The complete post guide to Fort Sam Houston - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

The complete post guide to Fort Sam Houston

If you’re headed to Ft. Sam, brace yourself for one of the most robust and dynamic military towns you’ll ever find. Known as Military City, USA, Ft. Sam Houston housing, commissary and the post itself are something of a legend. Because it’s a joint base, Army families here will enjoy all of the amenities of an Air Force base with all of the comforts of an Army post. In fact, Ft. Sam is one of the Army’s oldest installations, tracing its roots back to the 1840s. You’re probably heading to Ft. Sam if you’re in the medical field, since it’s home to the Army Medical Command and the Army Medical Department. There’s so much to learn, love, and appreciate about this unique post. Read on to find out more! 

Fort Sam Houston Location

Fort Sam Houston is located in San Antonio, Texas, and is part of Joint Base San Antonio with Lackland Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base.

ceremony at Fort Sam Houston
Retired Master Sgt. Vernon Schmidt, a 91-year-old surviving member of the 90th Infantry Division’s from WWII, places a streamer on the 90th ID’s flag during the Fort Sam Houston’s WWI Centennial Ceremony honoring the 90th ID inside the historic Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The uncasing and commemoration ceremony occurred 100-years to the day that the 90th Division activated at Camp Travis, what is now Fort Sam Houston. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tomora Nance, U.S. Army North Public Affairs)

Directions

Fort Sam Houston can be reached by car using the following routes.

Heading in from the north? Take I-25 S to I-27 S, then take I-10 E to I-35 N.

Driving from the US-Mexico Border? Take I-35 N.

Making the trek from the east? Take I-40 W to I-30 W, then take I-20 W to I-35 S.

Coming from the west? Take I-10 E to I-35 N.

Transportation

Flying to the closest airports: San Antonio International Airport

San Antonio International Airport (9.8 miles) is the closest airport and is served by all major airlines with multiple destinations.

Driving would allow you to get around San Antonio more easily, but prepare for a long drive. San Antonio is about 150 miles from the US-Mexico border.

Contacts at Fort Sam Houston

Army Substance Abuse Program Prevention Coordinator: (210) 221-0326

Automated Telephone Directory: (210) 221-1211 

Base Defense Operations Center: (210) 221-2244

Base Operator: (210) 221-1110

Domestic Abuse Hotline: (210) 367-1213

Duty Chaplain: (210) 221-9363

Equal Opportunity Office: (210) 221-7798

Family Advocacy Program: (210) 221-1996

Family Life Chaplain: (210) 221-5010

Household Goods/Transportation Office: (210) 221-1605

Housing Office: (210) 221-0881

ID/CAC Card Processing: (210) 221-0415

Legal Assistance: (210) 808-0169

Main Pharmacy: (210) 916-1536

Mental/Behavioral Health: (210) 539-2273

Military & Family Readiness Center: (210) 221-2705

Public Affairs Office: (210) 221-5453

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office: (210) 808-8990

School Liaison: (210) 221-8782

golden knights at Fort Sam Houston
A member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team the “Golden Knights”, lands at the Quadrangle during the Fiesta celebration, June 20, 2021, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The Golden Knights team is composed of approximately 95 men and women, which includes four parachute units, an aviation unit and a headquarters. The demonstration teams perform at more than 100 events per year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tristin English)

Mission and Units 

68Ws, sound off! Ft. Sam Houston is all about medical training support. The post graduates more than 16,000 Soldiers from the Medical Education and Training Campus each year.

There are also over 100 mission partners embedded in Fort Sam Houston. These include the U.S. Army North and U.S. Army South commands. Camp Bullis, located northwest of San Antonio, serves primarily as a field training site for medical units.

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is the largest military healthcare organization within the DoD. In and outpatient services are offered to service members, their families, and retirees by approximately 8,500 staff members.

Ft. Sam Houston History

Way back in 1845, the Army established a garrison at San Antonio. About 25 years later, the Army started construction on the Quadrangle. Garrison was moved to the site a few years later. In 1890, Ft. Sam Houston was officially named for Gen. Sam Houston. Houston was the hero of the battle of San Jacinto and the first president of the Republic of Texas in 1890.

Ft. Sam is massive and it plays a vital role in the nation’s defense. It’s also home to some of the oldest structures on any Army post. These days, nearly 40,000 active duty and DoD civilians call Ft. Sam home. There are also almost 50,000 family members and over 75,000 retirees in and around installation 

Fort Sam Houston is unique among Army posts as it is a major, active military installation that plays a vital role in the nation’s defense, and it contains some of the oldest structures on any Army installation.

history of Fort Sam Houston
Display cases of U.S. Army history at the Quadrangle museum April 11, 2018, at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle, built by George Henry Griebel, is the oldest structure on the base and was originally a supply depot. The Quadrangle now serves as the headquarters for U.S. Army North. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Sean M. Worrell)

Things to Do Around Ft. Sam Houston

Hotels

Best Western Plus Downtown North (2 miles)

SureStay Hotel By Best Western San Antonio Riverwalk (4.2 miles)

Comfort Suites San Antonio Ft. Sam Houston/SAMMC Area (4.8 miles)

Food Scene 

Foodies, rejoice! San Antonio has a vibrant food scene, so you’ll never run out of places to eat. Of course, there’s plenty of takes on Tex-Mex to be found, but there’s a lot more too. Of course there’s the standard fare you might expect from the region, but San Antonio also has a vibrant barbeque scene and a ton of highly-rated pizza places, too. When you go, be sure to check out the dazzling dessert options. Just make sure you counteract all that deliciousness with plenty of extra PT. Speaking of PT, did you know you’re up at 0630 every day because of Teddy Roosevelt?

concert at Fort Sam Houston
Team Joint Base San Antonio and community members attend an Aaron Watson concert during the annual Military Appreciation Weekend May 6, 2017 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. U.S. Army North and JBSA hosted the two-day event, which featured music, family activities, and various military demonstrations. This year, the appreciation weekend also commemorated the 300th anniversary for the city of San Antonio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ismael Ortega / Released)

Activities

The Alamo (4.3 miles): Visit the historic Spanish Mission San Antonio de Valero, site of the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution. The site features mission tours and gift and book shops.

Scobee Planetarium (5.2 miles): The Scobee Planetarium offers Friday night public presentations at 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. The 6:30 p.m. show is family-friendly, the 8 p.m. show is a live presentation of “The Sky Tonight,” and at 9:30 p.m. there is a movie presentation.

Morgan’s Wonderland Amusement Park (8.3 miles): Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first theme park designed with individuals with special needs in mind. Open to everyone, Morgan’s Wonderland has 25 attractions, including a Ferris Wheel, plenty of water-related activities, and an amphitheater.

Housing at Fort Sam Houston

Since Ft. Sam Houston is part of the larger Joint Base San Antonio footprint, Army families can expect to work with the Air Force for housing needs. All service members need to report to the Military Housing Office on arrival to receive guidance about the current housing landscape. 

It’s also important to speak with the MHO because there are several duty locations at Ft. Sam and each assignment has different options available. 

No matter where you work, your choices for housing are varied and exciting. Family housing is offered by Balfour Beatty. This private company owns and operates six distinct neighborhoods on and near the base. Some neighborhoods are for enlisted service members only; others are for officers only.

Schools near Ft. Sam Houston

The Ft. Sam Houston Independent School District serves mil-kids who call Ft. Sam home. Find out more about the district here, including information about the elementary, middle, and special education school options available. 

children at Fort Sam Houston
Impact Day volunteer Cindy Pearcy entertains 3-year-old William Bryant and Dylan Wilbur with a book at the Keith A. Campbell Memorial Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

What branch of the military is Fort Sam Houston?

Ft. Sam Houston is an Army post.

What is Fort Sam Houston known for?

Ft. Sam Houston is known as the “Home of Army Medicine” and “Home of the Combat Medic.” As of 2011, it is the largest and most important military medical training facility in the world.

What is the closest airport to Fort Sam Houston?

San Antonio International Airport is the closest airport and is just 9.8 miles away from Fort Sam Houston.

How big is Ft. Sam Houston?

Ft. Sam Houston is about 3,000 acres. Joint Base San Antonio is over 49,000 acres and includes Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB (14,400 acres), Randolph AFB (4,231 acres), and Camp Bullis, the associated training center northwest of town (28,000 acres).

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