Your Name (if you would like it to appear):
Base Name: Fort Jackson
Base Location: Columbia, SC
How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present) 2006-present
What is housing like? On-post? (Waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy? Not sure about on post housing, I was told it was pretty decent from a couple of friends. 99 officer family units and 1,161 enlisted family units. I currently live off post and I really like the area. There are LOTS of new housing developments in the Northeast part of Columbia (highly favored by military families). I really like living on the Northeast about 15 minutes from base. Average home prices range from $100-250,000. Rent can range from $600-2000. They do have temp lodging with 834 units.
Rate the PX & Commissary. The PX is large with a wide variety of items often busy on Weekends (graduation & family day). Commissary is a pretty good size not as nice the air force commissary. Very busy at the beginning and end of the month of course but a fairly good selection and fast checkout.
Activities on base? Base always has activities for families, couples, and single soldiers. They have free classes for spouses such as tax prep classes sponsored by HR & Block, active and foreign language, and employment readiness. The base has lots of interest groups and clubs that usually meet monthly or weekly.
Active Spouses Club? I know there is some type of organization; I’m not able to participate because of my work schedule.
Things to do in area? Columbia is in the middle of the state (the capital) which is very ideal because you have Charleston about 1.5-2 hours away. Quick travel to beaches or mountains in North Carolina. Columbia has 2 malls, several strip malls, very live downtown with southern cooking, live music, museums, University of South Carolina (football). Several colleges and universities in the area that work really well with the military families and personnel. Columbia is very family friendly with lots of museums, parks, and the Riverbank Zoo. Columbia has several clubs, jazz cafes, lounges, and bars and a comedy house that features comedians from all over & celebrities. Several theaters, movies, and natural parks.
School System? On Post-3 elementary schools and several on post home schools. Off post you have Richland school district 1 & 2. I highly recommend 2 one of the richest districts in the state. I use to be a therapist for the district. Childcare on post-two centers and several approved homes on and off post.
Healthcare? 435-Moncrief Army Community Hospital with Urgent Care. Long lines for urgent care because of soldiers from basic training. Not worth the wait time. Medical services pretty adequate just expect to wait at the pharmacy. You can get refills filled at the PX one new addition to help out. The staff is okay, I have medical care off post since I have a chronic illness but it was very easy to coordinate with Tricare.
Any colleges in area? University of South Carolina, Benedict College and Allen University-Historically black colleges, Columbia College-liberal arts college for women, Columbia International University-evangelical Bible college, South University, Strayer University, Webster University, and University of Phoenix-Columbia, and Midlands Technical College.
Jobs? (on post and off) Not sure but I see lots of civilian employees on base. Great job market off post in the areas of healthcare, administrative, business, banking, telecommunication, construction, education, and retail.
Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city? The location of the city as far as short vacations. I really like the city not a metro area but pretty big with several colleges, hospitals and great shopping. The base is pretty large with lots of activities. I wish I had the time to participate more.
Least favorite aspect? Traffic on base on graduation and family day or when the President decides to attend graduation.
Local websites? (base, chamber, newspaper, schools, etc.) www.jackson.army.mil post, www.thestate.com newspaper, www.richland2.org or www.richlandone.org, www.richlandonline.com Richland county,www.wistv.com news station.
Weather? 5 seasons: Glorious fall, mercifully short winter, gorgeous spring, sweet early summer, and 3-6 weeks you’ll think you live in Hades.
Any other tips? Most people are very friendly. Just relax and enjoy the southern culture. Make sure to visit downtown and try some southern cuisine.