Fort Jackson covers more than 52,000 acres of Columbia South Carolina. There are more than 3,500 active duty soldiers stationed at Ft. Jackson along with their more than 12,000 family members also stationed on Ft. Jackson.
Training at Fort Jackson
Currently 50% of all soldiers sent to basic training go to Ft. Jackson. Up until very recently 60% of all women that enter basic combat training were also sent to Ft. Jackson. That number is expected to change as more and more bases open their doors to female soldiers.
In addition to training soldiers for Basic Training Fort Jackson holds the United States Army’s Soldier Support Institute, as well as the Army Chaplaincy Center and School , the NCCA (National center for Credibility Assessment) which used to be known as the DoDPI (Department of Defense Polygraph Institute).
On top of all of that, Ft. Jackson is the base that trains drill sergeants for all of the other bases.
Fort Jackson Airports
There are two airports to choose from when you’re visiting Fort Jackson. The first is the Columbia Metropolitan Airport which is located just about 25 minutes away from the base. The second choice would be to fly into Charlotte, N.C where there’s a bigger airport and perhaps more flights to choose from. The North Carolina Airport is about an hour and a half away from Fort Jackson.
Graduation – Visiting Fort Jackson
After 10 long weeks away from your soldier, you’ll finally be able to visit the base in person and watch your soldier in training graduate to become a soldier in the United States Military.
For most parents, families and significant others this will be the first time that you get to see your soldier since the day they left for basic. Take it from me, getting to and from base, and then keeping up with everything going on can be a very daunting task!
You’ll need to book your flight, find a hotel that’s on or at least near base, and then figure out transportation for your visit. After all that’s done, you’ll need to know when you’ll see your soldier, and what you might want to do with them. We’ll go into all of that in more detail on our graduations page.