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Fort Drum Army Post Review

Your Name (if you would like it to appear):

Sara B

Base Location:

Jefferson County, North Country, Upstate NY

How long have you been here? (give years please, ex. 2003-present)

Oct 08-Present (and for the next 4 years)

What is housing like? On-post? (waiting list, conditions, etc.) Off-post? Any areas to stay away from? Average price to rent or buy?

They are building tons of new houses.  We were on the list for almost a month and a half before we got offered, and with the weather on base is better than off.  The off base housing ranges from a 2/1 for about 800 and up

Rate the PX & Commissary.

It’s all in the same building, along with a food court, game stop, barber shop, beauty shop, Clothing and Sales (open everyday which is nice).  The commissary closes early without any notice, and if you are there after they close they make sure they don’t let you in.

Activities on base?

Lots of BOSS activities (Better Opp. for Single Soldiers, which isn’t just for single soldiers) and lots of stuff through the FMWR

Active Spouses Club?

I’m sure there are, however being new I haven’t found any yet

Things to do in area?

There is a new dog park on base and one in Watertown.

School System?

Lots of schools, however I don’t have school aged kids, but the buses pick up on base and drop back off on base.

Any colleges in area?

Jefferson Community College

Jobs? (on post and off)

AAFES is usually hiring

Favorite aspect of this base/surrounding city?

I love driving around and checking out the older buildings

Least favorite aspect?

The way the people drive and park here, plus coming from TX getting used to the weather is tricky

Any other tips?

Watch out for bad drivers and poor parking, watch out for the snow plows so that your car doesn’t get hit.

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17 Comments

  1. Watertown is nasty and full of low life. Do Not Live off Post unless you can afford to live in an upscale area, which more than likely you can’t. All the off post housing that is affordable, looks like it needs to be condemned. The local’s hate the military too. The utilities are outrageous, along with gas, and if you smoke, get ready to pay $10/pk. The weather is cold, snow, and miserable. You will suffer from seasonal affective disorder if you are from the southern states. There is not much to do unless you like to ski. It’s too freaking cold to do anything else. If you like white trash, overcast or snow, nasty living conditions, digging your car out of 10 feet of snow two or three times a day, then this is the place for you.

    1. Fort Drum is our 13th PCS and by far one of my favorite duty stations ever. I really have to disagree with the above comment about Watertown, the weather and nothing to do. This is, by far, the most welcoming community I’ve experienced. Watertown is like many small eastern cities…old. You really need to see the different neighborhoods before deciding where to live. Due to a 28 month wait for on-post housing, my husband and I had two weeks to find a home and get moved in before he deployed. We ended up buying a home in Watertown. We live in the cutest little neighborhood with just a 3 block walk to my daughter’s school. There are so many activities on and off post and gorgeous, gorgeous locations for outdoor activities. Lake Ontario is right here and there are some BEAUTIFUL beaches.

      As far as the weather goes…well, I’m from Arizona and I spent most of the last 15 years in the southeast. It is cold during the winter, but we really used our air conditioning this summer. Gorgeous snowfall, beautiful autumns and a practically non-stop slew of festivals, parades and activities from spring through mid-fall. There are farmers markets everywhere, great restaurants (though most don’t open until 4 pm…a little weird) and fun, quirky things to do. The only drawback from a personal stand point is the lack of employment opportunities, but that has turned into a bonus for my family with all the activities!

  2. Betsy C.. thank you what all u have said makes me feel alittle better about moving to fort drum.. we are moving in a few weeks and iam very nerves about everything more nerves about being able to afford this move.We have a 2 yr old and im so worried about taking her so far.me and my husband are only 20 yr old.He is so nerves about it all and i was fine with it but hes made me worse then him now!! Ive thought about just staying behind but thats not what i really want to do i just want to make sure our daughter is safe and we can afford evrything!! But thank you i guess evryone has a different view on things 🙂

  3. My son was stationed there for 4 years and he loved it. Everytime we visited the people were very friendly and helpful. We are from Oklahoma and I loved the snow. He loved the area and did lots of sightseeing while he was there. It is a small farming type area with dairys and vinyards. Loved visiting Thousandlakes and Lake Ontario. My son and his wife lived in a Condo off base and it was very nice and ok on the affordable. I just think it was a very nice place.

  4. I have being living here for 15 months now. Sadly it’s being a nightmare. I’m a veteran now married to an active duty, and I have travel to many places, some better than others. But in my experience I’ve never being in such a sickening place like this. First my daughter was sexually molested in a elementary public school of Idian River district , and nothing was done, not by the corrupt police or the racist school administration. I had to put my kids in private school, which don’t come ship. Second, I’m latino and oviously mix race and my husband is white; for that reason everywhere we go we get nasty stares. The culture in this area is a rotten one, I have being thrown things by people in the streets even while im with my kids, and for no other reason but racism. The adjacent towns are very poor and there are many drog addicts in the streets. My opinion is that if you can avoid this place you should. For more opinions about the area there are facebook pages that can help you, army wives of fort drum or related ones. This is not an isolated experience and you can find that out in these sites. Good Luck!

  5. When I first got here I really tried to give this place a chance. Been at fort drum since 2014, the post is nice, very nice housing. It’s the people who make it horrible. Most wives are uptight and think they are too good. People are just plain rude. The very 1st thing I noticed is that no one says “excuse me” I’m from the south and this is just a big deal. People are very racist, I am black and I feel like a fish surrounded by sharks. People stare at you, and just act really weird if you speak to them. Not everyone but about 90%. It really has made me really home sick. And there really are no jobs.

    1. we are currently stationed in hawaii and moving to drum. living off post has been really expensive how is it on post there currently? i would much rather not deal with military spouses but if it is better to live on post financially i would consider it.

    2. Hello Mona
      I would love to connect with families on base. My family is on the way there.how can we connect?

    3. Are you still at Ft Drum? I will be moving their in about 3 months and I would love to get to know people as soon as possible. I am also coming from the south and I am really nervous about how I will fit in. Has things gotten any better for you?

    4. My family will be moving to fort drum soon from Texas and would love to connect with some good families with small children

  6. I’m an active duty officer stationed at Fort Drum. I’m a light skin black guy, my wife is white, and people are extremely racist in the surrounding communities. I think most of the hatred stems from the fact that the locals envy the fact that we have relatively secure jobs and are paid well all things considered; perhaps our experience is rare. Most racist people that I’ve encountered are fearful of speaking their mind to me or expressing that perspective in my presence – I’m guessing it’s because I’m 6’6 and 225lbs and look like a NFL player.

  7. Im a former military member and now me and my family are here due to my husband still being in the service. We’ve being living on base since we move here about 4 years or so. The housing off base is over priced in bad shape and that is not putting into consideración the utilities, especially on the long frigid winter. The public school system available is worst than a third world country. The avarage teacher only posses a certification so dont expect much from them. There are some private schools around if you can afford. Colleges closed by is only a two year degree community college or online from the colleges on the ed center, every other is about an hour or two from post which make it difficult during winter. The on post housing is pretty at least the new ones,BUT the people in it are in a majority as thrashy as it comes. As a former military I know better to not interact with no one more than a good morning and always mind my own business, but this dont stop the trash messing with you. The place is full of those stereotipical army wifies Who’s highest acomplishment in life is marrying a military man and taking credit for their acomplishments. They dont have nothing better to do than gossip, and act like they were in a reality show. Racism on and off base is BAD, and being a multiracial latina with a white husband and mix race kids seems to enfuriate a lot of people. Jobs are hard to find even if you posses a degree, the place is in the middle of nowhere.

  8. I just enlisted as a 68W, and got my first PCS at Fort Drum.
    I’m 20-years-old and a male. Does anyone have any tips about living here, or if it’s good a for a young, single soldier?
    Thanks for any help,
    SPC N.K.

  9. Is this thread still active? After almost a year of combined training AIT, jump school and basic my husband finally got his station orders today. But he already got to station orders at the end of AIT for the 95th in Fayetteville and we were all really excited about that we have family there everything was looking wonderful . But because of delays in Jump School we’ve been reassigned to drum and I can’t stop crying. I had a friend that was stationed there years ago and her whole family hated it that was racist and small and ignorant and cold so cold and I want to be positive and and help my husband and I want to continue to be a Optimist as I’ve always been but I can’t see anything good in this not only is the change in weather and housing and friendliness of people not looking encouraging but they’ve moved my husband from civil Affairs to light Infantry that is being sent to Afghanistan in just a few months. Does anyone have anything good to say about Fort Drum that I can hold on to? please somebody give me a reason not to have a complete mental breakdown . How far would it be to get to New York or Toronto Lake a train ride is the summer okay at least like somebody please give me something because never felt so horrified over a simple change like this we’ve lived a lot of places and it’s never damage our family at all leave before the Army even we traveled all over the world and it was sometimes hard but always okay this sounds like I don’t know How I would go on I had a dream job lined up in Fayetteville and hate the snow I hate snow

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