Each year, up to 50,000 Army recruits are transformed from civilian to soldier at Fort Jackson in Columbia. They come from all backgrounds and from every corner of the country to join the long line of men and women who have kept America free for 240 years.
Fort Jackson last month launched a yearlong celebration of its centennial. When it turns 100 on June 2, 2017, Fort Jackson will have trained an estimated 5 million soldiers. Today, it is the nation’s largest basic training facility.
To commemorate the fort’s anniversary and its impact on Columbia, The State during the next 10 weeks will follow future soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment as they go through “boot camp.” Last week, the recruits received their first taste of Army life, from haircuts to inoculations to indoctrination to the uniforms they will wear throughout their Army careers.
Watch for our coverage in the weeks ahead as we follow members of the next generation of American soldiers. Also, this fall, look for a book we’re publishing on Fort Jackson, its history and its impact on the Midlands.
Did you train at Fort Jackson?
As part of our coverage of Fort Jackson’s centennial celebration, we want to tell the stories of the women and men who trained there through the decades. If you trained there and want to share your story, please write to Associate Editor Paul Osmundson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1401 Shop Road, Columbia, S.C., 29201.