Fort Jackson

Updated: January 29, 2024
In this Article

    Fort Jackson, South Carolina is an Army Training Center. This is the Army’s main Basic Combat Training site; roughly half of all new recruits come to Fort Jackson for their initial Army training. Fort Jackson is located in the capital city, Columbia, South Carolina, and sits on a sprawling 53,000-acre area.

    Find information about Fort Jackson, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PCSing personnel, and in processing.

    Mission & Units

    Basic Combat Training is one of the main missions at Fort Jackson, but it’s not the only training that happens at this Army post. Other missions include:

    • U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute
    • Department of Defense Chaplain Center and School
    • Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment

    Other important operations at Fort Jackson include:

    • 120th AG Battalion
    • 157th Infantry Brigade
    • 165th Infantry Brigade
    • 171st Infantry Brigade
    • 193rd Infantry Brigade

    What Kind of Military Base is Fort Jackson?

    Fort Jackson, located in South Carolina, is an Army base serving as the United States’ Basic Combat Training (BCT) facility. As one of the largest and busiest bases in the country, Fort Jackson is celebrated for effectively training, developing, and educating soldiers to become the best versions of themselves.

    Known as the “Home of Army Combatives,” Fort Jackson is known for teaching military members the art of hand-to-hand combat. With a focus on entry and foundational-level training, many consider Fort Jackson a staple for shaping future military members. 


    Fort Jackson Housing: Where Should I Live if Stationed at Fort Jackson?

    On-base housing at Fort Jackson ranges from well-maintained single-family homes to apartments, duplexes, and townhomes of all sizes and floor plans. As is the case with most military bases, Fort Jackson prioritizes giving active duty military members who are married and with families on-base homes. Military members considered “unattached,” meaning no spouse or children, are typically assigned to live in the barracks.

    Although not everyone has a chance to live on-base at Fort Jackson, there are many military members who actively choose to live off-base in the surrounding area. With plenty of outdoor recreation sites, historical landmarks, and a vibrant culinary scene, the Fort Jackson surrounding area is an aesthetic and exciting place to reside.


    Fort Jackson Family Housing

    The Fort Jackson on-base housing facilities were designed to promote a sense of belonging and safety for the military families residing there. Residents living on-base benefit from playgrounds, community centers, and gyms, among other recreational areas. Military members with young children especially appreciate the peace of mind provided by the base’s extra security.

    It’s important to note that military families that rent or purchase homes, apartments, or townhomes off-base also have access to the on-base family-oriented programs. In addition to having access to these perks, many military families enjoy the added privacy that comes with living away from the base. Whether you live on- or off-base, both options come with their own unique set of advantages. 


    What is the BAH for Fort Jackson?

    Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a benefit provided to off-base military members, helping them afford the cost of housing where they are stationed. For example, military members with a pay grade of E04 or lower receive $1,362.00 per month on average. Similarly, those in the same area with dependents and of the same pay grade receive a bit more at $1,680.00.

    Whether you are certain you will be living near Fort Jackson or you are conducting research on the varying South Carolina BAH rates across different locations, it’s important to remember that rank, location, and even the number of dependents can impact these figures. 

    The Fort Jackson Housing Office: How to Apply for Housing at Fort Jackson

    On-base housing assignments at Fort Jackson vary greatly depending on your familiar status, rank, and pay grade. For barracks or single service member housing, call 803-751-636 for assistance.

    The Army Housing Service Office (AHSO) can also be reached at 803-751-7566, and they are available to help both unaccompanied and accompanied military personnel with the process of obtaining on- and off-base housing. 

    It should be noted that, depending on the time of year, there may be a waiting list for on-base housing. Furthermore, dog owners should check with the AHSO at 803-751-7567 regarding breeds that are permitted and restricted on-base.


    Fort Jackson is named after the President and South Carolina native Andrew Jackson. Like many Army bases, the age of the Fort is impressive–it got its’ start in 1917 as a training site for infantry troops. 

    From 1925 to 1940 the Fort (then known as Camp Jackson) was used to train National Guard troops but 1940 was the year it became a permanent part of the Army’s roster as a garrison. This is when “Camp” gave way to “Fort” in the name.

    At the end of World War Two, a variety of Army bases were converted to demobilization centers and eventually shut down. Fort Jackson was not to suffer that fate–it was instead used as a training center once again.

    Since 1995, the Fort has acquired a variety of missions and training facilities including the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment, the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute, and Department of Defense Chaplain School.

    All that in addition to being the most active Basic Combat Training base run by the Army. How active? Official sources claim that the fort is responsible for training fully half of today’s new soldiers and 60 percent of the women joining the Army.


    Main Fort Jackson Address And Phone Numbers

    9810 Lee Road
    Fort Jackson, SC 29207

    • 803-751-5256
    • 312-734-5256

    Important Fort Jackson Contact Numbers

    • Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (803) 751-1636
    • Base Operator (803) 751-7511
    • Civilian Personnel Office (803) 751-3219
    • Dental Clinics (803) 751-6213
    • Emergency 911
    • Finance Office (803) 751-4565
    • Hospital/Medical Treatment Facility (877) 273-5584
    • Housing Services Office (803) 751-7566
    • ID/CAC Card Processing (803) 751-7731
    • Information and Referral (803) 751-4862
    • Law Enforcement (803) 751-3114
    • Legal Services and JAG (803) 751-4287
    • Medical Appointments (877) 273-5584
    • Personnel Support Office (803) 751-7673
    • Post Staff Duty (803) 751-5166

    Surrounding Area

    Fort Jackson is located in the state capitol. Columbia–said to be the second-largest city in South Carolina. The area has plenty of local color and unique features. In addition to being one of the few locations in the United States for “dedicated puppet theater,” this area is also known for Assembly Street, which was built incredibly wide even by today’s standards–and that design was implemented in the 18th century. 

    Why so wide? Local legends say that it was because the designers hoped the road would be “too wide for mosquitos to cross” according to one DoD source.

    Another local landmark, Dreher Shoals Dam AKA “Lake Murray Dam” just outside the city, was once considered the largest earthen dam in the world–at least in the early 20th century.

    And about an hour and 15 minutes from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, which features shoreline tours, island day trips such as Hunting Island State Park. There is lots of outdoor adventure here–those who love boating, kayaking, and fishing will find much to do here.

    Inprocessing and Check-In

    In processing is different for civilians and soldiers; all soldiers must be in uniform (the typical uniform of the day is the Army Combat Uniform) and are advised to “be sure that you have enough uniforms with you to begin duty after in-processing”.

    All permanent party new arrivals (not trainees) are to report in uniform to 5450 Strom Thurmond Boulevard during regular duty hours Monday through Friday. Those arriving after duty hours must contact their gaining unit to check-in.

    Civilians checking in should go to the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd) and bring their US passport, birth certificate, or certificate of naturalization.

    Health Care

    Fort Jackson has multiple options for those who want on-post healthcare. There is a main medical facility–Moncrief Army Health Clinic–which handles an impressive annual caseload of some 400,000 outpatient clinic appointments alone. Services include but may not be limited to:

    • Preventive Care
    • Urgent & Emergency Care
    • Mental Health
    • Substance Abuse
    • Lab Tests
    • Radiology
    • Specialty Care
    • Pharmacy
    • Vision
    • Women’s Health & Pregnancy
    • Children’s Health

    There is also a Troop Medical Clinic, a Reception Medical Clinic and an off-base primary care center called Moncrief Medical Home. Call for appointments: 803-751-2273. There are also in-network TRICARE PRIME options.

    Child Care

    Fort Jackson is served by multiple Child Development Centers (official sources can’t agree on how many) offering child care for children aged six weeks to five years of age. At least one facility on Fort Jackson has in the past offered 24/7 operations but you will need to contact the Fort Jackson CDC office to learn what is currently available. 

    Waiting lists may apply and in normal times you may wish to consider using the Fort Jackson Family Child Care (FCC) network to fill the gap in care if needed. FCC homes are regulated and monitored. However, COVID-19 restrictions may limit the availability of such care options depending on current health protection levels.

    Household Goods

    All inbound PCSing troops are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at You can also get local support from the Fort Jackson Inbound TMO at 803-751-5137.

    Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue

    All ID card services at Fort Jackson are handled by ID/CAC Card Processing. You can reach them at (803) 751-7731, but in general appointments for the following services do not require appointments at press time:

    -DEERS Update
    -PIN Reset
    -DD FORM 1172-2 Printout
    -Agent letters

    ID card appointments can otherwise be scheduled via the RAPIDS system at using the Fort Jackson ID Cards site ID: 102071


    There are multiple options at Fort Jackson when it comes to education for school-age children. There is a DoD school option–this base has schools run by Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) which is part of the DoD Education Activity (DoDEA). 

    There are two elementary schools on post, middle schoolers who live on base are served by Dent Middle School. 

    Those who live off post are served by Richland School District 1 or Richland District 2. Contact the Fort Jackson School Support Services office (803-751-6150) for current information on transfer requirements including shot records, immunizations and vaccinations, etc.


    Single and unaccompanied soldiers without dependents PCSing to Fort Jackson (up to E5) will live in a “single soldiers complex”. E1s-E4s are assigned a private bedroom with a shared kitchenette. Single soldiers E6 and above are permitted to live off base.

    Family members can apply for on-post housing through the Army Housing Service Office (AHSO), but in all cases, single or unaccompanied, AHSO should be your first stop–do not enter into legally binding housing arrangements without checking in with AHSO first. 

    On post housing is privatized and operated by Fort Jackson Family Homes. Waiting lists may apply and dog owners must check in with AHSO to learn what breeds are currently restricted (there is a list). Call 803-751-7567 for more information. 

    PCS and TDY Lodging

    Temporary lodging for TDY and PCSing troops at Fort Jackson is provided by IHG Army Hotel Fort Jackson. IHG Hotels accept reservations in advance but it’s best to contact them early–TDY and PCS season may create a lack of availability in the area. 

    Call 877-711-8326. Pet-friendly facilities may be limited or unavailable depending on circumstances and demand–when calling for reservations ask about local kenneling options in the area.


    Columbia Metropolitan Airport is some 20 miles away from Fort Jackson, and the usual ride sharing and commercial shuttles/taxi services may be available depending on time of arrival, demand, rush hour, etc. 

    Coordinate with your sponsor ahead of your travel to the area–you’ll want to know what to expect depending on your date and time of arrival. Rush hour can complicate trips from the airport to the base.

    Another option, some 90 miles from the base, is Charlotte International Airport.

    Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

    All privately owned vehicles operating on post must have current paperwork, drivers must have current military ID and current driver’s licenses, and motorcycle riders are required to pass a safety course if they are under 25 years of age. 

    All vehicles are subject to a 100% ID check and random searches at any time.

    All vehicles must comply with South Carolina requirements including applicable emissions testing, safety equipment (seat belt use and helmet use for motorcyclists), and all state-required insurance coverage must be carried as directed. Cell phone use while driving is restricted.

    Written by Joe Wallace

    Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.