The complete post guide to Fort Benning

Jessica Evans
Updated onSep 22, 2022 12:02 PM PDT
6 minute read
fort benning

U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs


Fort Benning Georgia is home to a robust military community. In fact, more than 120,000 active duty military, family, Reserves,…

Fort Benning Georgia is home to a robust military community. In fact, more than 120,000 active duty military, family, Reserves, retired military, and employees call it home. As you might know, it’s also known as the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence. Here you’ll find basic training units, Officer Candidate School units, and the Airborne and Ranger schools. You’re probably going to see Ft. Benning at least once if you’re a Ranger, armor, infantry, or MI Soldier. Ft. Benning is unique because it has the ability to deploy forces ready for combat by air, rail and highway. That makes it one of the most versatile military bases in the world. Ft. Benning is one of several installations that will soon receive a new name. 


More than half of all new Soldiers will train at Ft. Benning. It’s the sixth-largest CONUS installation and has the third-greatest troop density. Put another way, nearly 80,000 Soldiers train here every year. As far as Ft. Benning weather goes, it is Georgia so your assumptions about the climate are probably pretty accurate. All jokes aside, 

Ft. Benning Location

Columbus, Georgia is about 100 miles southwest of Atlanta. So being stationed at Ft. Benning means you’ll be within reach of a lot of vibrant cities. Post is located in an area called the “Tri-Community” that includes Ft. Benning and Columbus Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama.  


If you’re traveling from Hartsfield International Airport, first get onto I-85 South toward Montgomery. Then take exit 21 to merge onto I-85 South towards Columbus. Continue to follow I-85 and you’ll dead-end into post. 

From the Savannah International Airport, get on I-95 South toward Savannah. Then take exit 99B to merge onto I-16 West toward Macon. Merge onto I-75 toward Valdosta. Next, take exit 149 onto GA-49 toward Byron, Fort Valley. Turn right onto GA-49 Conn and continue to GA Highway 96. You’ll want to keep right to merge onto GA-85 South towards Columbus. Follow signs for I-185 S and Ft. Benning. 

U.S. Army soldiers from the One Station Unit Training (OSUT) negotiate an obstacle course during their first week of Basic Training in Fort Benning, Ga., March 9, 2012.


Flying into Ft. Benning is easy, thanks in part to the several airports that are within driving distance. You can easily reach the installation via the Hartsfield International Airport, the Savannah International Airport, or the Montgomery Alabama Regional Airport.

A shuttle bus operates Monday through Saturday throughout post. 

Gates and Hours

Ft. Benning has ten access points. Several are 24/7. 

8th Division Rd Gate 24/7

Benning Blvd Gate Monday – Sunday 0600-1800

Buena Vista Gate Closed

Custer Rd / Rt 27 Gate Monday – Friday 0500-1700

Eddy Bridge (Lawson) Gate 24/7

Hwy 27 SB & Marne Rd Gate Closed

I-185 Gate - Main Gate 24/7 (Truck Gate closed)

North Custer Rd Gate Closed

Truck Stop, 8th Division Rd Truck Stop Gate Monday – Sunday 0600-1400 

Contacts at Ft. Benning

1st Division Child Development Center (706) 689-8698

AAFES Main Exchange (706) 685-3257

ACS- Employment Readiness Program (706) 545-2836

AER (Army Emergency Relief) (706) 626-0189

American Red Cross (706) 545-5194

Army Community Services (706) 545-0403

Audie Murphy Fitness Center (706) 545-1940

Auto Skills Center (706) 545-2337

Barber Shop (706) 687-2436

Beauty Shop (706) 687-2743

BOSS (706) 604-7675

Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System East Campus (334) 727-0550

Chaplain (706) 545-2288

Child, Youth & School Services (706) 545-4626

Citizenship and Immigration Liaison Services (706) 545-0403

Civilian Personnel Office (706) 545-3374

Commissary (706) 544-3965

Directorate of Human Resources (Military) (706) 545-4002

EDIS (Educational & Developmental Intervention Services) (706) 545-3835

EFMP Family Support (706) 545-5521

Family Center (706) 545-7517

FAP (Family Advocacy Program) (706) 545-4013

Financial Readiness Program (706) 545-7517

Fort Benning Veterinary Clinic (706) 545-4444

Health Benefits Advisory (706) 544-3461

Hospital Appointment Line (706) 408-2273

Housing Office (706) 545-3921

ID Card Section (706) 545-9085

Information & Referral (706) 545-7517

Inspector General (706) 545-9076

Installation Replacement Center (706) 545-4630

Legal Assistance Office/JAG (706) 545-3281

Library, Sayers Memorial (706) 545-4911

Martin Army Community Hospital (888) 293-2148

Middle School and Teen Program (706) 545-3070

Military Police Desk (706) 545-5222

MWR (706) 545-3328

New Parent Support/First Steps Program (706) 544-2020

Outdoor Recreation (706) 545-7978

Post Staff Duty NCO (706) 545-2218

Retirement Services (706) 545-2715

School Age Services (706) 545-2079

Single Soldier Housing / Barracks (706) 545-5814

Smith Fitness Center (706) 545-4388

Temporary Lodging/Billeting (706) 689-0067

Tickets & Travel Office (706) 626-7644

Transportation Installation Motor Pool (706) 544-4516 

VA Facilities – Columbus Clinic (334) 727-0550

Vet Clinic Appointment Line (706) 545-4444

Victim Advocate Services (706) 545-4013

WIC/Woman, Infants and Children’s Program (706) 682-8455

Mission and Units

Ft. Benning’s mission is to provide trained and combat-ready Soldiers and leaders while developing the doctrine and capabilities of the Maneuver Force. 

Major units at Ft. Benning include the 194th Armored Brigade, the 316th Cavalry Brigade, and the 198th Infantry Brigade. Several tenants are at post as well, including the 199th Infantry Brigade, the 11th Engineer Battalion, and the 316th Cavalry Brigade. 

Think you have what it takes to be an Army sniper? Check out these 12 intense photos of what sniper training is really like.  

COLUMBUS, Ga. (June 1, 2018) – Rebecca Bush, curator of history and exhibitions manager for the Columbus Museum, talks about historic Army uniforms and other artifacts with guests at the "Fort Benning at 100" exhibition. (U.S. Army photo by Markeith Horace, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs)

Ft. Benning History

Like lots of DoD installations, Ft. Benning has been around since WWI. It’s named for Confederate Gen. Henry Benning, who lived in nearby Columbus, GA. In 1918, the Infantry School moved to Benning from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Since then, Ft. Benning has been the premier training for infantry. It also serves as a training center for Officer Candidate School, Airborne, Air Mobility, Rangers, Armor, and Cavalry Soldiers. 

Check out a complete review of the post’s history here

Things to Do Around Ft. Benning

Because of its location, the Ft. Benning MWR does a lot to bring a sense of community to the installation.            


Keep in mind that if you’re coming for a graduation, hotels will book up quickly! Reserve your room in advance. 

Baymont Inn and Suites (706) 576-5303

Best Western Plus - North Columbus (706) 507-1111

Candlewood Suites Columbus Northeast (706) 940-0900

Columbus Marriott (706) 324-1800

Fairfield Inn and Suites Columbus (706) 317-3600

Food Scene

Obviously, you’ll want to drink your fill of sweet tea while you’re calling Georgia home. Pretty much every major city in Georgia has a thriving food scene, featuring twists on old classics and new fare too. You won’t have to drive far to experience an innovative comfort food re-imagined. Aside from peaches and pecans, don’t skimp on fried chicken, shrimp and grits, or the barbecue. When it’s time to have something sweet to eat, reach for cornbread cake. Be sure to drizzle on the honey, just like a local! 

Civilian competitor, Lena Miculek with Sig-Sauer, reloads her shotgun on the move at the 2018 Fort Benning Multi-Gun Challenge on November 17. (U.S. Army photo by Michelle Lunato/released)


If you’re looking to head out into the world, remember that the Florida gulf shores are only about a few hours’ drive from post! You can easily reach the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains on a weekend, too.  

The local area has much to offer new Army families calling Benning home. There’s easy access to parks and trails along with modern conveniences like bix box shopping and farmer’s market. 

Ft. Benning Housing

First things first, call the Housing Office to let them know you’re on your way! This will give you a good idea about housing wait times and the current conditions at post. This is one of the busiest installations in the Army so housing wait times can be very long. Plan ahead to avoid surprises. 

Single Soldier Housing and Barracks is required for Soldiers E5 and below.  

Clark Communities owns and manages all post housing. 

On-post housing is offered to 30% of its permanent personnel. That’s about 4,000 homes on post in ten neighborhoods. Some communities are open to all ranks. However, some homes within communities might be reserved for specific ranks. 

Because housing is limited, living in a local community might be your best option. Speak with the Housing Office for recommendations on where to live. Nearby Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama are both excellent choices. 

Schools Near Ft. Benning

Mil-kids who live at Ft. Benning can go to school on or off post. On-post schools are run by DoDEA. Off-post, mil-kids will attend either Columbus schools or Phenix City, depending on where you live. Speak with the School Liaison Officer for the most current information. 

Maj. Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, leads units from across post in an early morning run to celebrate the Fort Benning Centennial, Oct. 19, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Fort Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence photographer)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Fort Benning the hardest basic training?

Ft. Benning is definitely difficult, especially if you’re attending BCT in the summer months when Georgia heat is at its worst.

How much does it cost to live at Fort Benning?

Cost of living at Ft. Benning is 7.5% lower than the national average. 

Is Fort Benning only for infantry?

It used to be, but not anymore. In addition to OCS, Ft. Benning trains Rangers, Armor, and Airborne Soldiers. 

How long is Army basic training?

Basic Combat Training in the Army lasts nine weeks.


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