Fort Benning is a United States Army post straddling the Alabama–Georgia border next to Columbus, Georgia. Fort Benning supports more than 120,000 active-duty military, family members, reserve component soldiers, retirees, and civilian employees on a daily basis. It is a power projection platform, and possesses the capability to deploy combat-ready forces by air, rail, and highway. Fort Benning is the home of the United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, the United States Army Armor School, United States Army Infantry School, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly known as the School of the Americas), elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment (United States), 3rd Brigade – 3rd Infantry Division, and many other additional tenant units.
Since 1909, Fort Benning has served as the Home of the Infantry. Since 2005, Fort Benning has been transformed into the Maneuver Center of Excellence, as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission's decision to consolidate a number of schools and installations to create various "centers of excellence". Included in this transformation was the move of the Armor School from Fort Knox to Fort Benning.
|Part of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)|
Forces Command (FORSCOM)
Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)
Columbus, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area
|Chattahoochee County, Georgia (93%) & Russell County, Alabama (7%)|
≈182,000 acres (737 km²)
The Chattahoochee River runs through Fort Benning.
Maneuver Center of Excellence
|Controlled by||United States Army|
|Garrison||Units and tenant units
Camp Benning was established in October 1909, after President Woodrow Wilson called for a special session of Congress, culminating Congressional work in the creation of the Revenue Act of 1913, reintroducing an income tax which lowered tariffs, (tariffs-a schedule of rates or charges of a business or a public utility) assigning permanent status in 1909. Initially providing basic training for World War I units, post-war Dwight D. Eisenhower served at Benning from December 24, 1918, until March 15, 1919, with about 250 of his Camp Colt, Pennsylvania, tankers who transferred to Benning after the armistice.:72 On December 26, 1918, a portion of the Camp Polk (near Raleigh, North Carolina) tank school was transferred to Camp Benning "to work in conjunction with the Infantry school". Camp Benning tank troops were moved to Camp Meade from February 19–21, 1919.
In February 1920, Congress voted to declare Camp Benning a permanent military post and appropriated more than $1 million of additional building funds for the Infantry School of Arms, which later became the Infantry School. By the fall of 1920, more than 350 officers, 7,000 troops and 650 student officers lived at Camp Benning. The post was renamed to Fort Benning in 1922, after Henry L. Benning, a general in the army of the Confederate States of America. In 1924, Brig. Gen. Briant H. Wells became the fourth commandant of the Infantry School and established the Wells Plan for permanent construction on the installation, emphasizing the importance of the outdoor environment and recreation opportunities for military personnel. During Wells' tenure, the post developed recreational facilities such as Doughboy Stadium, Gowdy Field, the post theater and Russ swimming pool. Doughboy Stadium was erected as a memorial by soldiers to their fallen comrades of World War I. One of the Doughboys' original coaches was a young captain named Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Lt. Col George C. Marshall was appointed assistant commandant of the post in 1927 and initiated major changes. Marshall, who later became the Army Chief of Staff during World War II, was appalled by the high casualties of World War I caused, he thought, by insufficient training. He was determined to prevent a lack of preparation from costing more lives in future conflicts. He and his subordinates revamped the education system at Fort Benning. The changes he fostered are still known as the Benning Revolution. Later in his life, Marshall went on to author the Marshall Plan for reviving postwar Europe and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.
During World War II Fort Benning had 197,159 acres (797.87 km²) with billeting space for 3,970 officers and 94,873 enlisted persons. Among many other units, Fort Benning was the home of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, their training began in December 1943 and was an important milestone for black Americans, as was explored in the first narrative history of the installation, Home of the Infantry. The battalion, later expanded to become the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, was trained at Fort Benning but did not deploy overseas and never saw combat during World War II. During this period, the specialized duties of the Triple Nickel were primarily in a firefighting role, with over one thousand parachute jumps as smoke jumpers. The 555th was deployed to the Pacific Northwest of the United States in response to the concern that forest fires were being set by the Japanese military using long-range incendiary balloons. The 82nd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion was activated July 15, 1940, and trained at the Fort. The 17th Armored Engineer Battalion became active and started training July 15, 1940.
The 4th Infantry Division, first of four divisions committed by the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reorganized and completed its basic training at Fort Benning (Sand Hill and Harmony Church areas) from October 1950 to May 1951, when it deployed to Germany for five years.
The Airborne School on Main Post has three 249-foot (76 m) drop towers called "Free Towers." They are used to train paratroopers. The towers were modeled after the parachute towers at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. Only three towers stand today; the fourth tower was toppled by a tornado on March 14, 1954.
During the spring of 1962 General Herbert B. Powell, Commanding General, U.S. Continental Army Command, directed that all instruction at the Infantry School after July 1 reflect Reorganization Objective Army Division structures. Therefore, the Infantry School asked for permission to reorganize the 1st Infantry Brigade under a ROAD structure. Instead, the Army Staff decided to inactivate the Pentomic-structured brigade and replace it with a new ROAD unit, the 197th Infantry Brigade, which resolved a unit designation issue. With the designation 1st Infantry Brigade slated to return to the 1st Infantry Division when it converted to ROAD, the existing unit at Fort Benning required a new title. The staff selected an infantry brigade number that had been associated with an Organized Reserve division that was no longer in the force. For the new ROAD brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia, the adjutant general on August 1, 1962, restored elements of the 99th Reconnaissance Troop, which thirty years earlier had been organized by consolidating infantry brigade headquarters and headquarters companies of the 99th Infantry Division, as Headquarters and Headquarters Companies, 197th and 198th Infantry Brigades.
Fort Benning was the site of the Scout dog school of the United States during the Vietnam War, where the dogs trained to detect ambushes in enemy terrain got their initial training, before being transferred to Vietnam for further advanced courses.
Fort Benning also had an urban village, McKenna Military Operations in Urban Terrain, built by Army engineers for urban training of soldiers. It was used for live, virtual and constructive experimentation on soldier systems, weapons, and equipment. The site was approximately 200 meters square, and included 15 buildings resembling a European village. There was a church, small houses, domestic residences and office-style buildings.
In 1984, following the signing of the Panama Canal Treaty, the School of the Americas relocated from Fort Gulick (Panama) to Fort Benning. After criticism concerning human rights violations committed by a number of graduates in Latin America, the school was renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.
There are four main cantonment areas on Fort Benning: Main Post, Kelley Hill, Sand Hill, and Harmony Church.
Main Post houses various garrison and smaller FORSCOM units of Fort Benning such as 14th Combat Support Hospital and 11th Engineer Battalion FORSCOM as well as a number of TRADOC-related tenants, e.g. the Officer Candidate School, the Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, and the Airborne School. McGinnis-Wickham Hall (formerly known as Infantry Hall) is the post headquarters and Maneuver Center of Excellence. Adjacent is a monument, the Ranger Memorial.
The 197th Infantry Brigade was located on Kelly Hill in the 1970's and early 1980's
Kelley Hill formerly housed the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the parent unit of two combined armed battalions; 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2d Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, as well as 3d Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, and two support battalions; 3-3 BSTB, and 203d BSB.
Between December 11, 2015, and December 15, 2015, the 3rd BCT's six subordinate battalions performed inactivation ceremonies on Sledgehammer Field. On December 16, 2015, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment Task Force (or Task Force 1-28) was activated in its place. Task Force 1-28 is a 1053-member unit "made up of selected soldiers from the six inactivated battalions that formed the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division".
Sand Hill is the primary location of the 198th Infantry Brigade, responsible for training Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT), and the location of the 30th AG Reception Battalion at Fort Benning. Home of 1-19 Infantry Battalion 2-19 Infantry Battalion, 1-50 Infantry Battalion, 1-46 Infantry Battalion, 2-47 Infantry Battalion, 3-47 Infantry Battalion 2-58 Infantry Battalion, and 2-54 Infantry Battalion.
Harmony Church area houses the 194th Armor Brigade, 316th Cavalry Brigade Armor School and the first phase of Ranger School, 4th Ranger Training Battalion (ARTB). After the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission's decision to create the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE), Harmony Church is now the new home of the Armor School.
Fort Benning was selected by the Base Realignment and Closing Commission to be the home of the new Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE). This realignment co-located the United States Army Armor Center and School, formerly located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with the Infantry Center and School. This transformation was completed September 2011.
The 14th Combat Support Hospital (14th CSH) is a combat support hospital of the United States Army. It participated in World War II, the Korean War and, more recently, deployed to Afghanistan. Additionally, it was involved in the relief operations following Hurricane Katrina. The unit currently falls under the command of the 44th Medical Brigade and is based at Fort Benning, Georgia.17th Special Tactics Squadron
The 17th Special Tactics Squadron is one of the ten Special Tactics Squadrons of United States Air Force Special Operations Command. It is garrisoned at Fort Benning, Georgia.2014 ISSF World Cup
The 2014 ISSF World Cup is the annual edition of the ISSF World Cup in the Olympic shooting events, governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation.2015 ISSF World Cup
The 2015 ISSF World Cup is the annual edition of the ISSF World Cup in the Olympic shooting events, governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation.3rd Ranger Battalion
The 3rd Ranger Battalion, currently based at Fort Benning, Georgia, is the third of three ranger battalions belonging to the United States Army's 75th Ranger Regiment.98th Infantry Division (United States)
The 98th Infantry Division ("Iroquois") was a unit of the United States Army in the closing months of World War I and during World War II. The unit is now one of the U.S. Army Reserve's training divisions, officially known as the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training). The 98th Training Division's current primary mission is to conduct Initial Entry Training (IET) for new soldiers. It is one of three training divisions subordinate to the 108th Training Command (IET).
Following its initial organization in 1918, the 98th Training Division (IET) has experienced multiple cycles of activation, training, deployment and deactivation as well as substantial reorganizations and changes of mission. Since 1959, however, the 98th Training Division (IET) has been a unit of the U.S. Army Reserve with the primary mission of training Soldiers. Formerly headquartered in Rochester, New York with longstanding historical ties to New York and New England, the 98th Training Division (IET) was moved to Fort Benning, Georgia in 2012, and exercises command and control of units located throughout the eastern U.S. as well as Puerto Rico.East Columbus, Georgia
East Columbus is a district in Columbus, Georgia. The area is roughly bounded by Macon Road to the north, Buena Vista Road to the south, Schatulga Road and Fort Benning to the east, and I-185 to the west.Ed King (American football)
Edward E'Dainia King (born December 3, 1969 in Fort Benning, Georgia) is a former American football guard in the National Football League. He played for the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints.
Bypassed final year of eligibility at Auburn.
He has been named a Columbus Lions assistant coach in 2009.Felix Hall
Felix Hall was a man from Alabama who, at age 19, was lynched by fellow soldiers in Fort Benning, Georgia. A black man from Alabama, he had volunteered to join an African-American unit being trained in Fort Benning. He was last seen alive on February 12, 1941, in one of the fort's white neighborhoods. His body was found six weeks later, on March 28, hanging by a noose tied to a tree in a ravine near the Chattahoochee River.The killers were never found, and evidence suggests that no serious efforts were made at the time by the Army or the FBI to discover the cause of Hall's death.Fort Benning South, Georgia
Fort Benning South is a former census-designated place (CDP) in Chattahoochee County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 11,737 at the 2000 census. The area is now part of the consolidated city of Cusseta.ISSF World Cup
The ISSF World Cup was introduced by the International Shooting Sport Federation in 1986 to provide a homogeneous system for qualification to the Olympic shooting competitions. It still is carried out in the Olympic shooting events, with four competitions per year in each event. For the best shooters there is since 1988 a World Cup Final.National Infantry Museum
The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center is a museum located in Columbus, Georgia, just outside the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning. The 190,000-square-foot museum opened in June 2009.
The museum chronicles the history of the United States Army infantryman from the American Revolution to Afghanistan. It exhibits artifacts from all eras of American history and contains interactive multimedia exhibits. The National Infantry Museum emphasizes the values that are meant to define the infantryman, as well as the nation: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
In addition to galleries, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center also consists of:
Giant Screen Theater
DownRange Combat Simulators
The Fife and Drum Restaurant
The Soldier Store Gift Shop
Memorial Walk of Honor
Vietnam Memorial Plaza
Global War on Terrorism Memorial (Fall 2017)
World War II Company Street.Until April 2008, the museum was housed in an old Army hospital on Fort Benning. Space and conditions for the museum’s collection was inadequate. In 1998, the 501(c)(3) National Infantry Foundation  was formed to plan, raise funds for and to operate a new museum. The National Infantry Museum Foundation has since formed a formal partnership with the Army to manage the facility and its contents. The National Infantry Museum does not receive federal, state or city funding. Through its lease agreement with the National Infantry Museum Foundation, the Army reimburses the foundation for approximately 30 percent of the museum’s annual operating expenses. There is no admission fee. The museum relies on donations, memberships and revenue-generating attractions such as the Giant Screen Theater, combat simulators, Fife and Drum Restaurant, Soldier Store and event rentals to cover operating expenses.
The museum is located on a 155-acre campus adjacent to Fort Benning. The campus includes Inouye Field and a 2,100-seat stadium which hosts graduations of Army trainees most Thursdays and Fridays. The graduations are open to the public.
World War II Company Street is a collection of seven buildings constructed at Fort Benning during the ramp-up to World War II. They have been furnished as they were in the 1940s and are open for tours most days. The buildings include a chapel, barracks, mess hall, orderly room, supply room, and the sleeping quarters and headquarters building used by Gen. George Patton prior to his deployment to North Africa in 1942.
The Vietnam Memorial Plaza contains a ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Wall on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
The Global War on Terrorism Memorial(under construction Summer 2017) includes the names of 6,800 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines killed in service since 9/11. A 13-foot steel beam pulled from the wreckage of the World Trade Center and donated to the museum by New York City firefighters is featured in the design of the memorial.
The museum received a Thea Award for excellence from the Themed Entertainment Association in 2011, USA Today’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Award for Best Free Museum, and TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame recognition for continued excellence.Silver Wings (parachute team)
The United States Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Command Exhibition Parachute Team, commonly known as the Silver Wings, is the official demonstration parachute team of Fort Benning, Georgia, United States Army. It is made up of US Army Paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence in parachuting skills, drawn primarily from the 1st Battalion of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning.U.S. Army Regimental System
The United States Army Regimental System (USARS) was established in 1981 to replace the Combat Arms Regimental System, to provide each soldier with continuous identification with a single regiment, and to increase a soldier's probability of serving recurring assignments with his or her regiment. The USARS was intended to enhance combat effectiveness by providing the opportunity for a regimental affiliation, thus obtaining some of the benefits of the traditional regimental system.United States Army Airborne School
The United States Army Airborne School – widely known as Jump School – conducts the basic paratrooper (military parachutist) training for the United States armed forces. It is operated by the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry, United States Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia. The Airborne School conducts the Basic Airborne Course, which is open to troops of both genders from all branches of the United States Department of Defense, Reserve Officer Training Corps, and allied military personnel. All students must volunteer to attend the course.United States Army Armor School
The United States Army Armor School is a training school located at Fort Benning, Georgia. Its primary focus is the training of United States Army soldiers, NCOs, and commissioned officers in the operation, tactics, and maintenance of Armor forces and equipment, including the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, assorted crew-served and personal weapons, and various other equipment including radios. The school is also the site where U.S. Marines are sent for training on the Abrams tank. The Armor School moved to Fort Benning in 2010 as part of the United States' BRAC program.United States Army Infantry School
The United States Army Infantry School is located at Fort Benning, Georgia, is a school dedicated to training infantrymen for service in the United States Army.WKCN
WKCN (99.3 FM), known as "Kissin 99.3", is a radio station licensed to Fort Benning South/Columbus, and serving the greater Columbus, Georgia, area. Its studios are co-located with four other sister stations on Wynnton Road in Columbus east of downtown, and its transmitter is located near Fort Mitchell, Alabama.Windjammer Communications
Windjammer Cable is a small cable company formed by the sale of 25 systems that served 80,000 customers in rural areas that Time Warner Cable acquired from the bankrupt Adelphia. Windjammer was created specifically for this deal and consisted of Boston private-equity concern MAST Capital Management and Jupiter, Fla.-based small cable operator Communications Construction Services (CCS).
Although it acquired some systems, such as all but two West Virginia systems, Subscribers received a letter on Jan. 24, 2009 saying that they will terminate service on February 17, 2009; date of the Digital Transition.
It was reported in 2010 that CCS left the partnership and the number of cable systems was reduced to 15 core markets.In August 2011, Windjammer divested cable systems in Fort Benning, GA; Fort Payne, AL; and Cullman, AL to Charter.