By Chris Walker

If you’re a Soldier, you’re going to PCS to many bases, however, Fort Jackson, South Carolina is a common experience for around half of the Army.

Located within the Columbia metro area, Ft. Jackson was established in 1917 as an Infantry camp, named after President Andrew Jackson, a native of the Palmetto State.

Getting settled is always challenging, especially for those Soldiers who are just beginning their service journey.

Furthermore, letting go is never an easy task either. Many families have an elevated interest in the facility as their loved ones begin their lives as Soldiers.

Our in-depth guide on Fort Jackson is here to help the military community, including families, learn more about the base, important procedures, installation resources, and much more.

  1. The History of Fort Jackson
  2. Where Is Fort Jackson?
  3. Fort Jackson Map
  4. Getting There – Directions to the Post
  5. Entering Fort Jackson and Post Amenities

    The History of Fort Jackson

    Though first established decades beforehand, Fort Jackson has served as a major training center since 1940.

    Fort Jackson covers approximately 53,000 acres and is the most active Initial Entry Training Center in the Army, training around 50% of all Soldiers and 60% of the women entering the Army.

    The post is the largest, most active Initial Entry Training Center in the Army, processing over 48,000 basic training recruits and 12,000 additional advanced training Soldiers every year.

    Fort Jackson has been home to the US Army Drill Sergeant Academy since 1972 and an official U.S. Army Training Center since 1973.

    Home to 3,500 active duty Soldiers and their families as well as more than 3,500 civilian employees, as well as the 165th and 193rd Infantry Brigades.

    Fort Jackson Basic Training

    Undertaking Basic Combat Training (BCT) is one of the first steps volunteers take when serving our nation.

    It’s 10 weeks of hard work that challenges you to evolve from simply a civilian answering the call into a Soldier fit for combat on the battlefield.

    This involves plenty of labor-intensive, grueling exercises, learning how to communicate and operate as a team, getting to know the history and values of the Army, and training on how to fight, use weapons, and grow survival skills.

    You’ll be spending plenty of time within the forests around Fort Jackson, learning to survive in the outdoors, all in the pursuit of being the best Soldier you can be.

    A lot has changed since the old training runs up to Tank Hill, but the idea of training Soldiers to be the optimal warfighter continues to be a proud tradition throughout Fort Jackson.

    Related Read:

    Victory Tower Fort Jackson: The Final Boss of Basic Training Week 1

    Family Day, Graduation, and Hilton Field

    Fort Jackson hosts several graduations per year to celebrate the triumph of volunteers becoming Soldiers after completing basic training.

    Additionally, Family Day is the day before Graduation Day, providing loved ones ample opportunities to reconnect and celebrate the occasion.

    Ceremonies take place at Hilton Field and families should take Gate 2 or 4 to access the celebrations.

    You’ll find blue lines directing your path from the gate to Hilton Field.

    To learn more about Fort Jackson graduation procedures and what to expect, be sure to click the link and follow our guide.

    Hilton Field Address:

    Hartsville Guard Rd, Columbia, SC 29207

    Fort Jackson New Name

    Officially, the Army base is known as the U.S. Army Training Center & Fort Jackson and there don’t seem to be any plans to currently rename the base.

    Many had speculated that the base might be renamed by the DoD’s Naming Commission, however, while President Jackson is a controversial figure due to his participation in slavery, he did not join the Confederacy.

    Renaming bases has been focused on taking a look at those who fought against the Union during the Civil War.

    With that being said, many roads at Fort Jackson have been renamed since January 1, 2024, as they were connected to the Confederacy.

    Because of this, you may notice some discrepancies in the address on our guide and what is used within your GPS.

    Many of the addresses used below are formatted to work with Google Maps and while they may feature more updated names as of this writing, they have been selected to best help you navigate through the base.

    Where Is Fort Jackson?

    Fort Jackson is located in Columbia, SC, as a part of Richland County. Situated about five miles from the heart of South Carolina's capital city, the base is found in the middle of the Palmetto State in a region known as the Midlands.

    Family members, visitors, and others without proper ID will need to stop by the Fort Jackson Visitors Control Center (VCC) when entering the post for the first time, and it’s located right by the main gate (Gate 2).

    For more visitor information , you can find out more by reading our guide below and by visiting the Army’s website.

    VCC Address:

    4297 Strom Thurmond Blvd, Columbia, SC 29207 (inside the Fort Jackson Post Exchange)


    1 (803) 751-5483 (for questions regarding access to the installation dial 1 (803) 751-6019

    VCC Hours of Operation:

    • Every day from 0500 to 2000

    Gate 2 Hours:

    • Every day 24/7, with DoD credentials or a Fort Jackson Installation Access Badge
    • Every day from 0600 to 1600 for others

    Fort Jackson Map

    Fort Jackson Directions

    With I-77 running just west of the post, getting to Fort Jackson is relatively easy no matter where you’re coming from.

    There are plenty of transportation options in and around the city of Columbia making getting where you need to go on or off post a breeze.

    If Entering Through the Fred Wilson Gate

    1. Once you pass through the Access Control Point, turn right onto Sheridan Rd
    2. Turn left on Lawrence St.
    3. Turn right onto Pershing Road.
    4. Follow Pershing Road until you see the Welcome Center on your left.

    If Entering Through the Buffalo Soldier Gate

    1. Once you pass through the Access Control Point, follow Buffalo Soldier Road until you reach JEB Stuart Road and turn right.
    2. Then turn left onto Pershing Road
    3. Continue until you see the Welcome Center on your right.

    Traveling by Train

    If arriving by train, the Columbia, SC Amtrak stop (CLB) is located at 850 Pulaski St, Columbia SC 29201. Schedules and fares can be found here .

    Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) Transportation

    There are no specific shuttles or military liaison desks at the Columbia airport. A cab can be called for a flat rate of $32 and several taxi companies are offering pick up services on the lower level outside of baggage claim.

    CAE is the closest major airport to Fort Jackson, located around 20 to 30 miles from the military base.

    Traveling by Bus

    Greyhound Bus no longer provides service to Fort Jackson, however, this may be subject to change in the future. You can check ticketing and schedules here .

    Furthermore, if you are looking to travel by bus, there is a Greyhound route that makes routine stops to nearby 710A Buckner Rd, Columbia, SC 29203.

    You’ll need to find a ride from there, as the bus station is about 11 to 13+ miles from the Fort Jackson VCC.

    Driving Directions to Fort Jackson

    If Driving I-77 South
    1. Take exit 15 to SC-12/Percival Rd (signs to Fort Jackson).
    2. Turn left onto Boyden Arbor Rd.
    3. Sharp left onto Dixie Rd and continue onto Artillery Rd.
    If Driving I-77 North
    1. Take I-77 North to SC-12 E/Percival Rd.
    2. Take exit 13 from I-77 North.
    3. Turn right onto SC-12E/Percival Rd.
    4. Turn right on Boyden Arbor Rd.
    5. Sharp left onto Dixie Rd
    6. Continue onto Artillery Rd.
    From the Columbia Airport (CAE)
    1. Get on I-26 East from SC-602 Columbia Airport Expressway.
    2. Take I-77N to SC-12 E/Percival Rd.
    3. Take exit 13 from I-77 North.
    4. Take Dixie Rd to Artillery Road.
    If Driving Hwy 54 East
    1. Take exit 24 toward Fred Wilson Blvd/Railroad Dr.
    2. Use the left lane to merge onto Gateway N Blvd.
    3. Follow the signs for Fred Wilson Rd and use the left 2 lanes to take the ramp to Fort Jackson, passing through the Fred Wilson Gate.

    Directions to Fort Jackson by City

    While Fort Jackson welcomes over 100,000 visitors each year, some travelers come from certain cities more often than others.

    Here are a few city-specific guides on directions to the Fort Jackson VCC:

    Charleston, SC

    Driving in from CHS can take about two hours as The Holy City is around 120 miles away from Fort Jackson.

    Regardless of the route you take, once you enter the Columbia area, you’ll take I-77 N until you reach exit 12 to merge onto Strom Thurmond Blvd until you reach the gate.

    Myrtle Beach, SC

    A trip from Myrtle Beach can take around 3 hours, give or take 15 minutes depending on the route you take.

    The routes change your mileage drastically as you’ll find the base is between 135 and 184 miles away:

    • If you’re coming in from the north, you’ll take exit 12 on I-77 S. This will bring you to Strom Thurmond Blvd and Moseby St to reach your destination.
    • Instead of going north in Conway, you can also take a nearly straight shot west to reach the Columbia area. Once there, you’ll need to take Ridge Rd, SC-262 W until you hit Inchon Rd, which is where you’ll ultimately hit the base’s gate. Your GPS can help you navigate to the VCC with ease.
    • If you choose to head west, you can also take exit 97 to merge onto US-301 S toward Orangeburg for a southern approach to the base. This is the longest route by time and distance. Once you reach the Columbia area, you’ll need to get on I-77 N, take, exit 12, and then merge onto Strom Thurmond Blvd until you reach the welcome center.

    Charlotte, NC

    Downtown Charlotte is about 90 to 105 miles from Fort Jackson, depending on your route.

    Although traffic varies, you can expect your trip to take an hour and 50 minutes to two hours and 20 minutes.

    I-77 S is going to take you right where you need to be. As with other routes, simply take exit 12, merge onto Strom Thurmond Blvd, and keep going until you reach the gate.

    Victory Travel Center

    The Victory Travel Center is a great resource military families may utilize while staying at Fort Jackson for many reasons, including:

    • Booking exclusive deals to hotspots, such as Disney, Six Flags, and much more. These trips are found throughout Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.
    • You can also find deals and coordinate trips and events throughout South Carolina.
    • Families can also book cruises through a wide variety of major cruise lines.
    • Furthermore, you’ll also receive assistance with booking rental vehicles, flights, cruises, etc. through the American Forces Travel program.

    However, the Victory Travel Center is important for military families and friends attending Graduation Day.

    Not only can they help you before you arrive get a feel for what to expect when entering Fort Jackson but you’ll also receive lower rates on your hotel reservations along with assistance to ensure you get the room you need.


    3392 Magruder Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803)751-1400


    • Monday through Friday - 0830 to 1630
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Transportation Office

    Are you getting ready for a PCS move and in need of some help? Call the Fort Jackson Household Goods/Transportation Office to get started.

    The staff is able to help you coordinate your move, including resources for your personal property, finding movers, and helping you safely transport your pets.


    5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd. Fort Jackson, SC, 29207

    Phone: 1



    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday -

      0730 to 1600
    • Thursday -

      0730 to 1200

    Fort Jackson Personnel Support Office

    In the same building as the transport office, you’ll find the personnel support office as well. Here, military members and their families can find a variety of services needed for their jobs and personal lives.

    Keep in mind that this office is sometimes known as the Fort Jackson Strom Thurmond Building.

    Furthermore, this should not be confused with the off-base government building with the same name located in Columbia.


    5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd. Fort Jackson, SC, 29207


    1(803) 751-7115


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1700

    Entering Fort Jackson and Post Amenities

    To enter the post, you will need to show your military ID and all of-age passengers must present a valid ID (driver’s license, passport, etc).

    If you don’t have your military ID, you will need your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.

    Your vehicle will likely be searched if entering the post for the first time or without a military ID.

    So, be sure to include some extra time in your travel plans to allow for such a delay.

    All non-DoD persons can expect to obtain a visitor's pass at certain gates, such as the VCC.

    Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel

    Once you arrive at Fort Jackson, report to Room 200, 5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd between 0730-1700, Monday through Friday.

    The in-processing office will be closed on weekends and holidays as well as the first and third Thursday of every month from 1330-1700.

    Report in the ACU/OCP uniform and bring a copy of your orders, your leave form, and your orders including all amendments.

    If reporting outside the above hours, report to the IHG Army Hotel/Welcome Center. Upon check-in, you will be provided with a schedule and further instructions for completing your in-processing.

    You can find the IHG Army Hotel/Welcome Center at Bldg 7550 Benning Road Columbia, SC 29207. For more information, call them at 1 (803) 782-9802

    Fort Jackson DEERS Office

    Need to make some changes to your admin paperwork or get a new ID card? Stop by the DEERS office at Fort Jackson be sure to set up your appointment online as walk-ins are only accepted for emergencies.

    Furthermore, you don’t need an appointment if you require services involving a DEERS update, PIN reset, are needing DD Form 1172-2 printed, or need agent letters.


    5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd Room 109 ID Card Section Ft. Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-6024


    • Monday through Friday -

      0800 to 1600
    • Saturday and Sunday -


    Keep in mind the following:

    • Appointments are from 0820 to 1600.
    • Walk-ins are only accepted from 0800 to 1500.
    • The DEERS office is closed every first and third Thursday of the month for training. Closures occur at 1230.

    Fort Jackson Gate Hours

    Hours are subject to change and your access is never guaranteed. You can learn more about what would constitute an access denial online. For more information, contact Fort Jackson at 1 (803) 751-5483:

    • Gate 1 -

      Monday through Friday 0500 to 1730
    • Gate 2 -

      Open 24/7 (for personnel with DoD ID or Fort Jackson Installation Access Badge)
    • Gate 4 -

      Monday through Friday, 0500 to 1700 (All commercial vehicles must use this gate)
    • Gate 5 -

      Monday through Friday 0500 to 0800 and 1500 to 1700

    Hotels Near Fort Jackson SC

    Whether you’re new to the area and simply need to find temporary housing, visiting for Graduation Day, or are just passing through, you’ll find plenty of options. Here are some of the best hotels near and on Fort Jackson:

    Courtyard Columbia Northeast/Fort Jackson Area

    Located about nine to ten miles north of Hilton Field, this Courtyard provides all of the quality service and modern amenities the brand has been known to offer.

    This is a great option when searching for Fort Jackson hotels for graduation that are off base.

    Both rooms and suites are available. Check-in is at 1500 and check-out is at 1100.


    111 Gateway Corporate Blvd, Columbia, SC 29203


    1 (803) 736-3600

    Residence Inn Columbia Northeast/Fort Jackson Area

    Another great off base option, this Residence Inn location is only nine miles north of Fort Jackson and provides free, full American and hot breakfast options.

    You can choose to stay in a room or suite with check-in at 1500 and check-out at 1100.


    2320 Legrand Rd, Columbia, SC 29223


    1 (803) 788-8850

    Baymont by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson

    If you’re coming into town from the south, the Baymont by Wyndham may be better positioned to meet your lodging needs.

    Located about 7.5 miles south of Hilton Field, you’ll find affordable rooms and a seasonal, outdoor pool. Check-in is at 1500 and check-out is at 1100.


    240 E Exchange Blvd, Columbia, SC 29209


    1 (803) 567-5863

    Holiday Inn Express Fort Jackson Inn

    Guests are provided with on-base lodging at an affordable rate with the modern amenities you’d expect from a Holiday Inn Express.

    While you’ll want to confirm the details for your specific pet, there are accommodations available for bringing pets to the hotel.

    Check-in is at 1500 and check-out is at 1200.


    10049 Cherbourg Street Columbia, South Carolina 29207


    1 (803) 782-9802

    IHG Army Hotels Dozier Hall & Palmetto

    IHG Army Hotels Fort Jackson are transient barracks/billeting/hotel that can be reserved through either IHG at 1 (803) 782-9802 or Victory Travel at 1 (803) 787-6005 or use the IHG Army Hotels website here .


    10300 Tank Hill Pkwy Check-in at Dozier Hall Fort Jackson Inn Columbia, South Carolina 29207


    1 (803) 782-9802

    Check Out:


    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia-Fort Jackson, an IHG Hotel

    This is another IHG Army hotel, where you’ll find free breakfast, a fitness center, a pool, and all of the other amenities the Holiday Inn Express brand is known for delivering. Check-in is at 1500 and check-out is at 1200.

    Address: 7329 Garners Ferry Rd, Columbia, SC 29209

    Phone: 1 (803) 695-1111

    Weston Lake, SC

    There is a nearby Fort Jackson campground available exclusively to the military community. Civilians who are not guests of the military personnel camping are not allowed.

    This is a great place for campers no matter if you’re pitching a tent or staying in an RV as full hookup, half hookup, and primitive sites are all available.

    Weston Lake offers a Community House that comes with bathrooms and a kitchen to accommodate 400 seated guests.

    For more lodging options, you’ll also find the Legion Landing Cottages offer a bit of comfort, including AC and kitchens with hot water, with most located right on the lake.

    There are plenty of recreational activities available, including playgrounds, sand volleyball, and a variety of watersports.

    You can fish and boat all year long, with swimming opening on May 20. Keep in mind this date is subject to change and there are no lifeguards.

    Similarly, summer hours begin June 1st. You can make reservations ahead of time and lodge in one of the best places near Ft. Jackson providing nature and comfort all in one.


    4420 Leesburg Rd. Bldg 4420 Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-5253


    • Monday - Closed
    • Tuesday through Thursday - 1000 to 1700
    • Friday and Saturday - 1000 to 1800
    • Sunday - 1200 to 1700

    Fort Jackson Commissary

    In need of groceries, home goods, or any other odds and ends you might need? The Fort Jackson Defense Commissary Agency is a great stop for low prices on household essentials.


    4716 Commissary Way Columbia, SC 29207


    1(803) 751-4753


    • Monday -

      1100 to 1800
    • Tuesday - 0830 to 2000
    • Wednesday through Friday - 0930 to 2000
    • Saturday - 0830 to 2000
    • Sunday - 1030 to 1800

    Fort Jackson Post Exchange

    Groceries, liquor, fast food, clothing, barbers, and more await military families at the PX Fort Jackson.

    You’ll find Subway, Panda Express, Charleys, and Qdoba Mexican Eats available for a quick bite.

    Class 6 is a popular liquor store for those of age and, of course, you’re going to find plenty of shops ranging from auto services to clothing allowing you to run all of your errands right on base.


    4110 Moseby St. Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 787-1950


    • Monday through Saturday -

      0900 to  1900
    • Sunday -

      1100 to 1900

    Optical Center at the Exchange

    There is a Fort Jackson eye clinic within the exchange providing families with the care and supplies they need. The Optimal Center at the Exchange is a convenient place to pick up contacts, get an eye exam, etc.


    4110 Moseby St, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 787-6670


    • Monday through Saturday - 1000 to 1800
    • Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Gate 1 Express

    If you need gas or other goods, there is an on-base convenience store ready to serve the military community of Fort Jackson. You can even grab a bite at the connected Pizza Hut or get your hair trimmed at the barber shop.


    2420 Marion Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 782-2076 or 1 (803) 782-5417

    Phone (Pizza Hut):

    1 (803) 743-4270


    • Gas pumps are available 24/7
    • Monday through Friday - 0630 to 1800
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Hours (Pizza Hut):

    • Monday through Thursday - 1030 to 2000
    • Friday through Sunday - 1030 to 2100

    Fort Jackson Gate 2 Express

    Another on-base convenience store providing gas, snacks, and other small essentials. There is also an attached Subway on site.


    4120 Moseby St, Columbia, SC 29207




    • Gas pumps are available 24/7
    • Monday through Friday - 0430 to 2000
    • Saturday and Sunday - 0900 to 1900

    Hours (Subway):

    • Monday through Friday - 0700 to 2000
    • Saturday - 0800 to 2000
    • Sunday - 0900 to 2000

    Fort Jackson Golf Club

    At the FJGC, 36 holes await guests as there are two Championship courses available.

    When you aren’t hitting the links, the grounds offer a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse, pro shop, and even a snack bar and lounge available.

    Originally, the grounds featured 18 holes in 1949, designed by George Cobb, however,  Arthur L. Davis brought 20 new holes to 16 of the original holes that ultimately led to the courses that stand today.

    Both the Wildcat Course and the Old Hickory Course provide diverse topography and challenging, yet engaging features to navigate.

    Military families enjoy these facilities as a great option for recreation, however, the Fort Jackson Golf Club is also open to the public.


    3652 Inchon Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 562-4437


    • Everyday  -

      0800 to 1700

    Palmetto Falls Water Park

    Military families and civilians alike can enjoy this Fort Jackson water park. You’ll find family fun with pools, slides, a lazy river, mini golf, and snacks all available. Both daily and season passes are available.


    6511 Marion Ave Bldg 6511, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-3475


    • Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday - 1200 to 1700
    • Friday and Saturday -

      1100 to 1800

    Fort Jackson Cemetery

    Every year, over 130 VA national cemeteries honor the heroes of our nation who have passed during the Memorial Day ceremony, including Fort Jackson.

    During the rest of the year, other ceremonies commence, however, these grounds primarily remain as a place to honor loved ones and Veterans who have passed away.

    To learn more about visiting the Fort Jackson National Cemetery , click the link for our guide on planning your visit.


    4170 Percival Rd, Columbia, SC 29229


    1(803) 699-2246


    • Monday through Friday -

      0800 to 1630
    • Saturday through Tuesday -


    Fort Jackson NCO Club

    The 1917 Club is a great place, regardless of rank, to grab lunch, hang out, host catered events, and more.

    There’s even the Down Range Bar available to enjoy a cold one while blowing off some steam.

    Look out for community events with special times, themes, and offerings that provide a safe place for the military to socialize with one another.


    5700 Lee Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-3933


    • Wednesday -

      1000 to 1400
    • Thursday and Friday -

      1100 to 1330
    • Saturday through Tuesday -


    Moncrief Army Health Clinic

    Named after Colonel William Henry Moncrief, Sr., the Moncrief Army Health Clinic is a military hospital providing extensive levels of care to the Ft. Jackson community.

    Known for its many collaborations with the likes of the University of South Carolina, College of Nursing, and others, research, training, and advancing medicine coincides with delivering the military community excellent healthcare.

    Though urgent and emergency care is available off base, you’ll find a wide range of health services offered, including primary, preventative, specialty care, and much more.

    Fort Jackson Pharmacy

    The Moncrief Army Health Clinic is available for military families in need of prescriptions offering educational resources, refills, and more.

    To find out more information, including the address, phone number, and how to get your RX at the Fort Jackson pharmacy , click the link to explore our guide.

    Fort Jackson Optometry

    The Moncrief Army Health Clinic offers many healthcare services, including its operations under the Department of Optometry to deliver eye care for military families.

    Both the Primary Optometry Clinic at Moncrief Army Health Clinic and the Reception Medical Clinic (RMC) are available for a range of care options that include eye exams, order military eyewear (SRTS), physicals, spectacle and contact services, and more.

    Address (main):

    4500 8th Division Rd. Main Clinic, 3rd Floor Clinic Wing Fort Jackson, SC 29207

    Address (RMC):

    1890 Washington Rd. Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-5406


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1600
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Veterinary Treatment Facility

    Available to families serving both at Fort Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base (AFB) in need of veterinary healthcare services.

    Keep in mind pets staying on base are required to undergo certain veterinary procedures, such as microchipping, and the facility can also provide certificates for CONUS and OCONUS travel.


    2445-D Knight Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4056


    • Monday through Friday - 0830 to 1230 and 1330 to 1600
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    McWethy Troop Medical Clinic

    If you’re a Soldier training in the Army, the Troop Medical Clinic (TMC) is your go-to for primary care. Even Soldiers temporarily assigned to the base can utilize TMC. Below are the sick call hours you’ll need to know:

    Hours (sick call):

    • Monday through Friday - 0530 to 1515
    • Saturday and Sunday and Federal holidays - Closed

    Hours (permanent party sick call):

    • Monday through Friday - 0630 to 0730
    • You must be either in your Physical Training (PT) or Duty uniform


    4575 8th Division Rd. Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-6789


    • Monday through Friday - 0530 to 1515
    • Saturday - 0730 to 1515
    • Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Library

    There are two libraries providing everything from classic books to new video games for military families. Whether you’re in need of some entertainment or looking to learn, here are your on-base options.

    Thomas Lee Hall Library

    The Thomas Lee Hall Library has plenty of resources for you and your family to access, including historical accounts and records of Fort Jackson as the base has evolved. Every Thursday at 1100 there’s also story time to enjoy.


    4679 Lee Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-5589


    • Monday through Thursday -

      1100 to 1900
    • Friday and Saturday -

      1200 to 1700
    • Sunday -


    Soldier Support Institute Library

    At the Soldier Support Institute (SSI) Library, you’ll find access to the wealth of information provided by the Army University Library System (AULS) and SSI. Books, articles, and much more await.


    Fort Jackson, Garland St, Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 751-8229


    • Monday through Thursday


       0800 to 1300 and 1430 to 1700 
    • Friday


      0800 to 1300 and 1430 to 1630 
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Education Center

    The Army Continuing Education Services (ACES) Center helps those who are serving reach their fullest potential through resources and guidance involving educational pursuits and career building both inside and outside of the military.


    5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd Room 128, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-5341


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1700
    • Saturday and Sunday -


    Fort Jackson Theater

    Military families looking for a safe, affordable movie theater are in luck. On-base screenings occur weekly and feature many of the hottest releases in film.

    Keep in mind that the hours and times for shows will vary depending on what’s playing among other factors.

    To learn more about showing times, call the number below, to find out what’s playing. The Fort Jackson Theater opens 30 minutes before each screening.


    3319 Jackson Blvd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1(803) 782-6099

    Fort Jackson Bowling Alley

    The Century Lanes Bowling Alley is more than just hitting the lanes. Families will find fun at every corner with bowling, bingo, pool tables, and video games all available on site.


    4464 Gregg St, Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 751-6138


    • Monday and Friday - 1700 to 2200
    • Tuesday -

    • Wednesday (Family Day only) -

      1000 to 1800
    • Thursday (Graduation Day only) -

      1300 to 1800
    • Saturday -

      1200 to 2000
    • Sunday -

      1200 to 1800

    Fort Jackson Central Issue Facility (CIF)

    The CIF is inside what used to be the Wheeled Mechanic School building. In the main office, you’ll find processing stations (appointment only) and various issuing stations for safety boots, maternity uniforms, student classes, etc.


    2450 Marion Ave, Columbia, SC 29209


    1 (803) 751-7213


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 - 1500
    • Saturday and Sunday -


    Fort Jackson Barber Shops

    When you’re in the military, having a nice, fresh haircut isn’t just a matter of personal grooming preference. It’s an essential part of your appearance in uniform.

    Luckily, there are multiple barbershops on post where you can get a regular trim.


    4110 Moseby St, Columbia, SC 29207 (inside the Fort Jackson Post Exchange)


    1 (803) 787-3790


    • Monday through Saturday - 0900 to 1800
    • Sunday - 1100 to 1700

    Address (Mini Mall Barber Shop location):

    4712 Lee Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 787-1274


    • Monday through Friday - 1000 to 1700
    • Saturday - 1000 to 1600
    • Sunday -  Closed

    Fort Jackson Parent Central Services (CYS)

    The Fort Jackson CYS provides a variety of services and programs for kids up to age 12 including classes, sports, and other educational activities.

    Each military base has different services available through their CYS but parents of Fort Jackson are provided with most standard options with the exception of child home care through the Family Child Care (FCC) Program.

    In order to participate, families must create a Fort Jackson Webtrac account online .

    You’ll also need to visit the CYS Parent Central Services (PCS) Office, which is in room AO1 within the Joe E. Mann Community Center.

    Registration and appointments are required with walk-ins discouraged and deprioritized.

    Waitlists are available online through the militarychildcare.com .

    Address (registration office):

    3392 Century Div Ave. Joe E. Mann Center Fort Jackson, SC 29207

    Phone (registration office):

    1 (803) 751-4865

    Address (CYS Office):

    3392 Magruder Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4824


    • Monday - 0815 to 1230 and 1400 to 1600
    • Tuesday -

      0815 to 1530
    • Wednesday -

      0815 to 1700
    • Thursday - 0815 to 1530
    • Friday -

      0815 to 1230 and 1400 to 1600
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Finance Office

    Need some help, assistance, or advice regarding financial matters? The post finance office is the place to go for any money matters you need help with.


    5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd, Room 129, Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4565 or 1 (803) 751-6669


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1600

    Robert B Solomon Activity Center

    It’s hard to pinpoint just what the Solomon Center at Fort Jackson truly is. The facility offers a place to shop, a game room, a park, and a place to host events.

    Overall, it’s a social hub unlike anything else on base. There’s even an indoor track to help you get your cardio in without facing the post’s notorious Southern heat.

    There is a massive space, capable of holding 2,800 people and known for the periodic community events along with various ceremonies, including Family Day.

    To rent the space, contact the Solomon Center Events Coordinator at 1 (803)751-4056 or 1 (803)751-4058.

    Furthermore, you can also find Patriots Park in front as a great place to rest while hiking the Fort Jackson Recreation Trail or simply have lunch on one of the many picnic tables and gazebos.

    Finally, be on the lookout for flea markets and craft shows as future plans include a marketplace to show off local artisans.


    6510 Strom Thurmond Blvd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-7160


    • Monday through Friday - 0600 to 1900
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    ACS Fort Jackson

    Serving as a Soldier can come with unique challenges, but the military community can overcome these obstacles by working together.

    At the Army Community Service (ACS) office, families can find resources when PCSing, dealing with abuse, when emergency financial resources are needed, and more.


    9810 Lee Rd. Fort Jackson, SC, 29207


    1 (803) 751-5256


    • Monday through Friday - 0730 to 1630
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Pools

    Families looking to improve their skills, get some exercise, or just cool off have multiple pools to choose from.

    Featuring both indoor and outdoor options, seasonal and year-round choices, here are the pools available on Fort Jackson:

    Legion Outdoor Pool

    In the summer, if you have a DoD ID or wish to bring a guest, the Legion Pool is an outdoor place to cool down. Access is also included for those with a season pass to Palmetto Falls.

    Children 2 years old and under are free, however, everyone else must pay $6 per guest to enter.

    Coolers are allowed, however, alcohol and glass containers are prohibited.


    2761 Inchon Rd. Bldg 2761 Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4987

    Phone (information line):

    1 (803) 751-4796


    • Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday - 1300 to 1800
    • Saturday - 1100 to 1800
    • Wednesday and Thursday - Closed

    Knight Swimming Pool

    The Knight Indoor Pool is a year-round, indoor option for swimmers to enjoy the water, get some exercise, or take in one of the many training programs available.

    There is a 50-meter (long course) lap pool along with an open swim available to eligible guests. Some of the classes and training available include the following:

    • A self-paced Swim for Your Life Program
    • Lifeguard training
    • PHTA Certified Pool Operator
    • Swimming lessons (adult and youth classes available)
    • Unit training
    • Various American Red Cross courses
    • Water aerobics

    You can learn more about the Knight Indoor Pool’s training programs and schedules online .


    3296 Magruder Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4796


    • Monday and Tuesday - 0600 to 1300
    • Wednesday and Thursday - 0600 to 1300 and 1600 to 1900
    • Friday through Sunday and Holidays - Closed

    Fort Jackson Gyms

    There are several gyms and fitness centers available throughout Fort Jackson, however, you’ll need to have an eligible ID to access them. You’ll also need to fill out an MWR Application. Here’s who qualifies:

    • Active duty
    • DA civilian employees (and age-appropriate family members)
    • Retirees
    • Reserves

    Vanguard Gymnasium

    If you’re 16 years or older, the Vanguard Gym is available. You can bring one guest per ID cardholder for access to the racquetball court, free weights, strength equipment, and cardio equipment.


    2009 Wheeler St, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4384


    • Monday through Friday - 0500 to 1900
    • Saturday and Sunday - 1130 to 1700

    Coleman Gymnasium

    The Coleman Gymnasium features a cardio room, strength machines, free weights, and full-court basketball courts. Again, this facility is allowed for those age 16 and up with one guest allowed per ID cardholder.


    4482 Johnson St. Bldg 4482 Fort Jackson, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-5817


    • Everyday 24/7
    • Monday through  Friday, except on holidays, the staff is available from 0500 to 1900.

    Perez Fitness Center

    You’ll find plenty of space and plenty of options at the 20,500 square-foot facilities provided to Fort Jackson families through the Perez Fitness Center.

    Cardio and strength equipment is available but there’s also a lot more. This includes pickleball courts, racquetball courts, saunas, and plenty of lockers for guests.


    4149 Sumter Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-6258


    • Monday through Friday - 0500 to 2000
    • Saturday, Sunday, and holidays - 0900 to 1700

    Andy's Fitness Center

    You’ll find Andy’s Fitness Center inside Fort Jackson’s Solomon Center, providing cardio equipment, an indoor track, free weights, and more equipment available for a great workout no matter what.

    In addition to the expansive equipment and amenities within the facility, there are also classes for aerobics, kickboxing, and stepping offering beginner, advanced, and senior levels.


    6510 Strom Thurmond Blvd, Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 751-4056


    • Monday through Friday - 0500 to 1900
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Green Zone Trail

    The Fort Jackson Green Zone Trail is one of the most interesting features of the base because while it’s part of the recreational amenities for those on base, it also doubles as a trail for civilians.

    Those who have access to Fort Jackson can enter as they normally would. The Fort Jackson Green Zone Trail is a great place to hike, run, bike, skate, etc.

    You’ll find a few different paths, with the trail providing a 5-mile loop within the base and smaller trail loops around the Solomon Center, Palmetto Falls, Palmetto Greens, and Patriots Park.

    To start, you’ll head off to the corner of Marion Ave. and Inchon Rd, which is also where it finishes as it’s a loop. Parking is available near Semmes Lake where there is also a park with room to relax and picnic.

    The reason this feature is part of recreation for military families and civilians is because it’s also a part of the Palmetto Trail, a 500-mile trail throughout South Carolina many hikers take on.

    If you are a civilian without access to Fort Jackson, be sure to first go to the VCC at Gate 2. Once you arrive, you’ll need to explain that you’re walking the Palmetto Trail.

    Assuming you pass the mandatory background check, you’ll be provided a day pass, however, this isn’t a pass to venture around. You are required to stick to the trail and are not authorized to access elsewhere.

    Many recommend allowing at least four hours to complete this section of the trail, meaning, if you’re not ready to go by at least 1300 (1:00 PM), you may need to attempt at a later date.


    4522 Marion Ave Fort Jackson, SC 29207




    • From dusk to dawn

    Fort Jackson Dog Park

    Taking your pet out for a little recreation is simple thanks to the Fort Jackson Dog Park.

    There are obstacle courses for dogs to enjoy, a pool to cool down in, and water available to keep your furry friends hydrated.

    One of the best features of the park is that it’s separated. You’ll find a section for smaller dogs and another for larger ones to keep the socializing a bit more favorable.

    Sit back on one of the benches while your dog plays and don’t worry, there are poop bags and trash bins to help keep the area clean.

    Keep in mind that there are some rules and guidelines everyone is expected to follow to ensure the longevity of the park and the safety of all of those who visit. You can find them online .


    6100 Chesnut Rd, Columbia, SC 29206


    • Every day from dust to dawn

    Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

    Need some legal advice, assistance, or the services of a notary? The Fort Jackson Legal Assistance Office (LAO) is open for appointments to help you with general legal advice.

    This can include family law, administrative law (military and civilian), consumer protection, real property, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and much more.

    However, Fort Jackson JAG cannot assist with representation involving civil legal matters.

    If you need to schedule an appointment, do so by calling the number below or by emailing LAO at usarmy.jackson.army-tng-ctr.mbx.legal-assistance@army.mil .


    2600 Lee Road Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4287


    • Monday through Wednesday - 0900 to 1115 and 1230 to 1600
    • Thursday - 1230 to 1600
    • Friday - 0900 to 1115 and 1230 to 1500
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    *Note that because of limited resources, hours are subject to change. For the most updated information on hours, visit the official Ft. Jackson OSJA Facebook page .

    Fort Jackson Recycling Center

    If you’re looking to recycle, there is a center on base accepting appropriate materials and even providing the community with a “Shred Day” to discard sensitive paperwork.

    The date changes for Shred Day and your best bet is following on social media to find the next one being held.

    Please note that you can’t shred classified documents and only certain materials are accepted.

    To learn more about what is allowed at the center as well as the igloos at Semmes Lake and Patriot Park, you can find the list online .


    5671 Pickens Ave, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 751-4208


    • Monday through Friday - 0700 to 1500
    • Saturday and Sunday - Closed

    Fort Jackson Reserve Center

    Serving in the U.S. Army Reserves ? The Fort Jackson Reserve Center is a hub for thousands of those serving and is near the base’s northern VCC. 


    627 Boyden Arbor Rd, Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 738-0691



    Fort Jackson Post Office

    If you’re looking to mail something through the United States Postal Service, please note that the Ft. Jackson location has moved. The new address is listed below and the staff is ready to assist you with all of your shipping needs.


    4350 Century Division Ave., Columbia, SC 29207


    1 (803) 782-8709


    • Monday through Friday - 0900 to 1300 and 1430 to 1630

    Where Should I Live Near Fort Jackson?

    If you’re considering living on post, you have many available options. Get to know more about on-base Fort Jackson housing in our guide by clicking the link. Below, we’re breaking down the best spots for living off post.

    Cities Near Fort Jackson

    If you’re not looking to live on the base itself, don’t worry. Some of the best places to live near Fort Jackson offer a reasonable commute, attractive amenities, and much more.

    Here are some nearby cities and suburbs with great access to the base:


    The closest city to Ft. Jackson is the capital of the Palmetto State, Columbia . Offering plenty of good schools and universities, Soda City is known for offering attractive neighborhoods with both metropolitan downtown and quiet suburb options available.

    Home to the University of South Carolina and Williams-Brice Stadium , you’ll find plenty of events, parks, and attractions available. All of this with an obvious influence from the notable military community calling the city home.


    Just north of Fort Jackson is Dentsville, SC , offering families a suburban feel with a short commute to the base.

    One of the more attractive features of the area is the above average educational options available to families.

    Nearby shopping, easy access to downtown Columbia, and a mix of national and local eateries provides plenty of amenities for residents.


    In Cayce , it’s all about getting outdoors. Sure, you may be near the heart of the Columbia metro area, but the City by the River didn’t earn its nickname for nothing.

    Located off the banks of the Congaree River, there are parks to enjoy, and of course, the Riverwalk, available to take in the beautiful sights.

    Additionally, the region is known for plenty of local and tourist attractions, including the Cayce Historical Museum, Riverbanks Zoo, and Botanical Gardens.

    Above average schools and elevated nightlife options make Cayce, SC, a popular option for families and young professionals alike.

    Forest Acres

    Living in Forest Acres, SC , is one of the most desirable areas for military families as it’s close to Fort Jackson, offers excellent schools, and provides a suburban feel without sacrificing nightlife and other city amenities.

    Despite the generally safe feel from residents in the area, if there is one notable concern involving the city, it’s that violent crime, while not rampant, is sadly above average for the area.

    With this in mind, residents enjoy easy access to downtown, a tight knit community, and one of the highest-rated areas to live in the entire state.


    The town of Irmo, SC , is the farthest place we’re highlighting to live near Fort Jackson, but don’t let a little extra commute fool you.

    Located northwest of the base, there are several parks and places for recreation, with access to the majestic Lake Murray as the area’s crown jewel.

    Downtown Columbia is about 12 to 14 miles away with Fort Jackson around 18 to 28 miles away, depending on your route and where you live.

    Still, many city amenities, nightlife features, and necessities are found in town and families enjoy excellent school options.

    Note that compared to some of the other cities listed above, there have sadly been reports of slightly above-average violent crimes in the area.

    Fort Jackson Schools

    Fort Jackson families have plenty of great public schools in the area with most falling within Richland School Districts One and Two.

    Fort Jackson Elementary Schools

    Quality education is available at all levels, including the two elementary schools on base, which are a part of the Department of Defense Education Activity network.


    Pierce Terrace Elementary School,

    Pre-K through 2nd grade


    5705 Carter Rd Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 638-7491


    Pinckney Elementary School

    2nd through 6th grade


    5900 Chestnut Rd Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 638-7600

    Fort Jackson Middle School

    Students in grades 7-12 who live on post will attend public schools in Richland County School District Two .


    Dent Middle School

    7th through 8th grade


    2721 Decker Blvd Columbia, SC 29206


    1 (803) 699-2750

    Fort Jackson High School


    Richland Northeast High School



    7500 Brookfield R Columbia, SC 29233


    1 (803) 699-2800

    Additional Fort Jackson School Options

    In addition to the many public schools available in the area, Fort Jackson families also have access to over 60 private schools ranging from preschool through high school.

    Adult educational services are also available in and near Ft. Jackson through the University of South Carolina, Webster University, Claflin University, and Midlands Technical College.

    Those serving in the military can also find courses provided through the US Army Holistic Health and Fitness Academy and Fort Jackson Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

    You can find more local school information at The Best Fort Jackson Schools: Daycare – High School .

    Fort Jackson Weather

    Summers are hot and humid thanks to the humid subtropical climate found in Columbia, South Carolina.

    While the winters are colder than some states, average lows typically hit the upper 30s, meaning there isn’t a good chance for snow at Fort Jackson, though flurries occur from time to time.

    Average summer temperatures are in the 90s with around 80% to 90% humidity. Part of the humidity is due to June and July experiencing the highest amount of rainfall.

    Columbia is partly cloudy all year and experiences all four seasons. In autumn, expect to see leaves turning colors and falling to the ground. During spring, cherry blossoms and pear trees come to life in a beautiful display.

    Things to Do Near Fort Jackson

    Life at Ft. Jackson has a lot to offer families looking for something to do both on and off base.

    The Columbia metro area has plenty of recreation along with vibrant nightlife, delicious eateries, and plenty of entertainment.

    Known for festivals, sporting events, concerts, shopping, its strong ties to the military, and more, here are some highlights of what you can look forward to as a new resident:

    Outdoor Activities

    As the capital of South Carolina, there is plenty to do in the Columbia area surrounding Fort Jackson.

    From the University of South Carolina football and the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden to the fun college town atmosphere of Five Points which offers lots of outdoor dining options.

    The Saluda and Broad Rivers and Lake Murray provide plenty of opportunities for watersports as well as fishing.

    If you enjoy hiking or biking, you’re in luck, as there are several trails in the area, such as the Jackson Creek Nature Trail and Rosewood Nature Trail.

    Visit the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum

    The U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum is one of the main draws for visitors of Fort Jackson, preserving the history of basic training and how it continues to evolve over the years.

    There are exhibitions across the museum’s 7,500+ square feet of exhibition space that provide free admission to the military and civilians alike.

    If you are new to Fort Jackson, we highly recommend visiting once you’re settled in to learn more about your new home.


    4442 Jackson Blvd, Columbia, SC 29209


    1 (803) 751-7419


    • Monday through Friday -

      0900 to 1600
    • Saturday, Sunday, and Federal holidays -


    Shopping Around Columbia, SC

    There are several large malls, lots of local galleries and boutique shopping as well as lots of bookstores and sporting goods throughout the area.

    One popular location, the Trenholm Plaza , offers options for bites, and retail therapy, and is simply a nice place to walk around. Plus, it’s only about two miles off Fort Jackson.

    You can find the Columbiana Centre near Irmo in the northwest corner of the city.

    Art, Music, and Culture Await

    Columbia, South Carolina has a buzzing art scene, provides plenty of venues for live music, and is known for its museums.

    Nationally touring acts and festivals are known to grace the stages of the Colonial Life Arena and Cayce Speedway Amphitheater, while local acts can be found throughout neighborhoods, such as Five Points.

    Adding culture to the city, the South Carolina State Museum (SCSM) , EdVenture Children's Museum , and Columbia Museum of Art provide entertaining, educational exhibits and events fun for the whole family.

    Suggested Read:

    22 Of the Best Things to Do in Fort Jackson

    Restaurants Near Fort Jackson

    Southern food is famous for being smoked, fried, decadent, and delicious.

    These mouthwatering dishes can be found throughout Columbia, offering the families of Fort Jackson unbeatable flavors and unmatched hospitality.

    On and off base, you’ll find plenty of chains you know and love, however, here are a few local hotspots guaranteed to make you feel more at home:

    Midwood Smokehouse

    Midwood Smokehouse is serving up meats smoked to perfection with traditional Southern sides, however, you’ll also find plenty of inventive dishes adding to your experience.

    It’s a casual spot where you can enjoy succulent smoked, chopped pork sandwiches as well a ribs inspired by the Yucatán Peninsula.

    Whether you’re looking to book a private dining experience or need a caterer, Midwood Smokehouse can do it all.


    702 Cross Hill Rd Ste 400D Columbia, SC 29205 (inside Cross Hill Market)


    1 (803) 764-1231

    Kairos Mediterranean

    If you are craving something filling but still want to keep it healthy, Kairos Mediterranean provides a balanced menu that is full of flavor.

    Pitas, salads, rice bowls, and platters packed with delicious veggies and juicy proteins are available for an affordable, healthy lunch or dinner.

    Parents don’t need to worry as there’s also a kids menu and if you’re hosting but don’t want to cook, catering options are also available.


    4600 Devine St Columbia, SC 29205


    1 (803) 851-4141

    Cola's Restaurant

    Finding time for a nice dinner can be difficult. You need something that’s refined but not stuffy, elevated but not too expensive, and of course, the menu has to offer something for everyone.

    At Cola’s Restaurant, you’ll find plenty of American cuisine ranging from the North to the South, the coast to the farmlands, and everything in between.

    Located in the brick walls of what used to be a bottling company, the entire venue pays homage to Soda City’s history.

    On top of it all, there are inventive cocktails and a great wine list to compliment your night out perfectly.


    1215 Assembly St, Columbia, SC 29201


    1 (803) 451-0051

    Are you looking to really explore more food and drink options in Soda City? Check out the 30 of the Best Fort Jackson Restaurants .

    Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Jackson at



    Fort Jackson Jobs

    The economy surrounding Fort Jackson continues to grow, offering ample opportunities in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, food services, and public administration.

    Families enjoy a cost of living that is not only lower than the national average but is also cheaper than most of the Palmetto State.

    However, it’s worth noting that while the Columbia metro area is cheaper to live in, wages are also lower than the national average as well.

    Growing areas include some of the industries, such as manufacturing, that already have roots but aerospace, energy, and other sectors are also on the rise.

    Troops who have a MOS associated with basic training can expect to report to Fort Jackson as needed by the U.S. Army.

    Career opportunities on base are always changing and range greatly depending on the operational needs of Fort Jackson. To learn more, view job postings online on the USAJOBS website. 

    The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

    Updated by:

    Buddy Blouin



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