By Wendi Iacobello, Army Spouse
PCS orders to Fort Bragg? Welcome to Coastal North Carolina! Bragg is famously known as the home of the 82nd Airborne Division, but it also houses Special Operations Forces, 18th Airborne Corps, Air Force, and PsyOps. It is one of the largest Army installations in the world and is home to more than 50,000 active duty soldiers. But before you start yelling ‘”All the way,” let’s dive in and learn more about your duty station.
Where is Fort Bragg?
Fort Bragg is located close to Fayetteville, North Carolina almost in the middle of the state. Bragg is such a large installation that several counties are located around the post borders. Nearby counties include; Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, and Moore. Popular cities within Cumberland County are Fayetteville, Eastover, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Linden, and Wade. Harnett County includes many small towns such as Lillington, Dunn, Erwin, Coats, and Bunn Level. Hoke County provides the popular town of Raeford and Moore County has the well-known golf town of Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Whispering Pines, Vass, and Cameron.
Fort Bragg Housing
Should you live on post or off? Corvias Military Living is the leasing agent for on-post living. It’s a good idea to do thorough research of on-post housing before committing to it. Due to the history and age of Fort Bragg, some housing options are in better condition than others. Check out all of your options prior to making a decision and signing a lease. A lease is not easily broken if you move in and are dissatisfied with your living space. Convenience is the biggest reason why families choose to live on-post.
Living off post has its perks as well. Due to the sheer size of Fort Bragg, it’s necessary first to find out which part of post your spouse will be working on, then find the closest geographical area off post in that particular section. Commute time could turn from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the above factors, so thoroughly research. Some popular neighborhoods off post are the Jack Britt area and Southern Pines. To see where military members recommend living and also view maps and school ratings, click here.
BAH and Cost of Living
The median home cost in the Fayetteville area is $135, 000 making it a very attractive place to buy. The Southern Pines area is a favorite of military families even with the 40-minute commute but averages $268,000 to buy a home. For those considering using their VA loan, PCSgrades has local military spouses who are Realtors ready to assist you in your search!
Fort Bragg Amenities
A large installation like Fort Bragg has many perks. There are two Commissaries, several PX’s, the Iron Mike Conference Center, fourteen fitness centers, Army Community Services that offers classes and resilience training programs, and the U.S. Army Morale, Welfare, & Recreation (MWR) that organizes many fun events across post.
If being outdoors is your forte’ Fort Bragg will be a perfect place for you. Points of interest across post include; McKellers Lodge, Tank Trail, Mott Lake, Smith Lake, Area J, and Flight Line Park.
Fort Bragg Weather
Fort Bragg weather varies, but North Carolina does have four seasons. A mild climate sums up Fort Bragg pretty well as agriculture is booming in this area throughout three of the four seasons. From late December to early March is considered winter time with lows in the 20’s and highs in the 60’s. Mid-March through early Mid springtime with warm days, cool nights, and a multitude of rain. Late May through early September is summer time with highs sometimes reaching into the 100’s and lows in the 60’s. Mid-September through Mid-December is fall with temperatures varying from lows in the 50’s to highs in the 70’s.
- Downtown Fayetteville offers an array of restaurants, shopping, coffee shops, dessert cafes, and many family fun activities throughout the year.
- Southern Pines is the home to golf resorts, shopping, and the famous R. Riveter.
- Outdoor recreation-Cape Fear Trail, Raven Rock, Zipquest Waterfall
andTreetop Adventure, Aloha Safari Zoo, and the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens
- Indoor recreation-Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving, Airborne and Special Operations Museum, Triangle Rock Club, and Defy Fayetteville.
Day Trips – Places to visit within North Carolina
- The Outer Banks
Fort Bragg, N.C. gets a bad reputation, but surprisingly offers a wonderful way of life. The people in the surrounding counties are super nice and hospitable. Patriotism is present around every corner. Agriculture is fruitful for three out of four seasons. Outdoor activities are numerous, and small businesses thrive and populate the area heavily. When you move to Fort Bragg, come with an open mind and give it a chance. Try to get out and explore the area and find your way around. You just might fall in love with it here.
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Wendi Iacobello is an Army wife and a North Carolina native. She has spent the last nine years as an adult educator and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Master of Arts in Instructional Technology. She is a blogger, workshop presenter, and advisor to military spouses seeking career and education assistance. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength4Spouses.