When deciding where to station, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such proximity to family, children school systems, or desire to live in a certain region. Other aspects are coveted by nearly everybody: job satisfaction, quality of life, and proximity to entertainment. Ranking the best places to station as an Infantry Officer or Soldier, we gathered data on these crucial components for the best assignments. Here are our results.
Keep reading to discover the best locations to be stationed.
- Caserma Carlo Ederle, Italy: The home of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team is located near Vicenza, Italy with a population of 875k tops our list as our number 1 choice. The 173rd is a storied unit of sky soldiers. Expect this unit to be disciplined, with smart leaders and soldiers. You’ll enjoy your free time touring Italy, and can take a day trip to cities like Milan with a population of over a million people. Cons: The only negative thing about Italy is the lack of training area near base. Large scale exercises will need to be conducted elsewhere. Also, you’re stuck in a three year DEROS or Date Estimated Return From Overseas. If you’re an Officer, this long duration of assignment will greatly reduce your chances of a nominative assignment as a Platoon Leader in Ranger Regiment or the Old Guard. But why would you ever want to leave Italy in the first place?
- Schofield Barracks, Hawaii: The home of 2nd and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Teams of 25th Infantry Division, and the home of the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters, is located in Schofield Barracks located 23 miles from Honolulu. This island of Oahu has a population of almost a million people. There a dozens of beautiful beaches that boast some of the world’s greatest surfing. This light infantry unit is the Army’s experts on jungle warfare, and hosts its own Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC). These are tough and discipline Soldiers who train on warfare in the Pacific. All major exercises are conducted on Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA) on the Big Island. Also, anticipate exotic training opportunities in South East Asian countries with Pacific allies. Cons: You can drive around the island of Oahu in a couple hours. Also, there’s a saying on Oahu that you’ll see every person on the island atleast twice. It gets to feel pretty small. You’ll need to go island hoping, and plan trips to the mainland to prevent Island Fever.
- Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER), Alaska: The home of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of 25th Infantry Division, and the home of US Army Alaska Headquarters is located near Anchorage, Alaska with a population of 300k. JBER is often overlooked as a choice post, but the beautiful scenery, and opportunities for outdoor recreation make it a great assignment. 4th BCT is an Airborne unit, and the necessary artic survival skills create a culture for the most disciplined unit in the Army. Also, you’ll reap the rewards of the Alaska Permanent Fund (APFC) which is a sizeable yearly benefit. Cons: The bitter cold in the winter takes a while to get used to. So does the extended daylight in the summer, and extended darkness in the winter.
- Grafenwoehr, Germany: The home of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and 7th Army Training Command, is located outside Vilseck with a population of a mere 7k. The 7th Army Training Command, provides military training solutions to U.S., Allied and Partner Nation forces in Europe, and Africa. This unique experience will expose you to operating in a training center as the opposing force. Nuremburg is an hour drive with a population of 500k. You’ll enjoy your long weekends touring the European countryside. Cons: 2nd CR is a training unit which means you will have an exhausting schedule with frequent field problems to the same training center. You will learn a lot, but it may feel redundant.
- Fort Carson, Colorado: The home of the 1st Stryker BCT, 2nd Infantry BCT, and 3rd Armor BCT of the 4th Infantry Division, and the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters is located near Colorado Springs with a population of 446k. You’ll enjoy morning PT running up the banana belt with some of the finest mechanized infantry Soldiers in the Army. On the weekends you’ll have access to some of the best skiing in the country only a short drive from post. Cons: It’s hard to say anything bad about this assignment, but if don’t like cold weather or outdoors, look elsewhere.
- Fort Bragg, North Carolina: The home of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Teams of 82nd Airborne Division is located near Fayetteville with a population of 204k. This is also the home of XVII Airborne Corps, and FORSCOM Headquarters. 82nd Airborne Division is the Global Response Force (GRF) and the most ready unit in the Army. These paratroopers are ready to go, and are always on high alert. The unit is well funded, and Fort Bragg has some of the best ranges and training opportunities in the US Army. Fort Bragg is the often called the center of the universe for the Infantryman, and it produces some of the most successful officers of all branches. Cons: Fayetteville is often referred to as Fayette-Nam because of its high crime rate and seedy establishments. Take a drive to Raleigh, which is an hour away, to get away on a Saturday night.
- Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), Washington: The home of the 1st and 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Teams of 2nd Infantry Division is located near Tacoma with a population of 205k. Also on JBLM is the 7th Infantry Division Headquarters, and I Corps Headquarters. These two SBCTs report to 7th Infantry Division Headquarters, a TDA HQ established for command and control since 2nd Infantry Division Headquarters is forward in Camp Humphreys, Korea. The Strykers are the premier Infantry vehicles in the Army. The infantry units are equipped to the teeth with Soldiers and equipment. You’ll enjoy the great outdoors of Washington State, and Seattle is only a couple hours drive. Cons: Washington gets a lot of rainfall, so get used to a lot of soggy field problems.
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky: The home of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Teams of 101st Airborne Division is located near Clarksville, Tennessee with a population of 146k. 101st Soldiers are experts in Air Assault, and some of the best Infantrymen in the Army. This well-disciplined unit produces great officers. There is ample training area, and the units have high spirit esprit de corps. Nashville is just a short drive away. Cons: The summers in Kentucky can be very muggy, make sure to bring extra water in the summer, and stay hydrated.
- Fort Stewart, Georgia: The home of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, and the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division located near Hinesville with a population of 39k. This base is a short ride to Savannah, and the likes of Tybee Island, and other south eastern beach locations. You’ll learn to sing the Dog Face Soldier, conduct live fires in the hills of Georgia with these steely eyed killers. Cons: The town in close proximity to the gate have above average crime rate, you’ll want to live a little further away from base.
- Fort Riley, Kansas: The home of the 1st, and 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Teams of the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One), and the 1st Infantry Division Headquarters is located near Junction City with a population of 25k. The nearby Kansas State University is located nearby in Manhattan, and provides a social college town atmosphere. Cons: It’s an Infantry Division made out of two Armored BCTs.
- Fort Wainwright, Alaska: The home of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team of 25th Infantry Division is located near Fairbanks with a population of 32k. These disciplined Arctic warfighters face some of the coldest conditions on the planet with temperatures reaching as low as -60F. The area itself is very desolate in the northeastern portion of Alaska, with the nearby tourist attraction the North Pole. The closest big city is Anchorage, and it’s within driving a few hours driving distance depending on snow conditions. This is quite possibly the best place for hunting and fishing in the US. Cons: It extremely cold, and isolated.
- Fort Benning, Georgia: Home of the 1/28th Infantry Regiment Battalion Task Force of 3rd Infantry Division near Columbus with a population of 200k. This BN Task Force, 1,050 Soldiers Commanded by an O-6 Colonel, is the remains of the former 3rd Brigade of 3rd Infantry Division that took force reductions during sequestration. It is the only Battalion Task Force in the Army. These Dog Face Soldiers didn’t travel far from Sand Hill, the Infantry One Station Unit Training Course on Fort Benning. The Infantry Platoon Leaders and Company Commanders also attend Infantry Basic Officer Course, and Maneuver Career Course (respectively) on Fort Benning. It’s also the home of 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the Army Airborne, and Ranger Schools. It you were looking for a way to stay in one location as an Infantry Officer, this is the place to go. Cons: Exits 1-6 off 395 in Columbus are a little dicey. You’ll need to live a little bit up north to keep safe.
- Fort Hood, Texas: Home of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Teams of 1st Cavalry Regiment, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Squadrons of 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) is near Killeen with a population of 138k. Fort Hood is the largest Army base in terms of training area. The gunnery ranges are some of the best in the Army. You’ll enjoy weekends on the lake at Belton Lake, and Lake Travis. Austin is just an hour’s drive. Cons: If you joined the Army to be an Infantry Officer, you’ll be taken aback by the deep Cavalry culture on this base. Stetson’s, spurs, and tanker boots, were just not meant to be worn on an Infantryman.
- Fort Bliss, Texas: Home of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Teams of the 1st Armored Division, as well as the 1st Armored Division Headquarters is located near El Paso with a population of 679k. You’ll enjoy being a Mechanized Infantry Platoon leader in some of the toughest Bradley Fighting Vehicles in the Army. There is a lot to do in the town of El Paso with a high population close to the Mexican border. Cons: Unfortunately, US Soldiers are not permitted to go to Juarez because of the high crime rates.
- Fort Drum, New York: The home of the 1st, and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat of 10th Mountain Division and the 10th Mountain Division Headquarters is near Watertown with a population of 27k. There are no Soldiers tougher than these mountaineers training in traversing adverse terrain in cold weather conditions. You’re less than a day’s drive from Montreal and other beautiful Canadian cities. Cons: The deep snow, and desolate nearby areas make this place difficult to live in the winter.
- Fort Irwin, California: The home of the 11th Cavalry Regiment, and the National Training Center is located near Barstow with a population of 25k. You’ll spend most of your time “In The Box” outmaneuvering your Platoon against a lesser experienced unit 12 months out of the year as part of the OPFOR for the National Training Center. You’ll break away to Las Vegas for long weekends. Cons: You’re literally in the middle of the desert.
- Fort Polk, Louisiana. The home of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, the 1/509th Infantry Regiment, and the Joint Readiness Training Center is located near Leesville with a population of 6k. This is the home of training for the Infantry. Whether you’re part of the BCT or the OPFOR 1/509th Geronimo, you’ll master your craft as an Infantryman. Cons: Temperatures get to over 100F in the summer, and there isn’t much to do in the area.