By Jeanette Martinez, Army Spouse

Fort Jackson is home to the United States Army Training Center, the Army’s most active training station. This post trains 50 percent of all soldiers and 60 percent of the women who enter the Army each year. As the base motto says, “Victory Starts Here.”

Fort Jackson is also home to 165th Infantry Brigade, 193rd Infantry Brigade, as well as, the Drill Sergeant Academy to name a few. If you’ve been stationed here, it’s very likely you or your spouse will be spending a lot of time “on the trail,” in other words as a Drill Instructor to the trainees.

Where is Fort Jackson?

Fort Jackson sits in the center of South Carolina, within the State Capital of Columbia. It’s home to beautiful rivers and just couple hours’ drive from the loveliest beaches the south has to offer. Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Isle of Palms seem to be the most recommended for vacationing.

Fort Jackson Housing

Installation housing on Fort Jackson is divided into three major neighborhoods managed by Balfour Beatty, in both single family and duplex layouts. Pierce Terrace for enlisted active duty personnel, has 2 to 4 bedroom floor plans. Mabry Manor and Howie Village for officers has floor plans ranging from 3 to 4 bedrooms. While Fort Jackson housing has many amenities, there is also the option of living off post. Nearby Forest Acres, Blythewood, Elgin are the top neighborhood choices.

Fort Jackson Weather

Fort Jackson weather and South Carolina in general really means there are only two seasons: summer and a very mild autumn. Meaning it doesn’t typically get too cold, and very rarely snows. The heat can be intense, largely due to the humidity in the air. There is never a lack of sun or rain, of course coming from places like the Pacific Northwest, you gain a certain appreciation for it.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins in June and goes through November. Preparedness is key and it is important to have plans in place in the event of an emergency. Fort Jackson’s Red Cross has plenty of information at your disposal and is always ready and willing to assist. You do get the occasional torrential storms, which can lead to flooding of the Congaree River, the Saluda River and the Broad River.

Fort Jackson BAH & Cost of Living

Your Fort Jackson BAH should go pretty far at this southern duty station. According to Trulia.com, the median sales price for homes in Columbia is $154,900 based on 1,227 home sales in the last four months. The median rent per month for apartments is $1,195. Interested in finding a REALTOR® in the Fort Jackson area? Your fellow military and veteran community has reviewed them for you at PCSgrades.com.

Fort Jackson Weather

Fort Jackson weather and South Carolina in general really means there are only two seasons: summer and a very mild autumn. Meaning it doesn’t typically get too cold, and very rarely snows. The heat can be intense, largely due to the humidity in the air. There is never a lack of sun or rain, of course coming from places like the Pacific Northwest, you gain a certain appreciation for it.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins in June and goes through November. Preparedness is key and it is important to have plans in place in the event of an emergency. Fort Jackson’s Red Cross has plenty of information at your disposal and is always ready and willing to assist. You do get the occasional torrential storms, which can lead to flooding of the Congaree River, the Saluda River and the Broad River.

On-Post Amenities

Fort Jackson has some great amenities to include the Exchange, Fort Jackson Commissary, several pools, a small water park and theater among other things.

Fort Jackson Schools

Understandably when relocating, finding a new school is a top priority and a family’s biggest concern. Fort Jackson itself houses two elementary schools, middle and high school kids are zoned for off posts schools in the nearby Columbia, which has excellent public schools.

Lexington County District 1 and Richland 1 and 2 both are recognized as some of the best in the state. If you’re looking for higher education Columbia has several colleges. Its most popular, the University of South Carolina is just a 15-20 minute commute from Fort Jackson. Benedict College, Allen University and Columbia College are other excellent options in the immediate Columbia area.

Culture & Customs

There are lots of local events like the ever-popular State Fair, Food Tours and Farmers Markets that highlight and celebrate the diversity of the south. Some local annual favorites are St. Pats in Five Points in March, the Columbia International Festival in April, and the Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture.

Area Attractions

The overall warm temperatures of the area make it easy to enjoy the beauty of the nearby beaches. Parks like the Harbison State Forest, Sesquicentennial State Park, and Saluda Shoals Park are also favorites.

While the slow pace of the south may certainly be an adjustment for most, it is one that is fairly simple to make. There is an abundance of family events both on and off post to fit your family’s needs. Fort Jackson itself is a great duty station, and Columbia is quiet yet eventful.

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Author: Jeanette Martinez is a freelance writer, army spouse of 13 years, mother of two and a proud cancer survivor. She is native to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles currently living in beautiful South Carolina, learning to slow down. Her experience in writing includes, military family topics, personal blogs and cancer awareness.

Jeanette Martinez

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