Fort Jackson was established on June 2, 1917 to specifically begin training new soldiers. The citizens of Columbia donated almost 1,200 acres to the federal government, and the fort was incorporated into the city in October of 1968.
The first military unit organized at here was the 81st “Wildcat” Division. Originally, most buildings were built for temporary standing and in 1964, permanent building were then put in place. Spanning 96 years, this installation has had a full and proud history.
The main goal of Fort Jackson is to turn out able bodied soldiers. This is done through eight weeks of intensive training. But to train these soldiers, teachers must be put in place. Ft. Jackson holds the only Drill Sergeant School for the Army, but it must also hold many Drill Sergeants that will work to train future soldiers.
Drill Sergeants may choose to live on or off base, keeping in mind that they will be working almost constantly. Drill Sergeants are picked according to different abilities they possess, and must then sign on to a two year contract. Though the life of a Drill Sergeant is stressful, with long hours and the future of the Army on their hands, many are glad for the experience and the chance to contribute in a way most soldiers will not.
Columbia is both the largest city in South Carolina and the capital of the state. Outside of the fort, Columbia has a zoo, museums, and several colleges. There are also many places to explore the historic aspect of Columbia, including a self-guided walking tour around Arsenal Hill, the Allen University, and the Benedict College. For night life fun, Columbia has bars, clubs, a speakeasy, and a comedy venues.
If you are visiting, there is an inn on base, as well as several hotels off of base. The Fort Jackson Inn can be booked for Active Duty, Reservists, DoD employees, retirees, and families of such. Jackson features Balfour Beatty Communities for their on-base housing.
Fort Jackson is currently involved in updating, renovating, and building several homes. When construction is completed, a total of 850 homes will be available.
Fort Jackson is both a great place to train and be stationed. The base holds a bowling alley, movie theater, and an impressive outdoor water park. With newly renovated homes, plenty of activities off of base, and the warm southern climate of South Carolina, it is difficult to not love.