Are you heading to Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina? Well if you are, you’re in for a treat! The Tar Heel state has a lot to offer and Ft. Bragg is no exception. In fact, when you call this massive Army installation home, it means you’ll now be part of its extensive history! It’s also the largest Army base by population so be prepared for learning your way around a whole new city, basically. In addition to the installation’s nearly 53,000 active duty Soldiers, the surrounding area is home to almost 100,000 retirees. You’re going to feel right at home at Ft. Bragg, that’s for sure.
Ft. Bragg is home to the Army’s Airborne. As a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commission, Bragg absorbed several Army units from other locations. It’s known throughout the Army as the training ground for Special Ops, the Airborne Corps, and the Golden Knights Parachute team. Bragg boasts having been, at one time, home to all five Airborne Divisions – the11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd and 101st. In fact, did you know the 11th was recently reactivated in order to focus on Arctic warfare? Ft. Bragg weather is about what you’d expect. It’s sort of muggy and hot but there are several stunningly gorgeous days each year, too.
Ft. Bragg Location
This massive Army installation is located within Hoke and Cumberland counties. It borders the towns of Fayetteville, Southern Pines, and Spring Lake.
From the south, take I-95 South to exit 56 toward Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope AFB, US 301 South. Then, make a right at the first light onto Grove Street. Next, turn right onto Bragg Blvd. Continue to Santa Fe Drive. Merge onto the All American Freeway and this will bring you to Ft. Bragg.
From the north, use I015 North. Merge onto 1-95 Business Route North toward Fayetteville/ Fort Bragg/ Pope AAF. Continue on US-301 for about seven miles. Then, turn left onto Owen Drive. This becomes the All American Freeway, which takes you to Fort Bragg.
The closest airport is the Fayetteville Regional Airport. Even though it’s a regional airport, it supports major airlines such as American and Delta. The airport also offers daily flights to hub airports, making travel into and out of Ft. Bragg very easy. Additionally, the airport is about 12 miles from the installation, so it shouldn’t take very long to reach post at all.
You can arrive by bus as well, using the Fayetteville Area System of Transit. Amtrak runs a service via the Atlantic Coastline Railroad Station.
Ft. Bragg Transportation Motor Pool is fully operational and free to military, DoD civilians, and contractors on official business. Family members may also ride the shuttle if space permits. Call the Shuttle Dispatch for more information.
Gates and Hours
It’s no surprise that a post this size has a lot of gates. There are 13 access points to the installation. Several are 24-hours. Some are only open twice a day. The Visitor Control Center is located at the All American Main Gate.
All American – Main Gate 5 open 24/7
Butner Gate 12 Monday – Friday 0500-1000 and 1600-1900, closed weekends and holidays
Chicken Gate 2 open 24/7
Gate 18 Manchester – Pope Field – Gate 18 Monday – Friday 0500-1000 and 1600-1900, closed weekends and holidays
Honeycutt/210 Gate 10 open 24/7
Knox Gate 8 closed
Knox St. East (MMD) Gate 8A Monday – Friday 0500-1000 and 1600-1900, closed weekends and holidays
Longstreet Gate 1 open 24/7
Randolph Gate 11 open 24/7
Reilly Gate 3 Monday – Friday 0500-1000 and 1600-1900, closed weekends and holidays
Simmons Airfield Gate 13 open 24/7
Truck Plaza Gate 16 Commercial vehicles only
Yadkin Gate 4 open 24/7
Contacts at Ft. Bragg
AER (Army Emergency Relief) (910) 396-2507
Armed Services YMCA (910) 436-0500
Army Community Service (910) 396-8682
Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) (910) 396-7751
Chaplain and Religious Services (910) 396-1121
Child Development Center (910) 396-1136
Citizenship and Immigration Services (910) 396-6120
Civilian Personnel Office (910) 908-2722
Deployment & Mobilization Support (910) 432-3742
Education Services Office (910) 396-6721
EFMP – Enrollment (910) 907-3367
Family Child Care (910) 396-3415
Finance Office (82nd) (910) 432-0109
Household Goods/Transportation Office (910) 396-2903
Housing Services Office (910) 396-8516
ID/CAC Card Processing (910) 396-9339
Information and Referral Services (910) 396-8682
Legal Assistance Office (910) 396-0396
Leisure Travel Services (910) 396-8747
Lending Closet (910) 396-6013
Library (910) 396-2665
Military Clothing Sales (910) 436-2200
MWR Outdoor Recreation (910) 396-7060
New Parent Support Program (910) 396-7951
Non-appropriated Funds (NAF) Human Resources (910) 396-8933
North Commissary (910) 396-2316
Personal Financial Management Services (910) 907-3670
Relocation Readiness Program (910) 396-8682
Robinson Health Clinic (910) 907-8282
School Liaison Office (910) 432-1023
Shuttle Dispatch (910) 396-1992
Soldier & Family Assistance Center (910) 432-7322
South Commissary (910) 436-5320
Spouse Education, Training and Careers (910) 396-2390
Substance Abuse Program (910) 396-4100
Tax Center (910) 396-8299
Temporary Lodging/Billeting (910) 396-7700
Transition Assistance Program (910) 396-8682
Travel Office (910) 436-1185
Unaccompanied Member Housing (910) 643-4675
Vehicle Registration Center (910) 432-8193
Veterinary Services (910) 396-9120
Victim Advocate Services (910) 396-5521
Womack Army Medical Center (910) 907-6000
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC & WIC-O) (910) 433-3730
Youth Sports & Fitness (910) 396-9123
Mission and Units
Ft. Bragg is home to the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps of the Special Ops command. This Corps also oversees the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) and 75th Ranger Regiment. Ft. Moreover, the post is home to the Army Forces Command, Army Reserve Command, and Womack Army Medical Center.
Additionally, Bragg maintains two airfields. Pope Field is an Air Force satellite base that stages special operations assets and the AF Combat Control School. Simmons Army Airfield is also active. This is where Army aviation units support Airborne and Special Ops needs.
Ft. Bragg History
Ft. Bragg is one of several Army installations that will soon receive a new name, as it’s currently named for a Confederate general. It got its start as an artillery training site in 1918. Then, it was used for infantry, plane, and balloon spotting in the last year of WWI. Later, the aviation field was named Pope Field in honor of a lieutenant whose plane crashed into a nearby river.
Unlike several DoD installations, the inter-war years saw rapid growth for the installation. It expanded as a field artillery training location and experiment site. At the onset of America’s involvement in WWII, Ft. Bragg trained troops who later rapidly deployed to North Africa and the European theater. Several units trained at Bragg but of course the most famous are the airborne divisions. In addition to the five Airborne Divisions, the all-Black 555th Parachute Infantry Brigade trained here, too.
Did you know that the Triple Nickles, as the 555th were known, were the first all-Black paratroopers in the country?
After WWII, Ft. Bragg became the home of the 82nd Airborne Division. Here’s what it’s like to jump with the 82nd.
The Special Ops command joined the installation in 1952. Since then, Soldiers stationed at Ft. Bragg have participated in several deployments, including OIF, OEF. Most recently, several units have deployed to Poland as part of posturing support to NATO allies.
Things to Do Around Ft. Bragg
Nearby Fayetteville is a reasonably sized city so you’ll find all the basic city amenities you might need there for a night on the town or a day shopping and enjoying a long lunch. Travel to Fayetteville generally takes about 20 minutes, but can vary widely especially during PT hours.
Courtyard Fayetteville (910) 487-5557
Embassy Suites by Hilton (910) 826-3600
Hampton Inn Spring Lake (910) 438-0945
Holiday Inn Express and Suites (910) 867-6777
SpringHill Suites by Marriott (910) 960-3000
When you think about North Carolina, barbecue probably comes to mind! Of course you’ll definitely want to add some to your plate, but there are also lots of other Tar Heel specialties you should try, too! Fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese is definitely a regional favorite. Don’t skimp on the shrimp and grits either. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try a Cheerwine float. It’s like a root beer float but better.
Because it’s such a massive post, the Army MWR programming is excellent, so there should be plenty of things for you and your family to do on the installation and within the military community. Additionally, the North Carolina music scene is vibrant, so live music fans will always find something to do. Of course, there are also several outdoor spots you should visit nearby. Arnette is about 15 miles from the installation and is a 100-acre park. It’s open to the public and includes picnic pavilions and a great biking/running trail.
Ft. Bragg Housing
Ft. Bragg is a very large installation so housing wait times can be exceptionally long. Be sure you call the Military Housing Office as soon as you receive orders. The MHO can provide information regarding current wait times.
Corvias owns and manages housing on post. Residences range from two to four bedroom homes. Ore housing is scheduled to be constructed as Ft. Bragg continues to grow.
Off base housing is also an option.
Of course, single Soldiers ranks E1-E5 are required to live in the barracks.
Schools Near Ft. Bragg
Mik-kids who live on post can attend DoDEA schools. Off post, students will attend either Cumberland County or Harnett County schools, depending on where you live. Speak with the School Liaison Office for enrollment information and guidance about selecting the best choice for your children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Fort Bragg the largest military base?
Currently, it’s one of the largest in the world, but not the largest.
Is Fort Bragg only for the Army?
Sort of. It’s a permanent duty station for Army Soldiers, but sometimes Marines are stationed there for annual training.
What is so special about Fort Bragg?
Ft. Bragg is home of the Army Airborne and Special Operations units. That makes it stand out a lot. It’s also one of several DoD installations slated to get a new name.
Can civilians enter Fort Bragg?
Of course! First though, you’ll have to visit the Visitor’s Control Center first and be accompanied by a DoD ID card holder to gain access.