.
- Follow US-15 to West 7th Street in Frederick.
- Take exit 15 from US-15 North.
- Take Veterans Drive to Veterans Gate to enter Fort Detrick.
Fort Detrick Transportation OfficeFort Detrick Transportation Office 9200 Amber Drive Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-7179 Fort Detrick Transportation Office 9200 Amber Drive Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-7179 Fort Detrick Transportation Office Hours
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - 0800 to 1630
- Wednesday - 0800 to 1430
Entering Fort Detrick and Post AmenitiesIf you don’t yet have a DOD-issued identification, you will be subject to a background check at the Visitor Control Center before you’re allowed to enter Fort Detrick. Click here to learn more about where to go.
Check-in Procedures for Incoming PersonnelUpon arrival, all permanently assigned soldiers report to the Military Personnel Division in the Community Support Center with their DA Form 31 and PCS orders. The Community Support Center reception desk is manned during duty hours only. Personnel will sign Soldiers in from leave, assist with billeting and give instruction about when to return for in-processing. Installation in-processing is conducted Monday through Friday for all permanent party Soldiers; however, on Thursdays in-processing doesn’t begin until noon. New arrivals are briefed by several agencies on programs, assistance and services available on post.
Community Support Center1520 Freedman Drive Room 121 Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Phone:1 (301) 619-2854
Fort Detrick Community Support Center Hours
- Monday through Friday: 0800 - 1630
Fort Detrick DEERSThe Fort Detrick DEERS Office is an appointment-based system. Update DEERS due to marriage, divorce, birthday or death. You can also renew or get issued your CAC/ID cards. To schedule an appointment, click here.
Fort Detrick DEERS Office1520 Freedman Drive Room 139A Fort Detrick, MD 21702
Phone:1 (301) 619-7311
Fort Detrick DEERS Office Hours
- Monday through Wednesday and Friday - 0800 to 1530
- Thursday - 1200 to 1530
Fort Detrick Gate HoursThere are five gates that provide access to Fort Detrick.
- Veterans Gate - Open 0600 to 1400 Monday through Friday.
- Nallin Farm Gate - Open 24/7.
- Old Farm Gate - Open 0600 to 1800 Monday through Friday, and 0900 to 1800 Saturday and Sunday.
- Brookville Gate - Open 24/7.
- Linden Lane Gate - Closed until further notice.
Fort Detrick CommissaryThe Fort Detrick Commissary lets you save your hard-earned dollars when shopping for groceries at the commissary. In-store amenities and specialties include an ATM, a bakery, a deli, special orders for produce trays and custom cakes, bagger-less checkout and more. Fort Detrick Commissary 1510 Porter St. Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-2990 Fort Detrick Commissary Hours
- Monday - Closed
- Tuesday and Thursday - 1000 to 1900
- Wednesday and Friday - 1000 to 1800
- Saturday - 0900 to 1800
- Sunday - 1000 to 1700
Fort Detrick PXThe Fort Detrick Exchange offers an assortment of health and beauty care, small appliances, electronics, toys and more. There is also an ATM, DVD rentals and 24-hour gas pumps. Fort Detrick Exchange 1405 Porter St. Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 662-7755 Fort Detrick Exchange Hours
- Monday through Friday - 0900 to 1830
- Saturday and Sunday - 1000 to 1700
Fort Detrick Barber ShopsThere is one barber shop on post. It is open from 0900 to 1700 Monday through Friday, and 1000 to 1500 on Saturday. Call for more information. Main Exchange Barber Shop - Bldg. 1405 Phone: 1 (301) 619-2345
Fort Detrick Post OfficeSoldiers and their dependents are authorized to receive personal mail through the Administrative Services Division until they have established a permanent address (normally 30 days). Use the following address: Soldier/Spouse/Child’s name, Rank/Name of Soldier, 1520 Freedman Drive, Suite 231; Fort Detrick, MD 21702. The official mail center is open from 0730 to 1600 Monday through Friday, and is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays. Official Mail and Distribution Center 1520 Freedman Drive Suite 231 Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-2233 Official Mail and Distribution Center Hours
- Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1600
Fort Detrick Finance OfficeThe Fort Detrick Finance Office is open from 0800 to 1600 Monday through Friday. The office has resources available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one counseling to assist your family with financial readiness, from basic planning to long-term investing. Fort Detrick Finance Office 1520 Freedman Drive Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-3455 Fort Detrick Finance Office Hours
- Monday through Friday - 0800 to 1600
Fort Detrick Legal OfficeThe Fort Detrick Legal Assistance Office provides legal advice and assistance to eligible clients, including active duty, retired, and dependents with a military ID card. The office is where you want to go to get a will prepared or have other legal documents reviewed, including powers of attorney, living wills, bills of sale, simple affidavits, leases, name changes, uncontested divorces, etc. Call for hours or to make an appointment. Power of attorney and notary services available on a walk-in basis. Fort Detrick Legal Office 521 Fraim St. Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-2221 Fort Detrick Legal Office Hours
- To make an appointment with the Legal Assistance Office, call 1 (301) 619-2221.
Fort Detrick LibraryThe Fort Detrick Library is permanently closed. Fort Detrick Library 1520 Freedman Drive Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-7519
Fort Detrick HotelsFort Detrick does not have an on-post lodging facility. The Fort Detrick Housing Office provides all on-post housing for enlisted service personnel and those traveling on orders. There are a number of holidays close to the military installation. Fort Detrick Housing Services Office 1520 Freedman Drive Room 202 Fort Detrick, MD 21702 Phone: 1 (301) 619-3224 Fort Detrick Housing Services Office Hours
- Monday through Friday - 0800 to 1700
Where Should I Live Near Fort Detrick?
Cities Near Fort DetrickThere is one main city near Fort Detrick, Frederick. Most people stationed at Fort Detrick choose to live in Frederick as it offers big-city conveniences and a short commute to work. If you’re considering living on post, check out the available on-post housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off post.
Best Places to Live Near Fort Detrick
Frederick, MDThe county seat and namesake of Frederick County, Frederick boasts a population of just over 72,000 people. Its economy is largely supported by its close proximity to Fort Detrick, just steps away, and it is home to a large biomedical research park. It is part of the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area, providing access to countless events, museums, parks, shopping, dining and more. Family-friendly activities like paying a visit to a local wildlife preserve, petting zoos and adventure centers are popular among those who live here. Housing is affordable and sits just above the national average. The median monthly owner costs for a mortgage are $1,907 and median gross rents are $1,396. The area has a lot to offer, with the Museum of Civil War Medicine giving visitors a chance to see the harsh conditions that led to brilliant innovations of Civil War medicine. Also nearby is Gambrill State Park where visitors can hike, picnic or ride horses. Hot Tip: Look for Fort Detrick homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.
Fort Detrick SchoolsMaryland has some of the best public schools in the country. Many of them regularly score 10/10 for academic performance and equity. If you’re living on post, your children will attend Frederick County Public Schools. Elementary school kids will go to Whittier Elementary, middle school students attend West Frederick Middle and high school kids go to Frederick High. Wherever they attend, rest assured that they’ll have access to the finest education possible. And if your child requires extra help, there are a number of programs available. Fort Detrick’s School Support Services provide school-aged children resources and information to help achieve academic success. The on-post school liaison officer is also available to help make the tough transition to a new school easier.
Fort Detrick WeatherHot, humid summers, cold winters and the threat of rain awaits when you live and work in Fort Detrick. Summer temperatures can be brutal but temperatures rarely go below freezing.
SpringSpring temperatures are quite pleasant in the afternoons but overnight temps tend to border on freezing. The season is ideal to take advantage of any last-minute snowstorms that tend to occur during March. April and May are great times to start planning your garden.
SummerIt’s hot and humid in Maryland throughout the summer months. The warmest months are July and August, the average highs hover around the low 90s and nighttime temps are in the high 60s. Indoor activities or water sports are best enjoyed in the summer. Although it’s the perfect time to venture out at night without freezing.
FallFall months are still sunny and warm, with rainy days becoming a regular occurrence. This lasts until the end of October where temps dip below 60 and it starts getting colder at night. September is the ideal month to take advantage of the outdoor activities in the area.
WinterAs you would expect, the coldest time of the year is during winter. Lows are found in the 20s and the highs are usually creeping toward the low 40s. Maryland is known to get some snow, with most of it falling in January. Skiing and sledding can be found a short drive away.
Things to Do Near Fort DetrickThere are tons of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors with fishing, hiking, boating, and recreation at nearby parks and nature reserves. There are also fun annual events held locally like the Frederick Jazz Festival, the Great Frederick Fair and the Maple Syrup Festival. There’s also the Festival of the Arts, Brunswick Railroad Days and more. Fantastic restaurants, live music, and special events can also be found a little over an hour away in Baltimore and Washington, DC. Not to mention the recreation and entertainment options available on post thanks to Fort Detrick Family and MWR.
Suggested Reads:20 Of the Best Things to Do Near Fort Detrick, MD and 20 of the Best Fort Detrick Restaurants Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Detrick at MyBaseGuide.
ConclusionFort Detrick has more to offer than meets the eye. The area is bustling with things to do and there’s more to offer just a short drive away. While stationed at Fort Detrick you’ll have the opportunity to train at the forefront of Army medical research while the location provides the chance to experience everything the East Coast and the nation’s capital have to offer. Moving to a new place has its challenges but you’ll be glad to be here.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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