Welcome to Fort Benning – the Maneuver Center of Excellence and home of the Infantry and Armor! Whether this is your first big military move or one of many, it’s never easy. Although, when you know what to expect when you arrive, it’s a whole lot easier. And it doesn’t hurt to be PCSing to a place known for its Southern hospitality and great food (give me all the fried chicken, shrimp and grits, pecan pie and sweet tea).
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More than half of all new soldiers who enter the Army this year will come through Fort Benning. The installation also trains all new paratroopers, Army Rangers, officer candidates, Infantry and Armor lieutenants, captains, and noncommissioned officers.
Fort Benning is the sixth-largest military installation in the U.S. with the third-greatest troop density. You will find approximately 80,000 soldiers training at Fort Benning every year, and over 100,000 soldiers, their family members, veterans, civilians, and contract employees live, work, play and use services on the installation each and every day. The post covers over 182,000 acres, most of them in Georgia, with about 12,000 acres across the Chattahoochee River in Alabama.
The installation has served as the Home of the Infantry since 1909 and during the 2005 Post Realignment and Closure, it was transformed into the Maneuver Center of Excellence. This transformation also included the move of the Armor School from Fort Knox to Fort Benning.
Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Fort Benning to help aid you in your transition to your new home.
1. Where Is Fort Benning?2. Google Map View3. Getting There – Directions to the Post4. Entering Fort Benning and Post Amenities
5. Where Should I Live Near Fort Benning?6. What Schools are Near Fort Benning?7. What’s the Weather Like in Fort Benning?8. Things to Do Near Fort Benning
Where Is Fort Benning?
Fort Benning Army Community Service7117 Baltzell Ave.Building 7Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-4043
Fort Benning is a U.S. Army post straddling the Alabama-Georgia border, right next to Columbus, GA.
Fort Benning Georgia Map
Directions to Fort Benning Georgia
Getting to Fort Benning is a pretty easy trip, no matter where you’re coming from. I-185 runs right by the post and plenty of other major highways in the area make any trip here or away a simple drive.Driving Directions to Fort Benning GAFrom Atlanta (North):Take Interstate 85 South toward Montgomery.Merge onto I-85 South/Columbus/Montgomery.Take exit 21 to merge onto I-185 South toward Columbus.Fort Benning is directly at the end of I-185 South.From Savannah (West):Get on Interstate 95 South toward Savannah.Take exit 99B to merge onto I-16 West toward Macon.Exit left to merge onto I-75 South toward Valdosta.Take exit 149 onto GA-49 toward Byron, Fort Valley, and keep right toward Byron, Fort Valley.Turn right onto GA-49 and continue onto Highway 96 before continuing onto Columbus Highway.Keep going to follow I-185 South where you’ll reach Fort Benning at the end.From Montgomery (East):Turn onto the Selma-Mobile Highway and merge onto I-65 North.Take exit 171 to merge onto I-85 North toward Atlanta.Take exit 62 on US-431/US-280 toward Phenix City.Turn right onto Columbus Parkway toward Phenix City.Turn left to merge onto US-80 East toward I-185.Take the ramp for I-185 South and follow that until the end where you’ll reach Fort Benning.Amtrak Near Fort Benning GA
The nearest Amtrak stop to Fort Benning is 120 miles away in Atlanta, GA. The best way to get to Fort Benning from the Atlanta or Columbus area is to use Groome Transportation. The shuttle service connects you to Fort Benning seven days a week for a reasonable price. Alternatively, you could take a Greyhound bus to Columbus.Flights to Fort Benning, GA
There are a number of small and regional airports near Fort Benning, but the nearest major hub is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s about a two-hour drive from the Atlanta airport to Fort Benning on a good day. Traffic can get pretty crazy in the Atlanta area so plan ahead if you are short on time. The Columbus Metropolitan Airport is just under 20 miles from the post. It’s a fairly quick trip from the airport to Fort Benning but options for direct flights are limited. Other nearby airports include Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (175 miles away) and Montgomery Regional Airport (115 miles away).
Fort Benning Transportation Office
When it’s time for your next big move, the Fort Benning Transportation and Personal Property Shipment Office is here to help. As soon as you get your next PCS orders, let them know and they’ll help get you set.
Fort Benning Transportation OfficeBldg 6 Rm 105, Meloy DriveFort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-4900
Fort Benning Transportation Office HoursMonday through Friday – 0800-1630
Entering Fort Benning and Post Amenities
If it’s your first time on post, or you don’t yet have a valid military ID or tags for your car, you may have to stop at the Visitor Center to check in before you’re allowed in the post. Click here to learn more about where to go.
Check-in Procedures For Incoming Personnel
All new soldiers or service members in transit to Fort Benning on PCS orders should report to the Installation Replacement Operations Center in Ridgway Hall (Building 35), Room 239 on the second floor, during duty hours (0600 to 1600 Monday through Friday). If you are arriving after duty hours, on a weekend or holiday, report to the post staff duty NCOIC or OIC at McGinnis-Wickam Hall, 1 Karker St., Building 4.
For any questions prior to reporting, call 1 (706) 545-4577 or 1 (706) 545-5686 during normal duty hours.
Installation Replacement Operations CenterRidgway Hall (Building 35), Room 239 (2nd floor)Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-4577/5686
Fort Benning Visitor Center
The Visitor Center processes visitors who have been pre-sponsored by post personnel. Those who haven’t been pre-sponsored should expect lengthy delays or should arrange to have their sponsor meet them at the gate. The Lindsey Creek Visitor Control Center is open 24/7, including holidays, and is on Lindsey Creek Parkway. The Contractor Visitor Control Center (CVCC) is on 8th Division Road in Harmony Church and is open 0600 to 1400 Monday through Friday. The CVCC is closed nights, weekends, and holidays. If you have any specific questions about visiting, you can reach the MP Desk at 1 (706) 545-5223 or Contractor Badge Office at 1 (706) 545-3215.
Fort Benning Visitor CenterColumbus, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 544-1033
DEERS Fort Benning
Need a new ID card or to get your admin file updated? The Fort Benning DEERS office handles all such matters for service members, their families, and retirees. Set up an online appointment and avoid the wait.
Fort Benning DEERS OfficeSoldier for Life Center, Building 9230Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-9085
Fort Benning Gate Hours
The Main Gate, where you’ll find the Lindsey Creek Visitor Center, is open 24/7. Hours for the other post entrances are as follows:Camp Merrill (Dahlonega, GA) – 24/7Benning Boulevard – 0600 to 1800Custer Road/Route 27 – 0500-1700 Monday through Friday8th Division Road – 24/78th Division Road Truck Stop – 0600 to 1400Eddy Bridge (Lawson) – 24/7
Fort Benning Commissary
The Fort Benning Commissary is the perfect stop for low prices on food, groceries, home goods, and more.
Fort Benning Commissary8150 Marne RdFort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 544-3965
Fort Benning Commissary HoursMonday through Saturday– 0900-1900Sunday – 1000-1900
Fort Benning Exchange
Fort Benning ExchangeBldg 9220 Marne RoadFt Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 685-3257
Fort Benning Exchange HoursMonday through Friday – 1000-1800Saturday & Sunday – 1000-1800
Fort Benning Barber Shops
Keep your haircut regulation fresh and trim at any of the fine barber shops located on Fort Benning.
Barber Shop Locations & Hours
Harmony Church Express, Bldg. 4109Phone: 1 (706) 685-4837Hours:Monday through Friday – 0900-1700Saturday through Sunday – 1000-1600
MCOE, Bldg. 4Phone: 1 (706) 689-0044Hours: Currently Closed
Main Post Troop Store, Bldg. 103Phone: 1 (706) 682-0011Hours: Monday through Sunday 1000-1700
Sand Hill Troop Store/Services, Bldg. 3218Phone: 1 (706) 687-8618Hours: Appointment Only
Chaffee Troop Store/Barber, Bldg. 4308Phone: 1 (706) 685-0027Hours: Appointment Only
Ft Benning Main Exchange, Bldg 9220, Marne RoadPhone: 1 (706) 687-2436Hours: Monday through Sunday 1000-1700
Fort Benning Post Office
Whether it’s a letter or a big box, the US Post Office on Fort Benning can help you send whatever you need wherever it needs to go.
Fort Benning Post Office110 Vibbert AveFort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 689-1696
Fort Benning Finance Office
From pay issues to saving plans, the Fort Benning Defense Military Pay Office is open to all members of the military community who need help with financial matters.
Fort Benning Finance OfficeBldg 35 (3rd Floor)Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-7880
Fort Benning Finance Office HoursMonday through Wednesday – 0730-1600Thursday – 0730-1400 Friday – 0730-1600
Fort Benning Legal Office
The Fort Benning JAG office offers legal assistance of all kinds to members of the post military community. From representation to help with paperwork, they have you covered.
Fort Benning Legal Office6930 Morrison Avenue, Building 130Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-3281
Fort Benning Legal Office HoursMonday through Wednesday – 0830-1630Thursday – 1300-1630Friday – 0830-1630
Fort Benning Library
From their huge print material collection to the 77 desktops in their computer lab, the Milton E. Long Library is a great place to pick a new read, do some research, or get some work done. Plus book clubs and story hours are wonderful ways to get your kids interested in reading.
Fort Benning Library6529 Eckel AvenueBldg 2783Fort Benning, GA 31905Phone: 1 (706) 545-4911Hours: Monday through Friday 1000-1500, 1000-1415 for Computer Lab
Fort Benning Hotels
There are plenty of hotels near Fort Benning to fit your budget, many of them within just a couple of miles from the installation.Candlewood Suites Columbus-Fort Benning
3389 Victory DriveColumbus, GA 31903Phone: 1 (706) 683-9900Comfort Suites
5236 Armour RoadColumbus, GA 31904Phone: 1 (706) 748-7140Econo Lodge Inn & Suites at Fort Benning
4483 Victory DriveColumbus, GA 31903Phone: 1 (706) 682-3803Hampton Inn & Suites Phenix City-Columbus Area
620 Martin Luther King Jr. ParkwayPhenix City, AL 36869Phone: 1 (334) 664-0776Hampton Inn Columbus/South-Fort Benning
2870 S. Lumpkin RoadColumbus, GA 31903Phone: 1 (706) 660-5550Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbus-Fort Benning
3901 Victory DriveColumbus, GA 31903Phone: 1 (706) 507-7080Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Columbus
3930 St. Marys RoadColumbus, GA 31907Phone: 1 (706) 389-4726
Hot Tip: Download les-grizzlys-catalans.org’s Fort Benning Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels near Fort Benning.
Where Should I Live Near Fort Benning?
While the on-post housing options are nice, you might be more interested in living off-post while stationed here. Luckily, there are plenty of great places to call your home within easy commuting distance of Fort Benning.
Major Cities Near Fort Benning
Fort Benning sits in the heart of the South, near popular destinations like Atlanta, Savannah, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The post is found in an area commonly known as the Tri-Community, comprising Columbus and Fort Benning, Georgia, and Phenix City, Alabama. And people looking to live off-post can’t go wrong choosing either of those other two cities as your next home.
If you’re considering living on post, check out the available on-post housing options. Otherwise, read on to find out more about living off post.
Best Places to Live Near Fort BenningColumbus, GA
Columbus sits along the Chattahoochee River (yes, the one Alan Jackson sang about), just 12 miles from Fort Benning. The Fountain City, as it’s affectionately known, has a lot to offer its 196,000 residents, from outdoor activities like the Chattahoochee RiverWalk and Dragonfly Trail or indoor delights like the Coca-Cola Space Science Center or Columbus Aquatic Center. Many military families opt to live here because the cost of living in the city is low compared to the rest of the nation, the schools are above average, there’s tons to do and it’s a quick commute to Fort Benning.Phenix City, AL
Just across the Chattahoochee from Columbus, Phenix City is a desirable and affordable Alabama suburb where many Fort Benning families choose to live. The nearly 37,000 residents of the city benefit from being connected to the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area suits a variety of outdoor enthusiasts – from golfers to rafters to spectators. Folks living here enjoy a variety of parks, playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses, lakes, and more throughout the year.
Hot Tip: Look for Fort Benning homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.
Best Fort Benning Schools
There are plenty of education options for your children in the Fort Benning area, from elementary, intermediate, and high schools to public and private schools in the surrounding area. Not to mention preschools and daycare facilities for the younger kids.
Whether you decide to enroll your kids in one of the on-post schools, one of the Columbus schools, or one of the Phenix City schools, rest assured that they’ll have access to the finest education possible. And if your child requires extra help, there are a number of programs available. The on-post school liaison officer will be there to help make the tough transition to a new school easier.
Find more local school information at The Best Fort Benning Schools: Daycare – High School.
Fort Benning Weather
Look forward to lots of sunny days when you live and work in Fort Benning. The area also gets lots of rain, but that’s what makes flowers grow in the 50 or so parks in the surrounding areas.
Rain falls throughout the year but spring (and specifically March) is when it’s the wettest. The average total rainfall for the Fort Benning region is just under 5 inches during the spring. When it’s not raining, the temperatures are pleasant and ideal for tourist activities.
The summer months are hot and humid in Georgia and across the river in Alabama. Daytime temps in the summer months peak around the mid-90s which results in muggy and miserable days. The warmest months in the area are July and August where it’s been known to creep up to 100 degrees.
Humidity is lower in the fall months but temps are still fairly high. Rain is occasional during this season, with few rainy days. This is the ideal time of year to get out and take advantage of all of the outdoor activities.
As you would expect, the lowest temperatures of the year are during the winter months. Lows are found in the 40s and the highs are usually creeping toward the mid-60s. Columbus is considered the “natural snowline” of the southeast; some northern parts of the city get snow and most southern parts never do.
To find out more in-depth information on the weather in the area, visit Fort Benning Weather: What To Expect When Moving Here.
Things to Do Near Fort Benning, GA
The area surrounding Fort Benning is bustling with things to do and there’s something for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the time to do them. Locals gravitate toward the river, whether they’re whitewater rafting down the Chattahoochee or strolling beside it at the RiverWalk. History and art buffs flock to the area to visit the National Infantry Museum, Columbus Museum, and the National Civil War Naval Museum or to engage in historical re-enactments. Restaurants, free concerts, and special events are prevalent in Columbus’ Uptown and Downtown. Not to mention the recreation and entertainment options available on post thanks to Fort Benning Family and MWR.
Suggested Read: 24 Of the Best Things to Do in Fort Benning GA.
Fort Benning is an installation like no other. The post is like a city unto itself; if you’re lucky to live in one of the newly renovated homes on post or in the barracks, you will likely find everything you need right outside your doorstep. But rest assured that there is so much to see and do once you leave the installation’s gates as well. Moving to a new place has its challenges but you’ll be glad to be here.
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