The complete Fort Sill Base guide - We Are The Mighty
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The complete Fort Sill Base guide

If you’re heading to Fort Sill for Basic Training or if you’re a field artillery soldier heading for AIT, prepare yourself for a whole new world. This Army post is one of four Army Basic Combat Training locations. It’s been an active installation since 1869 and is designated as a National Historical landmark. 

Are you wondering what the weather is like in Fort Sill, Oklahoma? Hot and dry, mainly with a long rainy season that can create severe storms. But don’t let that worry you! There’s a certain charm to be found in Fort Sill. Not only does the post boast 26 historic buildings, but the gravesite of Geronimo is there, too. There’s also plenty to do off-post, including exploring nearby Medicine Park and the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Fort Sill is built around Lawton, Oklahoma, and there’s a surprising amount of things to do in this sleepy military town. Read on to find out more! 

ceremony at Fort Sill
Lt. Gen. James Richardson, acting commanding general of Army Futures Command, center, with Maj. Gen. John Rafferty, director of Long Range Precision Fires, left, and Maj. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of Air and Missile Defense, both founding directors of their respective teams, during a June 16, 2022 Retreat ceremony in their honor.

Fort Sill Location

Fort Sill is located in southwest Oklahoma, Comanche County, and adjacent to the city of Lawton. It is 90 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, the state capital. The Texan border is about an hour’s drive south. The installation was first built during the Indian Wars and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. 

Directions to Fort Sill

Fort Sill can be reached by car using the following routes.

Heading in from the north? Take I-35 S to I-44 W, follow signs for Fort Sill

Driving from the south? Take I-281 N, follow signs 

Making the trek from the east? Take I-40 W to I-44 W, follow signs 

Coming from the west? Take I-40 E to US-287 S to US-62 E, follow signs 

training at Fort Sill
A Soldier assigned to Delta Battery, 1st Battalion, 31st Field Artillery Regiment, 434th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, OK, waits in line to fire her assigned weapon at a weapon qualification range May 6, 2020, on Fort Sill. Soldiers of Delta Battery are being evaluated on their ability to complete a foot march then with minimal delay, conduct several exercises and qualify on their assigned weapon during Basic Combat Training. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Dustin D. Biven / 75th Field Artillery Brigade)

Transportation

Flying to the closest airports: Lawton Municipal Airport, Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport

Lawton Municipal Airport (5 miles) is served by American Airlines. There is a military representative at Lawton every day from 0430 to 2230.

Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport (84.5 miles) is served by most major airlines. There is no military transport to base from Will Rogers World Airport.

Driving: Oklahoma is huge so driving is the best bet. And, driving to Fort Sill will allow you to have a vehicle to get around the local area.

Contacts at Fort Sill

Base Operator: (580) 442-8111

Chaplain: (580) 442-3302

Commissary: (580) 442-4018

Dental Clinics: (580) 442-6106

EFMP Enrollment Office: (580) 558-3460

Emergency Management: (580) 355-0535

Equal Opportunity Office: (580) 483-6648

Family Advocacy Program: (580) 442-4916

Gov. Housing Division: (580) 442-5190

ID/CAC Processing Office: (580) 442-5010

Information and Referral Services: (580) 442-4916

Legal Assistance: (580) 442-5058

Lodging Reservations: (877) 711-8326

Military Housing and Relocation Office: (580) 581-2144

Public Affairs Office: (580) 442-4500

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Hotline: (580) 917-4277

School Liaison Officer: (580) 442-2130

VA Facilities: (580) 585-5600

Victim Advocacy Services: (580) 442-6801

Visitor’s Center: (580) 442-3217

soldiers at Fort Sill
Soldiers from the Fort Sill Noncommissioned Officer Academy conducted a live fire on the M777 towed howitzer on Feb. 13. Soldiers from across the Field Artillery community come back to Fort Sill to train and become more proficient, go through the fundamentals and develop tactical and technical competency.

Mission and Units 

Fort Sill’s official name is the Fort Sill Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE). Its mission is to train artillery soldiers and train them well. Soldiers train a lot here. In fact, they drill to put “steel on target.” This three-pronged approach to training and preparedness makes it one of the best training posts in the Army. It comprises the Field Artillery School, the primary training facility for field artillery soldiers and marines worldwide. Additionally, you’ll find the Field Artillery Training Center, home of basic combat, one-station unit training. As if that weren’t enough, the installation is also home to AIT for field artillery. And, let’s not forget that it’s the largest field artillery complex in the free world.

Training and readiness are among the top concerns for missions at Fort Sill. This Army post is home to the Field Artillery (FA) School and the Army Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School. That’s on top of being one of the four basic training sites in the U.S. Additionally, soldiers stationed at Sill have participated in all major military conflicts since 1869. Major units and missions at Fort Sill include the 214th Fires Brigade, the428th FA Brigade, and the 434th FA Brigade. Additionally, you’ll find the 479th FA Brigade, the 75th Fires Brigade, and the FA Training Command on post. Field artillery officers will attend Captain’s Career Course at Sill. There’s also a NCO Academy embedded on the installations.

Fort Sill graduation
A drill sergeant recites the Drill Sergeant Creed during a Basic Combat Training graduation Aug. 20.

Fort Sill History

Disputes and open warfare over the Kansas-Texas border brought the Army to this region as early as 1869. Then, in 1902, 10th Cavalry troops helped develop the site that would become home to Army Field Artillery operations. Speaking of the 10th Cav, here’s why the often-forgotten Buffalo Soldiers have to be remembered.

Fort Sill has served many roles, including that of a prisoner of war camp. First, in 1894, it held Apache prisoners, including Geronimo and other Chiricahua Apache folk. Then in 1942, the Army reestablished a POW camp for those of Japanese descent. The Army housed Germany POWs here, too.

Fort Sill is the birthplace of American combat aviation, starting with the unboxing of aircraft kits there in 1915.

helicopters at Fort Sill
Two Marine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters taxi along the Henry Post Army Airfield taxiway to refuel from a Marine KC-130J July 12, 2022.

Things to Do Around Fort Sill

Hotels

Hampton Inn & Suites (3.9 miles)

Holiday Inn Express & Suites (4.9 miles)

Homewood Suites by Hilton (5.1 miles)

Restaurants

Los Tres Amigos (5.3 miles) – Mexican

Bricktown Brewery (4.2 miles) – Pizza, Burgers, Beers

RibCrib BBQ (1.5 miles) – Barbecue

Activities

Comanche National Museum & Cultural Center (3.2 miles) is a showcase of Comanche art and culture, both past and present. 

D-BAT Lawton (5.3 miles) is a baseball and softball training center. It has batting cages, a pro shop, and offers lessons for players of all ages, along with the occasional clinic.

The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center (13.8 miles) has over 90 species of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, along with a six-acre botanical garden.

outreach services at Fort Sill
Avn Natividad, Homework Tech, middle, and Outreach Services Director Carrie Bradke take time to read with Lill’Kevin Benjamin-Guillory, left and Rose Brown April 6. All are dressed in camo to celebrate Month of the Military Child.

Fort Sill, Lawton Housing

If you’re heading to Ft. Sill as part of your BCT, you’ll be living in the barracks.

Fort Sill offers on-post housing in six vibrant neighborhoods for service members and their families from Corvias. Visit the Corvias page to check wait lists and availability. 

Housing is available in town as well. The Housing Office will be able to provide suggestions on the best neighborhoods to suit your needs. 

Schools Near Fort Sill, Lawton 

First things first. Reach out to the School Liaison Office when you get orders to Sill. The SLO will help you work with the local OK school district to meet your mil-kid’s needs. 

On post, the DoDEA operates Freedom Elementary School for grades pre-K through 5th grade. Off post, Ft. Sill Middle School serves grades 6th – 8th. Lawton High School, named after an Army officer who served in the Civil War, the Apache Wars, and the Spanish-American War, serves students in grades nine through twelve. 

youth programs at Fort Sill
Trinette West, child and youth program specialist, shares a laugh with Cruz Jacques at Student Age Services April 6.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fort Sill known for?

Training, training, and oh, did we mention training? Whether it’s Triple C, AIT, or BCT, if you’re at Sill, you’re learning something.

Is Fort Sill an active Army base?

Yes. 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 people total at Fort Sill, with some 20 thousand of those serving in uniform and as civilians.

How long is Army basic training at Fort Sill?

Basic Training is a 10-week program.

What is Basic Training like at Fort Sill?

There are three phases in Basic Combat Training: Red, White, and Blue. With each phase, Trainees move closer to their goal of becoming a Soldier. Phasing up doesn’t just happen though – it takes work, grit, and determination. The Forge is the final training exercise, and upon successful completion, Trainees will earn the title of Soldier at the Soldier Ceremony. A week after The Forge, Soldiers graduate and move on to their next phase of training

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