U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton Base Guide
Fort Hamilton is an Army base in Brooklyn, New York located in the center of the New York metro area.
Like many Army bases, Fort Hamilton is full of history. The Harbor Defense Museum on post is just one of the installation’s buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Other notables from the fort also included on the Register include Colonels Row, the Fort Hamilton Community Club, and Lee House.
This base features a truly joint military service environment, including Guard and Reserve Units. Fort Hamilton supports the New York City Recruiting Battalion, Military Entrance Processing Station, North Atlantic Division Headquarters of the US Army Corp of Engineers, and the 1179th Deployment Support Brigade, to name a few.
The earliest known use of the area (for defense purposes) that would be later designated as Fort Hamilton may have occurred as early as July 4, 1776. A group based itself on the future site of Fort Hamilton and fired at British vessels trying to resupply Redcoats as they fought in the American Revolution.
What we know today as Fort Hamilton began in 1831 as a coastal defense operation. The installation, named after Alexander Hamilton, was meant to support Fort Lafayette and provide security in an area known locally as “ the narrows” between Staten Island and Brooklyn.
World War One brought a wave of Army trainees arriving to prepare for service in Europe, and the area would serve in a similar capacity in the next World War. By the end of World War Two, the military’s coastal defense operations were thought to be obsolete and many of those defense features (anti-aircraft batteries, for example) were taken down.
Today Fort Hamilton serves the DoD by supporting a large range of missions. A DoD official site describes the fort as “a power projection platform in the New York City Metropolitan area.”
The Fort hosts the New York City Recruiting Battalion, the New York Military Entrance Processing Station, and the North Atlantic Division Headquarters of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Fort Hamilton also supports the United States Army Reserve, New York Army National Guard, and DoD civilian operations.
Brooklyn is well-situated for those stationed here or coming on TDY orders. If you’re new to the area and want to explore New York City, you’ll find easy access to New York City by rail, bus, taxi, or ridesharing apps. Brooklyn is about 26 minutes from New York City’s Lower Manhattan district.
New York City is famous for its Broadway shows, live concerts at Radio City Music Hall and various events at Madison Square Garden. If you’re interested in the arts, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), The Solomon Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art are all incredibly popular destinations.
Fort Hamilton is conveniently located for East Coast travel, but you may need to build in some extra time in transit depending on the time of day and time of year when you’re exploring the East Coast.
Some like to take a bus or train to Washington D.C. or Baltimore, fly to Boston, or spend time in the Hamptons. Remember that rush hour traffic and tourist season will complicate travel.
Taxis, train service, and airport check-in delays are likely during peak travel times. That 26-minute commute from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan we mentioned at the beginning of this section? The actual driving distance is approximately 5 miles.
Mission and Units
Known as “the face of the Army in New York City.” Fort Hamilton hosts the North Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The post supports the second largest Military Entrance Processing Station in the United States and an equally large Army Recruiting Battalion “with over 300 Soldiers stationed throughout NYC committed to enlisting into our Army talented and qualified volunteers from across the area,” according to Army literature.
Important units at Fort Hamilton have included;
- 8th Medical Brigade
- New York City Health Care Recruitment Team
- 344th CSH (HUS)
- 1179th Deployment Control Group
- 5th Medical Brigade
- 427th Detachment
- 7238th US Army Hospital
- New York City Recruiting Battalion
- U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton
- Naval Criminal Investigation Services
- 722nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron
- New York Military Entrance Processing Station
In-Processing and Check-In
Military and civilian newcomers arriving at Fort Hamilton on PCS orders or the civilian equivalent must report to the visitor’s center next to the Fort Hamilton main gate. All newcomers must obtain a visitor’s pass to be allowed on the installation.
Inprocessing is done through the soldier’s gaining unit and the Military Personnel office. Call the office for more information at 718-630-4557.
Fort Hamilton is served by the Child Development Center (CDC), offering care for children from six weeks of age to five years old.
Hourly and full-time daycare options are available; a waiting list may apply depending on the time of year, demand, and other variables. Some respite care options may also be offered depending on demand and mission requirements.
Full-day care is available during the school year; fees are based on family income. New arrivals should know the Fort Hamilton CDC program is certified by the Department of Defense and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Contact the Child Development Center at 718-630-4079.
Overall, New York and the East Coast can be more expensive than many other duty locations in the Continental United States (CONUS.) Because of the high cost of living, those PCSing to Fort Hamilton are typically encouraged to apply for privatized military housing.
Balfour Beatty Communities operates on-post housing at the Fort. Contact them directly at 718-333-5815 if you are being reassigned to the fort and need to discuss housing waiting list times or assistance finding an affordable home in the local area.
Unaccompanied service members are directed to contact their sponsor about the availability of on-post unaccompanied housing.
Related: BAH Calculator
PCS and TDY Lodging
The Intercontinental Hotel Group Army Hotel (IHG) serves Fort Hamilton, but if you have temporary lodging needs, you also have the option of trying the Navy Lodge at Fort Wadsworth, just a short drive away. Advance reservations are required; contact IHG at 718-439-2340 or the Navy Lodge at 718-442-0413.
Depending on when and where you arrive in New York, your commute to the base or to off-post lodging may be complicated by heavy rush-hour traffic.
Ride-sharing and taxi services are available from most major airports depending on the time and date of your arrival but consider discussing your arrival in NYC with your sponsor for best results.
The nearest major airports (30 miles away or less) to Fort Hamilton include:
- LaGuardia Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport
- Teterboro Airport
- Morristown Municipal Airport
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Troops are no longer required to register a vehicle on the post or obtain a vehicle decal.
According to Army literature, “All persons age 18 and over must have a valid purpose and authorized state or government issued photographic (photo) identification (ID) for access to Fort Hamilton. Persons age 17 and under are not required to present photo ID unless operating a motor vehicle.”
All vehicles operating on post must comply with New York State law regarding mandatory insurance, safety equipment, and other laws. You must have a current unexpired vehicle registration and driver’s license.
With more than 30 school districts in the New York City area, parents have plenty of options for school-age children depending on where they live.
In the past, the Fort Hamilton official site has noted that most on-post families will send their children to District 20 schools. The area features multiple school districts, and each district may have dozens of schools.
Transfers and new student enrollment are done at the local level, and in many cases, you’ll have to visit the school you wish to send your child to register. High school enrollment may be handled differently; in the past, those school assignments have been accomplished on a space-available basis.
For new enrollments, expect to hand-carry the following documentation to the new school:
- Birth certificate
- Shot records
- Social Security Number
- Proof of physical exam
- Proof of parent/custodian address
- Custody or guardian papers filed through a court (where applicable)
Contact the Fort Hamilton School Liaison Office at 718-630-4805 for more information on transfers, school choices, and new enrollments.
Colleges and Universities
Many colleges and universities are in Brooklyn, where Fort Hamilton is situated. There are even more opportunities in New York City.
The Fort Hamilton Site Education Center provides assistance navigating these options for both on-post and off-base colleges.
Call them at 718-630-4715 to learn about how to use your GI Bill, military Tuition Assistance, or state-level military benefits options you may qualify for. Brooklyn-area colleges (not necessarily on-post) include but are not limited to:
- Beth Hatalmud Rabbinical College
- Boricua College
- Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts
- Brooklyn College
- Brooklyn Law School
- Brooklyn Music School
- Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College
- Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema
- Institute of Design and Construction
- LIU Global
- Long Island University
- Medgar Evers College
- New York City College of Technology
- New York University Tandon School of Engineering
- NYU Tandon Digital Learning
- Pratt InstituteSt. Francis College
- St. Joseph’s University, New York
- SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide
Fort Hamilton Contacts
Brooklyn, NY, United States
Important Fort Hamilton Contact Numbers
- Operator – (718) 630-4101
- Emergency – 911
- Relocation Readiness Program – (718) 630-4462
- Survivor Outreach Services – (718) 630-4467
- Army Volunteer Corps – (718) 630-4498
- ID and CAC Card Processing – (718) 630-4557
- Army Community Service – (718) 630-4754
- Employment Readiness – (718) 630-4756
- Morale, Welfare and Recreation – (718) 630-4758
- Visitor Control Center – (718) 630-4848
- Suicide Prevention Hotline – (800) 273-8255
- National Sexual Assault Hotline – (800) 656-4673
- Civilian Personnel Advisory Center – (718) 630-4809
- New York Military Entrance Processing Station – (718) 630-4870
- Child Development Center (CDC) – (718) 630-4079
- School Age Services – (718) 630-4518
- Federal Credit Union – (718) 492-0600
- Consumer Affairs and Financial Planning – (718) 630-4471
- Financial Readiness Program – (718) 630-4498
- Legal Office – (718) 630-4743
- Victim Advocacy Program – (718) 630-4754
- Financial Management Office – (718) 630-4778
- TRICARE – (877) 874-2273
- Brooklyn Veterans Hospital – (718) 836-6600
- Holiday Inn Express (IGH) – (718) 439-2340
- Balfour Beatty Communities – (718) 630-4697
- Barracks and Single Service Member Housing – (718) 630-4785
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.