Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Updated: June 5, 2023
In this Article

    Fort Sill is home to the oldest continuously operating airfield in U.S. Army history. Located in Oklahoma 85 miles away from Oklahoma City, the fort has a rich legacy of Army history stretching back to the 1800s.

    On any given day, there are roughly nine thousand trainees at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, attending basic training, advanced individual training (AIT), and other types of military education and training. There are roughly 50 thousand at Fort Sill with some 20 thousand of those serving in uniform and as civilians; the remainder are associated family members.

    Find information about Fort Sill, Oklahoma, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.

    Mission & Units

    Training and readiness are among the top concerns for missions at Fort Sill. This Army post has operated as the home of the Army Field Artillery School, Army Air Defense Artillery School, is one of four Army basic training sites in the U.S., and has participated in all major military conflicts since 1869.Fort Sill features the Fires Center of Excellence, under which much artillery training falls. Major units and missions at Fort Sill include:

    • 214th Fires Brigade
    • 428th FA Brigade
    • 434th FA Brigade
    • 479th FA Brigade
    • 75th Fires Brigade
    • Defense Military Pay
    • Directorate of Contracting
    • Directorate of Emergency Services
    • Directorate of Human Resources
    • Directorate of Information Management
    • Directorate of Logistics
    • Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security
    • Directorate of Public Works
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Civilian Force
    • Equal Opportunity Office-Military
    • Field Artillery Training Command
    • Installation Legal Office
    • Military Personnel Services Division
    • MWR & Family Programs
    • Religious Support/ Installation Chaplain
    • Reynolds Army Community Hospital
    • Single Soldiers’ Housing
    • U.S. Army Non-Com. Officer Academy
    • U.S.A. Garrison Fort Sill
    • USA Garrison

    What Kind of Military Base is Fort Sill?

    Fort Sill, Oklahoma is utilized primarily as a United States Army post, serving as the home of a Field Artillery School, Air Defense Artillery School, and the Marine Corps Field Artillery MOS school. The location of Fort Still was established in 1869 and has since evolved into a core training center for artillery and air defense artillery units. 

    Interestingly, Fort Sill is also the location of many historic landmarks. This includes the Old Post Quadrangle, where the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark Museum is also located. Fort Sill occasionally hosts public events where civilians can come on base to see these heritage sites. 

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

    Fort Sill on-base housing includes single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes, and spacious apartments. These units range in square footage and bedroom numbers, accommodating families of all sizes and needs.

    Those who live on-base benefit from the convenience of community amenities being close by. These facilities include, but are not limited to, playgrounds, sports fields, fitness centers, and even swimming pools.

    Compared to on-base living, off-base housing selections in the Fort Sill surrounding area provide more variety. Military members can choose to rent or purchase an off-base house, apartment, condo, or duplex to reside in during their term.

    Living off-base provides a layer of privacy, and military families that live in the surrounding area can still participate in on-base programs and activities.

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    Fort Sill Family Housing

    Many choose to stay on base at Fort Sill due to the numerous community benefits that come with the territory. The base is set up to promote camaraderie among on-base residents, which fosters a sense of belonging and security for military families.

    Those who live on-base are also in close proximity to child development centers, medical clinics, and commissaries. 

    For families that like to explore a wider range of housing options, living off-base in the Fort Sill area is a great opportunity. As the area is rich with convenient local amenities, military personnel choosing to live away from the Fort Sill base may have more opportunities to enjoy what the surrounding community has to offer. 

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    What is the BAH for Fort Sill?

    The cost of living in the Fort Sill area is low compared to much of the United States. As such, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates do not have to be high compared to more expensive areas of the country to effectively assist off-base military personnel with housing costs.

    Military members with pay grades of E04 and lower with dependants receive a BAH of, on average, around $1077.00 per month. Understandably, those without dependents receive a bit less at $843 per month. 

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

    The Fort Sill Housing Division can be contacted at 580-442-5190, and they are available to assist all military personnel, regardless if you are seeking on-site or off-site housing. The staff through this department can assist you in completing the correct applications based on your preferences. It’s important to note that those wanting off-site housing are not permitted to sign a lease before they arrive and check-in.

    History

    It is said that the land ultimately destined to become Fort Sill was being considered by the Army as early as 1869 when there were disputes, skirmishes, and open warfare over border settlements in Kansas and Texas; 10th Cavalry troops (including some of serving under the famous Buffalo Soldiers all African-American unit) helped develop the site that would become home to Army Field Artillery operations circa 1902.

    Wartime Activities, Prisoners Of War At Fort Sill

    Fort Sill has served many roles including that of a prisoner of war camp in 1894 when Apache prisoners including Geronimo and other Chiricahua Apache folk.

    In 1942, Fort Sill was part of the infamous internment camp process for those of Japanese descent, established after America’s entry into World War Two and generally fuelled by paranoia; several sources note a lack of evidence for charges of subversion, spying, or acting as a citizen loyal to the emperor of Japan. During this time, a much smaller group of German prisoners of war were also housed at Fort Sill.

    A June 2019 announcement by the federal government included mention of using Fort Sill as a holding center for migrant children.

    Fort Sill As The Home Of American Combat Aviation

    Fort Sill is the birthplace of American combat aviation, starting with the unboxing of aircraft kits there in 1915; these planes were known as Curtiss JN-2 aircraft and made their first takeoffs at the fort on August 10, 1915.

    The birth of combat aviation did come at a price; the earliest casualty from a military flight-related mishap occurred just two days later on August 12, when Lieutenant Rondondo B. Sutton crashed, resulting in the death of a passenger (Captain George Knox, the Fort Sill paymaster). September would see another fatality before the aircraft were grounded for safety reasons, but field artillery research would continue using aircraft and would eventually make significant contributions to early air combat and aerial reconnaissance operations.

    World War One, World War Two

    Fort Sill’s contribution to World War One including training military divisions prior to deployment to Europe. That training included showing troops how to survive on the battlefield when poison gas was deployed, considered a new development at the time. The Fort Sill Gas Defense School was created and fell under the Army’s Infantry School of Musketry.

    According to Army.mil, there was no chemical warfare instruction manual to rely on at this stage; “Only two War Department publications existed”, and those guides were heavily cribbed from UK and France. – “Notes on Gas as a Weapon in Modern War” and a “Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare.”

    But that was not the only notable entry in the Fort Sill history books circa World War One; Army.mil reports that, “President Harry S Truman was a captain and battery commander of one of the division’s field artillery units”.

    Come World War Two, Fort Sill would make history in several ways including training and organizing the 45th Infantry Division, created in 1940 and made up of National Guard troops from Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and elsewhere. Training wasn’t limited to Fort Sill, but this division would distinguish itself in 1943 during the amphibious landings at Sicily.

    The Last Horse-Drawn Artillery Unit At Fort Sill

    Fort Sill retired the last horse-drawn artillery unit in 1942, “ending 73 years of the partnership between soldier and horse that helped fuel Fort Sill’s military strength” according to Army historians. Horse-drawn field artillery would become a ceremonial part of the Fort Sill legacy again in the 1960s when the commander there authorized a “special half-section” of field artillery that could be used in local parades, community gatherings, and to pay respect to fallen troops at military funerals.

    Fort Sill After World War Two Into The Present

    The Army Ground Forces Air Training School opened at Fort Sill’s Post Field in early 1945. This operation would be redesignated as the Army Aviation School. The training included helicopter schools and the fort’s first warrant officer class was formed in 1951.

    The school would eventually be relocated to Fort Rucker in 1954; Post Field would continue to maintain helicopter units at Fort Sill. The 1960s saw testing at Fort Sill to upgrade helicopters to make them less vulnerable in combat transport operations, and around this time the 295th Aviation Company called Fort Sill home. This Company operated ten helicopters, plus “administrative aircraft”. This unit would be deployed to Vietnam, later to Germany, and was redesignated as F Company, 159th Aviation Regiment (Heavy Lift Helicopter Company).

    Today Fort Sill Fort is said to be “the only active Army installation of all the forts on the South Plains” established during the period of American history known as “the Indian Wars”. The fort has a designation as a National Historic Landmark and Museum, and includes more than 30 original frontier buildings plus the original version of the fort.

    Contacts

    Main Address And Phone Numbers

    B4700 Mow-Way Road

    Fort Sill, OK 73503-5100

    • 580-442-2360
    • DSN 312-639-2360

    Important Contact numbers

    • Base Operator (580) 442-8111
    • Dental Clinics (580) 442-6106
    • Hospital/Medical (1-800)444-5445
    • ID/CAC Card Processing (580) 442-5010
    • Information and Referral Services (580) 442-4916
    • Law Enforcement (580) 442-2101
    • Legal Services/JAG (580) 442-5058
    • Loan Closet (580) 442-3247
    • VA Facilities (580) 585-5600
    • Harry S. Truman Education Center (580) 442-3201
    • Child and Youth Services – Central Registration (580) 442-3927
    • Tincher Child Development Center (580) 442-2320
    • EFMP Enrollment Office (580) 558-3460
    • EFMP Family Support (580) 442-4916
    • American Red Cross-Sill Chapter (580) 442-2426
    • Army Emergency Relief (580) 442-2946
    • Emergency Front Desk (580) 442-2101
    • ACS Family Advocacy Program (580) 442-5018
    • Army Community Service (580) 442-4916
    • Mobilization and Deployment (580) 442-4916
    • New Parent Support Program (580) 442-6801
    • Allen Dental Clinic (580) 442-6106
    • TRICARE Service Center (800) 444-5445
    • Picerne Military Housing and Relocation Office (580) 581-2144
    • Fort Sill Gov. Housing Division (580) 442-5190
    • Barracks/Single Service Members Housing (580) 442-3028
    • Fort Sill Lodging (877) 711-8326
    • Army Community Service (Spouse Employment) (580) 442-4681
    • Transition Assistance Program/ACAP (580) 442-2713
    • ID Card Section – DEERS (580) 442-5010
    • Information and Referral (580) 442-4916
    • Citizenship and Immigration Services (580) 442-5058
    • Legal Assistance Office (580) 442-5058
    • Victim Advocacy Services (580) 442-6801
    • Family Child Care (FCC) (580) 442-3488
    • School Age Services (580) 442-2844
    • School Liaison Officer (580) 442-4266
    • Household Goods INBOUND (580) 442-3600
    • Household Goods OUTBOUND (580) 442-3903
    • Relocation Readiness Program (580) 442-2360
    • Travel Office (800) 666-4340
    • Welcome Center, Military Personnel Division (580) 442-1579
    • Welcome/Visitors Center (580) 442-3217

    Surrounding Area

    Fort Sill is just north of Lawton, Oklahoma. There is much history in the area and you should definitely have a look at the Comanche National Museum, featuring a wealth of history including information about the little-known Comanche code-talkers. Fans of early Americana should take a look at the Museum of the Great Plains, and the Leslie Powell Foundation & Gallery is a good destination for art lovers.

    Oklahoma City is over 80 miles away but features the legendary Will Rogers Theater Event Center and the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. When in OKC, a visit to the Bricktown district is recommended for fine dining and nightlife.

    Inprocessing and Check-In

    Fort Sill inprocessing procedures will vary depending on whether you are in basic/AIT, permanently assigned (“permanent party”) or are attending classes.

    Check-In Procedures For Those Permanently Assigned to Fort Sill

    All inbound PCSing troops are directed to report to the Personnel Processing Branch or Welcome Center, Building during normal duty hours. Those who must report on weekends or after regular hours should report to Building, 4700 Mow-Way road (call them at 580-442-3217).

    Unaccompanied E5s or below are assigned a temporary room. Those who are accompanied are directed to check with base lodging in Building 5676 on Ferguson Street. Those who arrive and cannot obtain on-post temporary housing must get a Certificate of Non-Availability in order to be reimbursed for off-post lodging expenses.

    Check-In Procedures For Those Attending Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training (AIT) or English Second Language (ESL)

    All new arrivals in the above categories must report to the reception station at the 95th AG Battalion in Building 5052. on Rothwell St., 580-442-6904. New arrivals attending ALC, SLC, BOLC, or CCC should review the instructions below:

    • ALC and SLC students must report to Building 3662 to check-in;
    • BOLC FA students are directed to check-in at Building 840;
    • BOLC ADA students should check in at Building 1614;
    • CCC FA students report to Building 756;
    • CCC ADA students are directed to Building 1611

    Check-In Procedures For Marines

    Marines who need to report to Fort Sill are directed to report to the Marine Corps Artillery Detachment. Inbound Officers are ordered to call the Detachment Executive Officer, 580-442-6498 when you know the date of your PCS move.

    Services

    Health Care

    Healthcare at Fort Sill is offered by Reynolds Army Community Health Clinic. There is no emergency room available on-post, but there is an Urgent Care clinic. Services at this clinic include:

    • Nutrition Care Division
    • Laboratory
    • Pharmacy
    • Preventive Medicine
    • Tobacco Cessation
    • Behavioral Health
    • Medical Evaluation Boards
    • Primary Care
    • Radiology
    • Rehabilitative Services
    • Exceptional Family Member Program

    Dental services may be available on-post for active duty military members.

    Child Care

    There are multiple Child Development Centers at Fort Sill:

    Tincher Child Development Center: Services include full-day infant, toddler, and pre-school care, plus before and after school care for preschool-age children and for kindergarteners.

    Alice Grierson Child Development Center: Services include part-day care for children between two and three years old, pre-school for children 3-5 years old, and and hourly care for children between six weeks to five years old.

    Cooper Child Development Center provides full-day child care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. This CDC also has before and after school care options.

    Like many other military bases, Family Child Care homes are also available, with certified child care offered in approved private residences. You can use the Fort Sill Child and Youth and Services Central Registration office to register. Learn more by calling 580-442-3486.

    Household Goods

    All inbound permanent party arrivals to Fort Sill, Oklahoma are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property Management System at Move.mil. You can also contact the Fort Sill Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO) at 800-521-9959. New arrivals also have the option of visiting the Fort Sill Transportation office for additional help.

    Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue

    All ID card services are handled by the Fort Sill Soldiers Action Center. Walk-ins are discouraged due to high demand and appointment volumes. You can make appointments for ID card services via the Fort Sill RAPIDSsite. Call (580) 442-5010 to make an appointment or for more information.

    Schools

    Fort Sill falls within the Lawton Public School District; families with children Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth grade who live on post attend Freedom Elementary. School attendance is generally determined by zip code/housing location. Your children will likely be required to attend school in the district in which they reside. Contact the Fort Sill School Liaison Office for information on transfer requirements, immunizations, and other details at 580-442-2130 / DSN 312-639-2130.

    Housing

    All new arrivals are required to inprocess through Housing Division regardless of whether you wish to apply for on or off-post housing. Government quarters “will be assigned to all eligible military personnel assigned for duty at Fort Sill within a 30-mile radius” of the fort.

    In 2005 a family housing initiative started to add roughly 600 additional units to the base; today anyone on “extended active duty” from the rank of Private and above can apply for military family housing. Waiting lists may apply depending on demand, PCS travel season, and other variables.

    You can get help from the Housing Division regardless of whether you are traveling unaccompanied or with a family; contact them at 580-442-5190.

    Those seeking off-post housing must not not sign a lease prior to arriving for duty at Fort Sill and it is strongly recommended that you do not pay any deposits or other expenses before arrival.

    Depending on your branch of service and other variables, if you are PCSing to the area you may qualify for an Advance Station Housing Allowance. This is intended for those moving in to a home and can help pay for the first month’s rent, security deposit, etc. Soldiers who want to claim this allowance must complete DA Form 4187 and submit it via your chain of command. Call the Housing Services Office at 580-442-5190 for further information.

    PCS and TDY Lodging

    If you are inbound PCS or TDY, contact Fort Sill Lodging for temporary lodging reservations by calling 580-442-5000, DSN 312-639-5000 or toll free 1-877-711-8326. 

    It is strongly recommended to make your temporary lodging arrangements within 30 days of arrival (60 days in advance for those traveling on PCS orders) or as soon as you get your orders. Pet policies include limited space available for those traveling with pets; be sure to mention if you are traveling with an animal.You will be required to furnish travel orders and a valid ID card at the time of service.

    Transportation

    There is no transportation from Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City (the closest major airport), apart from Greyhound according to Fort Sill guides. The fort is more than 80 miles from the OKC airport, it’s best to make arrangements with your sponsor or discuss alternate arrangements upon arrival.

    The usual ride share and commercial transportation options may be available from the OKC airport if you plan to stay in the local area before proceeding to Fort Sill. Those who choose to take a taxi to the fort from any location should know that most taxi services are not allowed to enter the base and you should plan accordingly.

    Lawton Municipal Airport is close to the fort, approximately nine minutes from the fort by car; there may be a military representative available “from 4:30 a.m. until the last flight arrives, usually about 10:30 p.m.” New arrivals (PCS and TDY) are reminded that Fort Sill is a closed post and current military ID is required to enter.

    Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License

    Oklahoma State law requires mandatory minimum insurance, plus a valid drivers’ license. You may be required to register a privately owned vehicle in-state, and in such cases you will need the following paperwork:

    1. Original title / last current registration
    2. Proof of Insurance 
    3. Driver’s license
    4. Other form of state ID
    5. Vin/Odometer inspection
    6. Lender information for vehicles not fully paid for

    All privately owned vehicles (POV) are subject to inspection, search, and you may be required to apply for a vehicle decal sticker, register your P.O.V. upon arrival. 

    Fort Sill has announced changes to its’ base access policies in general for both drivers and passengers. The Fort Sill official site includes the following in relation to Fort Sill Memo 190-13, which states that the Army installation will issue “photographic pass cards for all visitors” and you may be required to use a Visitors Control Center near Bentley Gate on Sheridan Road.

    You or your passengers may be required to check in at the Visitors Control Center before being granted access to Fort Sill.

    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.