The cost of living indexes in Columbia, SC are based on a U.S. average of 100. An amount below 100 means Columbia is cheaper than the U.S. average. A cost of living index above 100 means Columbia, South Carolina is more expensive. Columbia cost of living is 90.8 . Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. The median home price in Columbia is $158,449.
Military CAC or ID Holders
If you are traveling in the same vehicle as a military sponsor (Military ID or Common Access Card holder), you do not need a visitors' pass or background check to enter the installation, provided your visit is escorted by the sponsor. DBIDs cardholders are NOT sponsors. If you are an DBIDS Cardholder, visitors in your vehicle will need to be vetted on to the installation by having a background check.
Visitor Control Center (VCC)<
Hours of Operation: Monday - Sunday, 0500 - 2000 (5:00 a.m. - 8:00 -p.m.)
Location: Bldg. 4297, just inside the main gate (gate 2), exit 12 (off Interstate I-77)
Call (803) 751-6019 for information regarding installation access.
It is no longer permissible to use cell phones while driving a car on post.
General Delivery Mail Services
Military personnel, DoD civilians and their command sponsored family members on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders receive General Delivery mail through the Administrative Service Division (ASD) Official Mail and Distribution Center here at Fort Jackson. General delivery is temporary in nature and those individuals intending to reside off the military installation or in military housing must provide ASD a permanent mailing address within 45 days of checking into the local command or mail shall be returned to sender (RTS). The following rules apply when it comes to General Delivery mail services: (1) Any designated family member with a valid identification card may receive mail for any family member. (2) Restricted Delivery mail can be delivered to an authorized agent by the addressee. (3) The sponsor may state in writing that family members cannot have access to the sponsor's mail. (4) The sponsor cannot control the delivery of mail addressed to the spouse. (5) The sponsor may control delivery of minor family member’s mail. (6) Mail must be held for addressees who are absent temporarily. (7) Addressee may refuse unopened mail by writing the word "Refused" on the front of the envelope or wrapper, sign it, and date it. If the addressee declines to make the endorsement, ASD’s Official Mail Manager (OMM) must write the words "Refused by addressee," date it, and sign it. The OMM will return mail refused by the addressee to the servicing post office for disposition by its class. Any questions concerning General Delivery mail services, please call 803-751-4585.
If you prefer, you may obtain a personal mailbox in advanced by calling UPS (located at the PX) (803) 227-2692.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial (719) 567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
Fort Jackson trains and develops Soldiers in order to build readiness at scale for our Army and provides a community where our Soldiers, Army Civilians, and Families have every opportunity to excel.
Fort Jackson, adjacent to Columbia, S.C. is a 53,000 acre U.S. Army Training Center. Named for President Andrew Jackson-- a South Carolina native -- it was originally established in 1917 when it trained men of the 30th and 81st Infantry Divisions. Between 1925 and 1940 it served as an encampment and training area for the S.C. National Guard. It became a permanent Army garrison in 1940 and lost its former name of Camp Jackson. After World War II Ft. Jackson became a replacement training center. During the Korean War, the 8th and 31st Infantry Divisions trained here. In 1973, Fort Jackson was appointed as a U.S. Army Training Center, and since 1995, Fort Jackson is home to new training facilities and schools; including the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute, the Department of Defense Chaplain Center and School, and the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment. Today, Fort Jackson is the biggest and most active Initial Entry Training center in the entire U.S Army training 50 percent of all Soldiers and 60 percent of the women entering the Army each year.
The Birth of Camp Jackson
The United States declared war on Germany April 7, 1917 and on May 24, 1917, Congress passed War Bulletin Number 32 which authorized the President to increase the American military. On May 19, 1917, Columbia, SC was designated as a site for one of the new Army divisional training camps and by June 2, 1917 the War Department granted final approval for the location of an Army training center in Columbia, SC, and construction began on Camp Jackson.
For the construction of the new Army cantonments, speed was the priority.
In the first phase of construction from June to December 1917, more than 1500 buildings were completed and over the next year another 550 buildings would be added to the camp. Camp Jackson's original building inventory included 119 Officer's quarters, 402 Enlisted barracks, 403 lavatories, 35 additional mess halls, 189 stables, 26 support administrative buildings, 13 post exchanges, 12 guard houses, 51 store houses, 16 shops, 3 garages, 102 sheds, 4 magazines, 7 civic buildings, 3 fire stations, a post office, a laundry building, a bakery, a telephone/telegraph building, a sewage disposal building, and a base hospital with more than 60 buildings. In addition to the buildings, the construction of Camp Jackson included the installation of a water supply and distribution system, a sewage system, an electrical system, telephone/telegraph lines, roads and railroad tracks.
For more information, go the Fort Jackson homepage.
Soldiers, Civilians, Retirees and Family members make up the Fort Jackson community. More than 3,500 active duty Soldiers and their 12,000 Family members are assigned to the installation and make this area their home. About one third of those live in on-post housing. Fort Jackson employs almost 3,500 civilians and provides services for more than 46,000 retirees and their family members. An additional 10,000 students attend courses at the Soldier Support Institute, Armed Forces Chaplain Center, National Center for Credibility Assessment and Drill Sergeant School annually; training in excess of 48,000 basic training and 12,000 additional advanced training Soldiers every year.
Columbia is a city located in Lexington County and Richland County South Carolina. With a 2020 population of 129,482, it is the 2nd largest city in South Carolina (after Charleston) and the 216th largest city in the United States . Columbia is currently declining at a rate of -0.84% annually but its population has increased by 0.16% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 129,272 in 2010. Columbia reached it's highest population of 134,129 in 2016. Spanning over 139 miles, Columbia has a population density of 952 people per square mile.
Columbia, SC is known for being "famously hot," with summer temperatures matching the enormous number of fun things to do in South Carolina's capital city. Whether you're headed to town on business or to drop off your college freshman at the University of South Carolina, here are 10 things to know about the new Southern hot spot so you'll fit right in.
1. Columbia is the first city in the US named for Christopher Columbus. The name Columbia won over the other popular option, Washington.
2. Columbia is affectionately known as the "Soda City" by locals, but not because any soda was invented or manufactured there. Instead, the nickname comes from an old abbreviation of Columbia to "Cola."
3. The Soda City was founded in 1786, but you won't see many 18th or early-19th century buildings there. That's because two-thirds of Columbia burned to the ground during the Civil War when Gen. William T. Sherman entered the city in 1865.
4. The tallest trees east of the Mississippi are just 20 miles outside of town in Congaree National Park. Congaree has more than two dozen "champion trees," or trees that are the largest of their species.
5. Riverbanks Zoo is one of fewer than half a dozen zoos in the US that has a permanent koala exhibit. And yes, they are as adorable as you might imagine.
6. The Dreher Shoals Dam (popularly known as the Lake Murray Dam), a few miles upriver from Columbia, was the largest earthen dam in the world when it was built in 1930. During the great flood of 2015, water behind the dam rose to above flood stage. Every single flood gate in the dam was opened and even the hydroelectric power plant at the base was sacrificed to prevent a breach. The old earthen dam held, possibly saving thousands of lives.
7. Columbia is home to one of only a handful of dedicated puppet theaters in the nation. The Columbia Marionette Theater was built specifically for this unusual art form, and a show there is like no other puppet show you've seen.
8. Assembly Street in downtown Columbia is remarkably wide for a city street of anytime, but it's even more remarkable when you learn it was designed that way in the 18th century. Why so broad? Local lore says it's because the early city planners hoped that it would be too wide for mosquitoes to cross.
9. The first textile mill run completely by electricity in the world opened in Columbia in 1894. The enormous red brick building that housed the mill is now home to the South Carolina State Museum. You can still see tiny bits of the mill's spinning machinery that became embedded in the original wooden floors.
10. Synchronous fireflies, or fireflies that light up all at the same time, are found in only half a dozen places in the entire world. One of them happens to be right outside Columbia, in Congaree National Park. The fireflies put on their show in late May and early June. As a link to the amazing show, the city's minor league baseball team, which started play in 2016, is named the Columbia Fireflies. Some of the team's merchandise even glows in the dark.
Fort Jackson is located in the city of Columbia, SC, which is the state capitol. Columbia offers a diversity of experiences and attractions. Columbia displays its patriotism proudly and is proud to be the home of Fort Jackson, the largest and most active Initial Entry Training Center in the U.S. Army. The Fort Jackson/Columbia area is a moderate cost-of-living area. The base operator's phone number is 803-751-5166/5167 or DSN 312-734-5166/5167.
Directions from AirportColumbia Airport
Exit airport, take I-26 East (toward Charleston); take I-77 North; exit at Exit 12 onto Strom Thurmond Blvd. All Soldiers are required to in-process in Room 200 of the Strom Thurmond Bldg. The Strom Thurmond Bldg. is located at 5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd.
Recommend taking a taxi cab from Airport to Base if no private vehicle.
To in-process Fort Jackson, all permanent party Soldiers are to report to Room 200, 5450 Strom Thurmond Boulevard, during the hours of operation of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday. (NOTE: The in-processing office is closed on Federal holidays and 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 5 p.m.) All incoming permanent party Soldiers that report after normal duty hours are to report to are to report to their Brigade Headquarters to sign in to Fort Jackson.
Exit Airport, take I-485 South (towards Pineville): Take I-77 South (Exit 67) towards Columbia, Exit at Exit 15 onto Strom Thurmond Blvd.
All Soldiers are required to in-process in Room 200 of the Strom Thurmond Bldg. The Strom Thurmond Bldg. is located at 5450 Strom Thurmond Blvd.
To in-process Fort Jackson, all permanent party Soldiers are to report to Room 200, 5450 Strom Thurmond Boulevard, during the hours of operation of 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Monday thru Friday. (NOTE: The in-processing office is closed on Federal holidays and 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 1:30 to 5 p.m.) All incoming permanent party Soldiers that report after normal duty hours are to report to the IHG Army Hotel/Welcome Center, located at 7550 Benning Road to sign in to Fort Jackson.
Arriving on I-26 from the West
Take I-20 East; proceed to I-77 South (Careful not to be diverted to I-77 North); once on I-77 South proceed to Exit 12; proceed onto Ft. Jackson to Strom Thurmond Bldg. or Welcome Center as described above.
Arriving I-26 from East
Take I-77 North to Exit 12; then onto Ft. Jackson to Strom Thurmond Bldg. or Welcome Center as described in paragraph above.
Arriving on I-20 from East
Take I-77 South to exit 12, then to Strom Thurmond Bldg. or Welcome Center, as described in above paragraph.
From bus or train station, have taxi enter by Gate 2, (exit 12) off I-77, Forest Drive gate, then proceed as above.
The Comet Bus Transportation is available on Fort Jackson, website is www.CatchTheComet.org or contact number 803-255-7100.
Fares: As of 9/14/2022 prices are for Basic, Discount*, Express
*Discount Fares are available to:
The COMET offers free programs for DART passengers, youth 39 inches to 15 years old, students in middle and high schools in Richland and Lexington Counties and selected employers. Visit www.CatchTheCOMET.org or call 803-255-7100 for details and more information.
Fort Jackson has Taxicabs that are authorized to transport Soldiers and Family Members on and off post; ride shares, i.e., Uber, Lyft etc. are also allowed on the installation. Taxicabs are normally located at the Main PX parking lot.
The number for base information is 803-751-5166 or DSN 312-734-5166.