Fort Novosel (formerly Fort Rucker) Army Base Guide
Fort Novosel, formerly known as Fort Rucker, is an Army base 80 miles from Montgomery, Alabama. Fort Novosel is the home of the Army Aviation Warfighting Center of Excellence (USAACE) and supports the Army Warrant Officer Career College and the Army Aeromedical Center.
Fort Novosel started in the World War Two era as part of a multi-billion dollar effort to bolster national defense. Back then, it was known as Camp Rucker and was used as a training area until it was greatly expanded (more than a thousand additional acres) and redesignated as Ozark Army Airfield.
After the war, the installation suffered the same fate as many U.S. military bases; it was closed and reopened again for the Korean War.
The airfield would go quiet again when hostilities ended in South Korea but returned to life once more as the site of the U.S. Army Aviation School, which relocated to the area after a stint at Fort Sill.
The installation known as Fort Rucker was redesignated as Fort Novosel in 2023 as part of the Defense Department’s effort to rename U.S. military bases.
Today, Fort Novosel is known for its role as the home of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, which trains aviators to fly worldwide missions and provides training support for maintainers and Army leadership.
Fort Novosel sits on well over 60 thousand acres in southeast Alabama. As you might guess, the size of this installation means it sits across multiple counties:
- Dale County
- Coffee County
- Geneva County
- Houston County
Fort Novosel is an 80-mile drive from Montgomery and 20 miles from Dothan. Other nearby communities include:
Daleville is the closest community to the fort and is home to the Army Aviation Museum, which is said to have one of the largest helicopter collections in the world. Dothan is close to both the Florida and Georgia state lines.
Mission and Units
Fort Novosel is home to the Army Aviation Center of Excellence, which trains Army aviators, and provides maintenance and leadership training. Major commands on Fort Novosel include the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Novosel, the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE), U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, and the U.S. Army Warrant Officer Career College.
Other critical missions and units here have included the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, the Army School of Aviation Medicine, and the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory.
In-Processing and Check-In
All traveling to Fort Novosel and arriving during duty hours should report to the Soldier Service Center, Military Personnel Division, Building 5700. You must hand-carry your Permanent Change of Station orders and leave forms.
If you arrive after duty hours, on a weekend, or over holidays, report to building 101. On your first duty day after arrival, report to Building 5700, Room 280 for in-processing.
Flight and Captain’s Career Course Students are directed to report to Building 5911 1-145th AVN REGT. The following duty day, report to Building 5700, Room 280, at 0730 for in-processing.
Related: Prepare for Your First PCS Move
Childcare options at Fort Novosel include the Child Development Center (CDC) with full-day, part-day, and hourly care for children ages six weeks to five years. There is also a mini-CDC option offering before and after-school care for those in Kindergarten through 5th grade. This option is for children who qualify for evening and extended care.
There are also certified in-home Family Child Care services and a Before & After School program for 1st thru 5th graders (offered during the traditional school year), complete with activities and a computer lab.
Waiting lists may apply for childcare at Fort Novosel at all levels. Contact the Child Development Center when you receive orders to the Fort to learn how to register.
Related: Military Child Care Basics
Fort Novosel Housing
Housing at Fort Novosel is privatized and run via a public/private partnership with Corvias Military Living to discuss on-post and off-post housing options. Do not enter into legally binding agreements for housing in the area before checking in at the Fort Novosel Housing Services Office.
Unaccompanied troops between the ranks of E-1 and E-4 may have on-post housing requirements. Contact the Housing Office at 334-255-2224. Waiting lists for on-post housing may apply.
Related: BAH Calculator
Fort Novosel PCS and TDY Lodging
If you are traveling to Fort Novosel on PCS or TDY orders, book reservations in advance with the International Hotel Group Army Hotels (IHG), the facility located here in Building 308, on 6th Avenue.
Call for reservations, availability of pet-friendly rooms, and maximum duration of stay: 877-711-TEAM, or call the Fort Novosel facility directly at 334-598-5216. Due to high demand during PCS and TDY seasons, booking as far in advance as possible is best.
The closest airport to the fort is Dothan Regional Airport and it is best to discuss your arrival with your sponsor to determine the best option to get to the fort from the Airport. Local ridesharing and taxi services may be available depending on your arrival, demand, and other factors. The fort is approximately 40 minutes from Dothan Regional Airport.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License At Fort Novosel
You and all passengers entering the fort must have an unexpired photo ID, the driver must have current registration and an unexpired license.
Private vehicles are not required to be registered on post. All drivers and passengers are subject to ID checks and searches when entering the base, traveling, or departing. Motorcycle owners may be subject to additional requirements, including a mandatory training class, and required safety equipment.
Fort Novosel Schools
Military families living on-post in permanent housing may send their children to Fort Novosel Primary and Elementary DDESS Schools. Those living in the local community typically send their children to schools in one of the following areas:
- Coffee County School System
- Daleville City School System
- Enterprise City School System
- Domestic Dependent Elementary & Secondary Schools
- Ozark City School System
- Fort Novosel Parker Elementary
To register a new student in an Alabama school, you will need the following documents:
- The child’s Birth Certificate
- The child’s Social Security Number
- The child’s copy of the blue Alabama Certificate of Immunization
- Unofficial copies of school records or the last school’s report card
- Copies of any applicable court custody documents
- Proof of Residency/Military Orders
- Emergency contact information
Alabama state law requires all students attending any classes to show proof of immunizations which may include:
- Second dose Measles, Mumps, Rubella;
- Three-doses DTP
- Three-dose Polio
- Five doses DTP
- Four doses Polio
- Three doses Hepatitis B
- Two doses Hepatitis A
- One dose Varicella/Chicken Pox
Fort Novosel Colleges and Universities
There are on-post and off-post options for higher education at Fort Novosel, including but not limited to the following:
Troy University-Dothan offers undergraduate and graduate courses each term. According to the DoD, “Students can complete Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degrees in several areas in the evenings,” and there is a Bachelor of Applied Science program, which uses “non-traditional credits to complete a field of specialization in several areas.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers both on-post and distance learning courses that can help students earn a Master of Science, Bachelor of Science, or Associate of Science degree.
There are also courses in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program that can be used “to prepare for the FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) testing process.”
Embry-Riddle offers to cover the cost of “all oral, written, and practical exams upon completing the University’s maintenance series and successfully passing the exam.”
Central Texas College offers in-person and online options for earning an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and “a variety of certificate programs.”
The Fort Novosel Army Education Center offers programs “to support service members and their dependents” with tuition assistance, scholarships, and education counseling. Contact the Center at 334-255-2925.
Fort Novosel Contacts
Fort Novosel, AL 36362
Fort Novosel Contact Numbers
- Army Community Service 334-255-3815
- Army Emergency Relief 334-255-2341
- Army Military Pay Office 334-255-3911
- Army Wellness Center 334-255-3923
- Brown Dental Clinic 334-255-3393
- Casualty Assistance 334-255-9081
- Child Development Center 334-255-2262
- Civilian Personnel Advisory Center 334-255-9015
- Directorate Of Family, Morale, Welfare And Recreation 334-255-2100
- Fire Station 334-255-2217
- Fort Novosel Education Center 334-255-2925
- Housing Services 334-255-5989
- ID Cards/Deers 334-255-2182
- In Processing / Out Processing 334-255-1814
- Lyster Army Health Clinic 800-261-7193
- Parent Central Service 334-255-2958
- School Liaison Officer 334-255-9812
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.