Fort Riley, Kansas


Victory Run at Fort Riley
Photo: Flickr/The U.S. Army

Fort Riley, "Home of the Big Red One", is known for its training, recreational opportunities, history, and excellent relations with surrounding communities. Located where the Smoky Hill meets the Republican rivers, the Fort's establishment was one of the first steps toward the growth of this territory and has played a major place in American history since 1853. Created as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon-California and Santa Fe trails, Fort Riley has had an important role in the defense of our nation and the training of our soldiers. Soldiers from Fort Riley continue to be deployed to areas in all corners of the world. From southwest Asia to the Caribbean and the Balkans, Fort Riley Soldiers are engaged in peacekeeping and nation-building missions.

Fort Riley's large open areas allow the handling of Battalion Task Force level maneuvers and live fire training. Every weapon system in a heavy division's inventory is able to be tested and fired on their training grounds. Fort Riley has the largest most capable railhead facility in the Army, that can load a division-sized unit in approximately 5 days.

Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennett C. Riley who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail.

Fort Riley's mission is to work in close partnership with local, regional and state communities to provide trained and ready forces to meet Joint Force requirements across the full spectrum of current and future operations; transforms and manages unit readiness as directed by the Army Campaign Plan; executes unit re-stationing as directed by FORSCOM; executes garrison operations as directed by Installation Management Command, and conducts homeland defense operations and supports civil authorities.

Location/Driving Directions

Official Army graphic

Fort Riley is located one hour west of Topeka in northeastern Kansas. Fort Riley covers 100,656 acres in both Geary and Riley counties. The mostly military town of Junction City and Manhattan, the home Kansas State University are the nearest local towns. There are a number of small country towns and a great deal of farm land in this area. Kansas City, Home to the Kansas City Chiefs is about 2 ½ hours away.

If you are arriving by air you need to book through to Manhattan, KS or Kansas City, MO. You will need to make arrangements to use one of two ground shuttle services from KCI; whose toll free numbers are: 1-800-826-8294 or 1-800-747-2524. Fort Riley is located north of Interstate 70, at exit 301, 125 miles west of Kansas City, Kansas.

Directions from Kansas City International Airport (KCI)

After you exit the airport area, travel on 435 South until you see the exit for I-70 west, which will take you onto the Turnpike. Stay on the Turnpike until you get to the Topeka Exit . Stay on the Interstate until exit 301.

Arriving from the East of Fort Riley

If you travel by vehicle, please note that Kansas City is a 3-hour drive and Topeka is an hour away. Main roadways to travel on: Turnpike from Kansas City and Interstate (I-70) from Topeka.

From Salina , One Hour West

Take I-70 East until you reach exit 301.

From Wichita 2 hours Southwest of Fort Riley

Take I-135 North out of Wichita until you reach I-70 east until you reach exit 301.

Population/Major Units Assigned

US Army Soldiers travel by bus
By T. Anthony Bell, Fort Lee Public Affairs (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Riley is home to more than 10,000 soldiers. Population assigned-served 42,264; Active Duty Officer 1,117; Active Duty Enlisted 9,252; Family Members 12,020; Retirees 16,249 (Army 5,860 and Other Services 10,389); Civilian Work Force 3,626.

Major Commands at Fort Riley are: 24TH Infantry Division, 1ST BDE/1ST Infantry Division(MECH), 3RD BDE/1ST Armor Div and 937TH ENG Group

Main Phone Numbers

Official Army graphic

Commercial (785)239-3911 or DSN 856-3911

Temporary lodging: (785)239-2830

Housing: (785)239-3525

Picerne Military Housing: 785-717-2200

Army Community Service: (785)239-9435

Child Care: (785)239-4847

Health care: Appointments/benefits/Tricare (785)784-1200

Commissary: (785)239-2921

Exchange: (785)784-4672

Temporary Lodging

Military woman in her house
Gary John Norman/DigitalVision/Getty Images

The Fort Riley Army Lodging Front Desk is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is located in Carr Hall, 45 Barry Avenue, on Main Post.

Fort Riley Army Lodging's mission is to provide clean, comfortable lodging along with a pleasant, customer-oriented staff for all eligible personnel. While There is a priority to serve Temporary Duty and Permanent Change of Station travelers, other guests are housed when space is available.

Fort Riley Lodging has 111 transient housing units. During the PCS season Fort Riley Army Lodging is often fully booked. If you have reservations please make sure you keep your confirmation number with you, this is your proof of reservation, without it your room may be assigned to someone else. Advance reservations are required and can be made through one of the following methods:

  • Phone Commercial (785) 239-2830
    or call Toll Free 1-800-GO-ARMY-1 and ask to be connected to Fort Riley.
    Fax to (785) 239-8882
    Email a message to

Lodging will provide a Certificate of Non-Availability for TDY Soldiers when there is no space available. If the PCS Soldier has to go off-post for temporary lodging, Fort Riley Army Lodging will provide them with a Temporary Lodging Expense form in order to get reimbursed for the expence.


military family in front of house
Getty Images/KidStock

The Housing Services Office is located in Carr Hall (45 Barry Avenue). The hours of operation are 0800 to 1700. You may contact the Housing Services Office by calling (785) 239-3525, DSN 856-3525. All Soldiers reporting to Fort Riley are required to report to the Housing Services Office prior to entering a rental agreement offpost.

Fort Riley has over 3,000 sets of Family Quarters that accommodate approximately 53% of eligible families. There are 395 officer family units; 2,227 enlisted family units; 47 unaccompanied personnel units. The O'Donnell Heights housing project is a great improvement to the Fort's "Quality of Life," with barrack renovation's and upgrades continuing. All quarters are equipped with a range and a refrigerator. Each unit is equipped with central heating and air conditioning. Housing will be modified as needed to accommodate the accessibility needs of exceptional family members.

There is a waiting list for housing, so there is little chance that quarters will be available immediately. Therefore, temporary lodging should be secured in advance prior to arriving with your family. Lodging is not given automatically and you must be prepared to pay for temporary lodging while you secure more permanent living quarters on or off post.

Fort Riley is located in a fairly rural area and the towns nearby are not large. Housing is available in the community; however, choice of housing types may be limited.

Single E6 and below are required to reside in the barracks, unless barracks space is not available. A service member married to another service member who is stationed elsewhere and who is entitled BAH at the without dependant rate will also be required to reside in the barracks.


Children reading in a classroom
Tetra Images/Jamie Grill/Getty Images

The School Liaison Officer can provide school information to parents prior to arrival at Fort Riley and assist with school related issues while your family is stationed at Fort Riley and facilitate a smooth transition for families who are departing from Fort Riley. Additionally, the SLO partners with area school districts to help them meet the unique needs of their military students. Office hours for the Ft. Riley School Liaison Officer are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 5 pm and contact information is as follows: Phone: (785) 239-9587/1648 Address: School Liaison Officer, 6620 Normandy Drive, Fort Riley, KS 66442.

Fort Riley schools are part of the public school district administered by Geary County Unified School District 475, Junction City, Kansas. Students living on post will attend one of five elementary schools or a middle school located on post. The five elementary schools on Fort Riley are Morris Hill, Jefferson, Custer Hill, Fort Riley, and Ware. All elementary schools have grades kindergarten-5. Fort Riley Middle School serves students in grades 6-8. High School students living on Fort Riley attend Junction City High School. Students living off-post may attend on-post schools if the transfer is for the benefit of the student, and if the gaining school has room. A number of public and private school districts are attended by military students living off post.

Students new to Geary County Schools USD 475 must provide the following: Kansas Certificate of Immunization with proof of required immunizations, Child Health Assessment, birth certificate (required for Kdg.), current passport or driver's license, transcripts, KSHSAA physical examination (7th - 12th grade students).

The Fort Riley has a Homeschool Group for homeschoolers who are presently stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Child Care

Teacher and toddlers in daycare
Getty Images/Jupiterimages/Stockbyte

Fort Riley's Child Development Center (CDC), Family Child Care (FCC) and School Age Services (SAS) programs are DoD certified. . All programs that are offered through Child and Youth Services (CYS) are processed through Central Enrollment Registry. All active duty military personnel, DoD civilian personnel, reservist on active duty, retirees, and DoD contractors are eligible to register for the child care programs and services. The program fees are based on DoD fee guidelines. All fees except hourly care fees are based on your total family income.

The Child, Youth & School Services main building is located at 6620 Normandy Dr. on Custer Hill, phone (785) 239-4920.

Documents required for Registration include the following: Military / Civilian Identification Card, Shot Records, Proof of total family income, Health Assessment or Well Baby Check Up, Sport Physical required to valid through the selected sport season, 2 Local Emergency Designees, Family Care Plan (Single or Dual Military Only).

Fort Riley Child Development Center (CDC) offers high quality developmental programs for children that support mission readiness and quality of life for the Fort Riley Community. Age requirements are 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The phone number to call for information is 785-239-9935.

Any children with a special need will need to work with the CDC and the Exceptional Family Member Coordinator at Army Community Service.

The CDC offers Full-day care, part-day Preschool and hourly care services for children 4 weeks to 12 years old.

FCC homes offer high quality care provided by a military family member in both on- and off-post homes.

The School Age Services program consists of before and after school care, full-day care on "no- school" days and summer camp for children in Kindergarten - 5th grade.

Medical Care

Fort Riley Soldiers dressed in periodic military uniforms represented Soldiers from all war eras during the Army's 233rd Birthday celebration in front of the U.S. Cavalry Museum on Main Post.
Photo courtesy U.S. Army; Photo Credit: Dena O'Dell

Irwin Army Community Hospital (IACH) serves the personnel of Fort Riley. Opened and dedicated in February 1958, IACH was named in honor of Brigadier General Bernard John Dowling Irwin, Medical Corps (1830-1917). Irwin Army Community Hospital is a 44-bed facility, serving a population in excess of 30,000 active duty, family members of active duty, with retired military and family members of retired military. From the start of operation in 1958, IACH has continually been fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Specialty care may or may not be available, depending on the need. If care is unavailable on the installation, then services can be located out in the local community. There is Emergency Medical Care and Mental Health Care available at IACH.

Family members of military spouses must be enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS). If not, routine medical treatment can be denied. Enrollment can be done at the ID Card Section.

Patient Appointment hours are from 7:30am - 4:15pm. Appointments can be made by calling (785) 239-DOCS (3627). The Patient Representative Office can be reached at (785) 239-7739.

Dental care services are available to active duty military with only emergency dental care offered to other eligible individuals. When services are unavailable, those eligible for medical/dental care are referred to TRICARE.