Fort Liberty Guide
Fort Liberty, the Army installation formerly known as Fort Bragg, is a major Army base in North Carolina. This Army base is the home of XVIII Airborne Corps and supports the 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Army Special Operations Command Headquarters.
This is said to be the most populous stateside military base in the Department of Defense. Below, you can learn more about Fort Liberty, the surrounding area, housing, schools, and childcare options.
Fort Liberty Base History
Fort Liberty got its start as Camp Bragg back in 1918. In the beginning, the installation served as an artillery training center.
By the time World War One was underway, only a tiny amount of the land we know as Fort Liberty today was occupied. The U.S. War Department purchased some 50 thousand acres, the First World War ended, and the site was used for long-range weapons testing for a time.
In 1940, things started to change rapidly due to the onset of World War Two. Camp Bragg found itself with more than 60 thousand troops; around this time, the Army developed what was new: airborne divisions and support elements. The 82nd and 101st Airbourne Divisions became essential parts of the mission.
At the war’s end, the 82nd Airborne Division was permanently assigned to what was by then known as Fort Bragg. In 1951, the XVIII Airborne Corps was reactivated here, and what we now know as U.S. Army Special Operations Command began operating at the Fort in 1952. Fort Bragg also became the headquarters for Special Forces Soldiers.
Fort Bragg was involved in many important missions over the years, including Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm, just to name a few.
Today the installation has been redesignated Fort Liberty is known as “The Home of the Airborne and Special Operations,” and is one of the largest bases in the world.
Fort Liberty Surrounding Area
Fort Liberty is in a major military community, with over 50 thousand troops stationed there. Approximately 14 thousand civilian employees work at the base. Fort Liberty’s total population may be above a quarter of a million people.
The sheer size of this base means the start of your off-duty pursuits might depend on where you live. Fort Liberty crosses Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett, and Moore counties. It’s located mainly in Fayetteville but also partly resides in Spring Lake.
Fort Liberty is west of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Nearby attractions include a state park dedicated to veterans, Cape Fear River Trail, and the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens. Other nearby options include the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, Arsenal Park, and the 1897 Poe House.
Fort Liberty Mission and Units
The former Fort Bragg is said to be the largest US Army base (measured by population) with more than 47 thousand active-duty soldiers, 51 thousand reservists, and students. The base is the home of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Essential missions and units here have included:
- 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade
- 16th Military Police Brigade
- 18th Fires Brigade
- 20th Engineer Brigade
- 82nd Airborne Division
- 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade
- 82nd Sustainment Brigade
- USA JFK Special Warfare Center
- USA Special Operations Command
- Womack Army Medical Center
- XVIII Airborne Corps HQ
In-Processing and Check-In
All troops PCSing or coming to Fort Liberty on TDY orders are directed to check in with the Fort Liberty Reception Company. You can check in here any time, including weekends and holidays, after duty hours, etc. Call 910-396-4250, DSN 312-236-4250 for more information.
After check-in, you should receive an in-processing packet. You have five duty days to inprocess and report. Students must report to their assigned brigade on arrival.
Fort Liberty Commissary
The Fort Liberty commissary has two locations:
Fort Liberty North
3571 Butner Road
Fort Liberty, NC 28307-5000
Fort Liberty South
1017 Canopy Lane
Fort Liberty, NC 28310
Fort Liberty is served by 12 Child Development Centers located throughout the installation. These centers offer child care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
According to the Department of Defense, some locations may offer extended hours, weekend care, and respite care. In spite of the high number of options at Fort Liberty, waiting lists may apply. Contact the CDC as soon as you have orders to the area to learn your options or to sign up for a waiting list.
You can research your Fort Liberty childcare options at MilitaryChildCare.com. This is a Defense Department official site that allows you to research and coordinate care around the world.
Fort Liberty Housing
Housing at Fort Liberty is privatized and operated under a public/private arrangement with Corvias Military Housing. Contact them as soon as you have orders by calling 910-495-0878 or toll-free at 1-866-206-1365. When you discuss housing options with a Corvais rep, you should receive a list of documents so you may apply for housing.
Single soldiers (SSG and below) may be required to reside on-post in the barracks. Regardless of family status, all personnel are directed to report to the Housing Referral Office before signing any lease or purchase agreement for off-base housing.
Fort Liberty PCS and TDY Lodging
Due to high demand, temporary lodging at Fort Liberty requires reservations and you should make them as early as possible. Pet-friendly facilities are minimal, don’t bring pets without making prior arrangements.
The official site Fort Liberty says, “…make reservations as soon as possible. You can make reservations 30 to 60 days in advance by calling 910-396-7700, ext 1711. You are entitled to 10 days of Temporary Lodging Expenses (TLE) during your PCS move.”
At Fort Liberty, temporary lodging reservations are accepted 60 days in advance. Call the Airborne Inn at 910-396-7700 or the Carolina Inn at Pope Army Airfield at 910-394-4131.
Fort Liberty Transportation
The usual ride-sharing options are available from nearby airports depending on the time of your arrival and other variables. The closest airports to Fort Liberty include:
- Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport (26 miles)
- Raleigh–Durham International Airport (44 miles)
- Fayetteville Regional Airport (71 miles)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (89 miles)
It is best to coordinate your arrival with your sponsor or gaining unit. Fort Liberty is a restricted-access base, and you will need valid, unexpired ID to enter.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
North Carolina State law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance and a valid driver’s license to operate a vehicle. On-base drivers are subject to 100% ID checks, searches, and other measures.
According to DoD literature, to enter Fort Liberty initially, “You will need to show your military ID. If you do not have your military ID, you will need the following: driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance. Your vehicle will be searched.”
Fort Liberty Schools
Fort Liberty is served by Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, and families living on base “within 90 school days” are approved to attend Fort Liberty Schools, according to the DoD.
On-post schools are for those in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. No high schools operate on Fort Liberty, and high school-age students may be assigned to Smith High School in the Cumberland County School District.
Off-post school options may depend on where you live; contact the Fort Liberty School Liaison Office at 910-432-1023 to learn the most current transfer requirements and new student enrollment guidelines.
Fort Liberty Colleges and Universities
The base is served by The Fort Liberty Army Education Center, which offers services including:
- College Level Exam Program (CLEP)
- Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
- Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
- General Classification Testing (GCT)
- Defense Classification Testing (DCT)
- Defense Language Study Program
- SAT and ACT Tests;
- Graduate Records Exams (GRE)
- National Certification Exams
Call for more information: 910-432-2826 or DSN 312-239-2826. There are many colleges in the area, including:
- Fayetteville State University
- Fayetteville Technical College
- Campbell University
- Pembroke University
Three Army Learning Centers on post offer Army Correspondence Courses, study materials, Speed Reading Programs, NCO Career Maps, and study materials.
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide
Fort Liberty Contacts
Soldier Support Center
Building 4-2843 Normandy Street
Fort Liberty, NC 28310
Important Contact Numbers
All numbers are prefixed 910:
- Action Line 396-Boss (2677)
- Army Substance Abuse Program 396-4100
- Army Community Service 396-8682/8683
- Corvias Military Living 495-0878
- Crime 396-0391/0392
- Family Advocacy Program 396-5521
- Womack Army Medical Ctr 907-6000
- Cape Fear Valley Medical Center 609-4000
- Highsmith Rainey Medical Center 609-1000
- Off Post Housing Referral 396-8516
- ID Card Facility 643-2737
- Schools Superintendent’s Office 907-0200
Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide
About the author
Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.