By Dawn M. Smith
There’s no way anyone in the military can escape at least some sort of knowledge or interaction with Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The installation is enormous and houses tens of thousands of service members and civilians. Its military missions reach out far and wide, affecting not only domestic strategies, but global endeavors as well.
That’s all very impressive, but what is it really like to live, work, and play in and around Fort Bragg?
- It is well known and significant part of the Fort Bragg’s long history that Fort Bragg is home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces.
- Additional commands include: U.S. Army Forces, XVIII Airborne Corps, U.S. Army Special Operations, Joint Special Operations, U.S. Army Reserve, 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations, and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg.
- It is the largest Army base by population with more than 50,000 servicemembers and nearly 30,000 civilians. 163,000 acres make up the post’s land size.
- In total, there are about 40 general officers assigned to Fort Bragg. The top ranked general on Fort Bragg is the four star officer in charge of U.S. Army Forces Command. The post’s commanding general is a three star and the commander of the 18th Airborne Corps.
- DODEA, which governs the Fort Bragg school district, has seven elementary schools providing for students in pre-K-4, one elementary school for pre-K-5, an intermediate school housing grades 5 and 6, while the junior high school encompasses grades 7 through 9.
- Ninth grade students choose between attending the junior high school on Fort Bragg or attending Cumberland County Schools. Students in grades 10-12 attend Cumberland County Schools located off of Fort Bragg.
- Picerne Military Housing is the private company that assigns and maintains on post housing. There are nine different housing communities serving all ranks.
- Fort Bragg celebrates its 100-year anniversary in 2018.
- There are two very large commissaries, North and South Post.
- The CDC system operates 12 facilities.
- Fort Bragg resembles a small city. Some of the amenities include: 34 restaurants, 15 medical clinics, 11 churches, 13 fitness outlets, an ice rink, campground, library, hotels and movie theaters.
- The metro area population is approaching 350,000 people.
- Fort Bragg is Fayetteville’s top employer and carries the region’s economy.
- The city has been coined “The Most Patriotic City in the U.S.”
- International cuisine is in abundance in Fayetteville. You’ll find owners of authentic German, Korean, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, and South American restaurants bless the town with great food.
- The Greater Fayetteville Chamber presides over a Military Affairs Council. The MAC supports military spouses and veterans through various events, including a “Get to Know Fayetteville” bus tour.
- Fayetteville is home to a botanical garden, an entertainment arena showcasing national acts, a symphony, a community theatre program and several military museums.
- Buies Creek, the Astros' new Class A Advanced affiliate will call Fayetteville home in 2019. A brand-new baseball stadium is in the works.
- There are three colleges and universities in Fayetteville: Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville State University, and Methodist University.
- Amtrak has a very convenient and accessible historic train station right in the middle of downtown Fayetteville.
- Fayetteville Regional Airport is also very convenient and offers quick flights to major cities such as Washington, D.C., Charlotte, and Atlanta.
- The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival and the International Folk Festival are two of the city’s biggest events.
- The local Greek Orthodox Church, Saints Constantine And Helen Greek, is home to the World’s Largest Spaghetti Dinner.
Interested in Fayetteville’s nearby cities?
- Hope Mills
- Southern Pines
- Spring Lake
- Whispering Pines
Depending on the location of your office on Fort Bragg, many of these cities are a shorter commute than living in Fayetteville.
A trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, takes about an hour and a half. Charlotte is double the time at about 3 hours.
Fayetteville is perfectly situated to take advantage of the close proximity of the mountain and beach landscape, all within a few hours’ drive.
Veteran and Milspouse Owned Businesses
Did you know there is a thriving cottage industry of veteran and milspouse owned businesses enveloping Fort Bragg? Their offerings are as varied as the backgrounds of their creators. From handbags to hand crafted wood barrel American flags, entrepreneurs are making the most of their military life experiences.
Fort Bragg contributes nearly 10 billion dollars to the local economies within the 11 countries that surround the installation.
Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, and their neighboring cities are certainly military friendly, as most of their histories, and likely futures, are tightly intertwined. Consulting Military Town Advisor before a PCS to the area is a great way to start researching for your next home and neighborhood.