The 7 best US Army installations for families

Check out this list of great spots to call home for a few years and add them to your PCS wish list when you are ready for a move.
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Landmark sign at the historic section of Fort Huachuca. (Wikipedia)

If you’re thinking about joining up with your family, then get excited! There are so many dynamic installations around the country that have plenty to offer a new soldier and his or her family. All of these posts offer something special. Check out this list of great spots to call home for a few years and be sure to add them to your PCS wish list when you get to that point in your training.

Here are the 7 best US Army installations for families

1. Fort Carson

First on the list is Fort Carson! Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Fort Carson is a great base to be stationed at with your family. Carson is gorgeously situated in the Rocky Mountains. And, the city is ranked among the top places to live in the U.S. That means that you and your fam will have plenty of access to great schools, safe streets, oh, and really good housing, too! Like most military installations, Fort Carson has a great array of services offered through its MWR program. Be sure you check out the child and youth services (CYS). CYS offers online tutoring programs, youth sports, in-home child care, and more.

One of the entrance signs at Fort Carson. (Wikipedia)

2. Fort Liberty (formerly Fort Bragg)

If you’re looking for play dates, mommy and me groups, and all the friends you could ever want, look no further than Fort Liberty. In fact, Fort Liberty in North Carolina primarily houses military families, making it perhaps the most family-friendly base around. The area has excellent schools in the nearby town of Cameron, including Shugart Elementary and Mildred B. Poole Elementary. Fort Liberty’s personal health services are brag-worthy as well, particularly the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), with options for special needs children, therapy, and many other kinds of ongoing assistance.

3. Joint Base San Antonio

Like Fort Liberty, Joint Base San Antonio is about as family-friendly as they come. It offers an abundance of family military housing and top-notch school choices. If you’ve always wanted your kids to be able to walk to school, JBSA can help make that dream come true. In fact, there are several elementary schools located right on post! The installation also provides a new parent support group for expecting service members and their spouses. This service includes in-home support from staffed nurses to help couples and single parents alike.

4. Fort Huachuca

Southeast Arizona’s Fort Huachuca is home to 7,400 military families. There’s a reason so many are coming here. First of all, it’s a dream for family-friendly outdoor activities, such as paintball, fun runs, archery and drive-in theaters. The installation itself also offers resources for childcare, new parent support, a family advocacy program, and more. Not to mention that Arizona is one of the oldest military installations in the country, so there’s a ton to learn, experience and do on post.

5. Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Who doesn’t love the PNW?! There are lots of reasons Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, is a highly-coveted area of the country for military families. Besides its spectacular weather, close proximity to major cities, and its great housing, JBLM has other top-notch services. Its child care programs, outstanding medical care, and focus on family events are just a few reasons military families rave about being stationed here. Just be mindful of the traffic trying to get on and off-post – especially during PT hours. The locals say it’s always best to give yourself a little more time than you think you need! Gridlock aside, the views from right on base are breathtaking, thanks to the nearby Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. This also means lots of opportunities for outdoor family adventures.

6. Fort Story

Are you an Army family who also loves the beach? Then Fort Story, located in Virginia Beach, is a great spot to land. The installation gives you everything you want in a military home. Ocean views, solid community support, and great programming for kids and teenagers! Because of its closeness to so many Naval installations, Fort Story leans on Navy resources. Its Fleet and Family Readiness program helps families get situated and provides services like childcare, historical tours, and counseling during deployments. And let’s not even get started on the fun outdoor activities that come with this gorgeous beach location.

7. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Hello snow enthusiasts! If your family likes to hit the slopes, hang out at ski lodges, and imbibe in a decadent cup of hot cocoa, then Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, might be the perfect spot for you. The area is full of opportunities for cross-country skiing, spectacular wildlife viewing and gorgeous hikes in the warmer months. As far as the base goes, it’s home to around 20,000 military families, making it a great community for raising kids. On-site amenities include excellent education and medical programs, making this base ideal if you are arriving with a family.

If you’re still looking for information about joining the Army, check out your local recruiting center or visit for more information.