Cost of Living
The cost of living index for Manhattan, KS is 94 and the cost of living index for Junction City is 82.5, with the national average being 100. This means the Fort Riley area cost of living is about 10% below the national average. The median property value is $190,400 in Manhattan and $122,900 in Junction City.
Fort Riley Overview
The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley build and maintain combat-ready forces and deploy these forces in an expeditionary manner to conduct Decisive Action to fight and win in complex environments as members of a Joint, Inter-organizational, and Multinational (JIM) team.
Fort Riley, is an Installation of Excellence, working 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. Fort Riley manages and maintains 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.
It is a great place to Live, Train, Deploy from, and Come Home To and Retire at. No Mission to Difficult, No Sacrifice to Great, Duty First, Service Always!
Fort Riley's history stretches back more than 150 years, as the nation began to focus its attention on overland trails like Oregon and Santa Fe, which were arteries of immigration and commerce.Selection of the fort's site occurred in the fall of 1852 and Soldiers began to garrison the post the following spring. Following the end of the Civil War, Fort Riley's mission changed to protect the workers building railroads from hostile Plains Indians. In 1866, the 7th Cavalry was organized at Fort
Riley under the leadership of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. During the next three decades, Soldiers used Fort Riley as a staging area for protecting the expanding frontier. As a new century neared, the fort was selected as an important fixture in the Army's educational system. In 1892, the School of Cavalry and Light Artillery began operation, succeeded by the Mounted
Service School in 1907, which was eventually renamed the Cavalry School following World War I. The school served as the center for the study and application of cavalry tactics and training. The principles learned by officers including Johnathan Wainwright, Terry Allen, George S. Patton Jr., and others would be put to use in future campaigns and on distant battlefields.
Fort Riley served as a training center during all of the major wars of the 20th century. Training centers were established at Camp Funston, and later, Camp Forsyth, where Soldiers learned skills that would be tested in the trenches of World War I and far-flung battlefields of World War II; the cold of Korea; the jungles of Vietnam; and the sands of Southwest Asia.
Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennett C. Riley who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon-California and Santa Fe trails. Fort Riley has always had an important role in the defense of our nation and the training of our Soldiers.
The early history of Fort Riley is closely tied to the movement of people and trade along the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. These routes, a result of the United States perceived "manifest destiny" in the middle of the 19th century, extended American domination and interests into far reaches of a largely unsettled territory. During the 1850s, a number of military posts were established at strategic points to provide protection along these arteries of emigration and commerce.
In the fall of 1852, a surveying party under the command of Capt. Robert Chilton, 1st U.S. Dragoons, selected the junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers as a site for one of these forts. This location, approved by the War Department in January 1853, offered an advantageous location from which to organize, train and equip troops in protecting the overland trails.
Surveyors believed the location near the center of the United States and named the site, Camp Center. During the late spring, three companies of the 6th Infantry occupied the camp and began construction of temporary quarters.
On June 27, 1853, Camp Center became Fort Riley -- named in honor of Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Riley who had led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail in 1829. The "fort" took shape around a broad plain that overlooked the Kansas River valley.
The fort's design followed the standard frontier post configuration: buildings were constructed of the most readily available material - in this case, native limestone.
In the spring, troops were dispatched to escort mail trains and protect travel routes across the plains. At the fort, additional buildings were constructed under the supervision of Capt. Edmund Ogden.
Anticipating greater utilization of the post, Congress authorized appropriations in the spring of 1855 to provide additional quarters and stables for the Dragoons. Ogden again marshaled resources and arrived from Leavenworth in July with 56 mule teams loaded with materials, craftsmen and laborers.
Work had progressed several weeks when cholera broke out among the workers. The epidemic lasted only a few days but claimed 70 lives, including Ogden's. Work gradually resumed and buildings were readied for the arrival in October of the 2nd Dragoons.
As the fort began to take shape, an issue soon to dominate the national scene was debated during the brief territorial legislative session which met at Pawnee in the present area of Camp Whitside.
The first territorial legislature met there in July 1855. Slavery was a fact of life and an issue within garrison just as it was in the rest of the country. The seeds of sectional discord were emerging that would lead to "Bleeding Kansas" and eventually, civil war.
Increased tension and bloodshed between pro and anti-slavery settlers resulted in the use of the Army to "police" the troubled territory. They also continued to guard and patrol the Santa Fe Trail in 1859 and 1860 due to increased Indian threats.
The outbreak of hostilities between the North and South in 1861 disrupted garrison life. Regular units returned east to participate in the Civil War while militia units from Kansas and other states used Riley as a base from which to launch campaigns to show the flag and offer a degree of protection to trading caravans using the Santa Fe Trail. In the early stages of the war, the fort was used to confine Confederate prisoners.
Following Operation Desert Storm, the 1st Infantry Division returned to Fort Riley. But the winds of change were once again blowing across the Army and affected the post. The Cold War of the past four decades was being replaced by new realities in Eastern Europe with the crumbling of the Iron Curtain. Budget cuts and revised strategic thinking resulted in troop cutbacks.
In the spring of 1996, Headquarters of the 1st Infantry Division was transferred from Fort Riley to Germany. A brigade of the Big Red One remained at the post along with a brigade of the 1st Armored Division and the 937th Engineer Group.
On June 5, 1999, Fort Riley once again became a Division Headquarters with the reactivation of the 24th Infantry Division (Mech).
The events of 9-11 and its aftermath brought great changes to Fort Riley. As in past conflicts, the fort became a staging and mobilization center for reserve and active army units as our nation fought a global war on terrorism. Units of the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division deployed to Southwest Asia.
On August 1, 2006, the 24th Infantry Division colors were cased and the 1st Infantry Division headquarters returned to Fort Riley from Germany.
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. They continue to hone their skills by periodic deployments to the National Training Center located at Fort Irwin, California.
Like the Soldiers from previous generations - who have trained, stood ready and deployed - the Soldiers assigned to Fort Riley today look back across a long history of serving and defending our nation. Their sacrifices are many and sometimes the thanks are short – but they fulfill their obligations and duties in a tradition of selfless service. With this sense of duty and dedication that has always been a hallmark of the Army; these Soldiers take these same values into the first decade of the 21st century.
For more information visit the Fort Riley Homepage.
Population data reflects the surrounding Flint Hills Region including Clay County, Dickinson County, Geary County, Morris County, Pottawatomie County, Riley County, Saline County, and Wabaunsee County.
Soldiers - Fort Riley authorized troop strength numbers have reduced in previous years as a result of mandated DOD force reductions. Assigned strength numbers are expected to remain stable, slightly above 15,000 in FY21/22. However, installation officials aggressively continue DOD recruitment of an additional brigade by highlighting the available land at Fort Riley, the quick mobility to leave the area for deployments, and strong community partnerships.
Family Members - With the surrounding Flint Hills area offering Blue Ribbon schools, low unemployment numbers, and quality community area services, it is expected that the number of family members accompanying their Soldiers to Fort Riley will remain stable.
Civilian Population - The civilian strength consists of several categories, including Department of the Army civilians, federal and non-federal civilian employees, and contractors working at Fort Riley. While it is hopeful that military strength numbers at the installation will increase in the future, such an increase is not expected to directly correlate to civilian employee population growth.
Fort Riley is located in northeastern Kansas, one hour west of Topeka, the state capitol. Fort Riley is in both Geary and Riley counties. The two primary local towns are Junction City (mostly a military town) and Manhattan (mostly a college town, home to Kansas State University). There are a number of small country towns and a great deal of farmland in this area. Kansas City is about 2 ½ hours away and is home to the Kansas City Chiefs. The area is “laid back” with a slower lifestyle pace great for raising children, very quiet community, and the people are friendly and extremely helpful. Many military Families have enjoyed the area enough that they retire here. The base operator's phone number is 785-239-3911 or DSN 312-856-1110.
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 (there is a small fee for using the Turnpike) and Interstate (I-70) from Topeka. For direction that is more specific, refer to the paragraph above.
From Salina, One Hour West
Take I-70 East until you reach exit 301. (Towns you will pass by while on the Interstate are Solomon, Abilene, Enterprise, Chapman and Junction City.)
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. (When following I-135 out of Wichita you will pass the towns of Newton and McPherson. Before you reach the I-70 east exit, you will be passing along the edge of Salina.) For more specific directions while on I-70 east refer to the paragraph above this one.
In processing Procedures: All in-processing Soldiers must sign in at the 1st Replacement Company (except for the following units: MEDDAC, DENTAC, CID, and mobilized reservists).
1st Replacement Company is on Main Post, in Building 208 on Custer Avenue, next door to the Central Processing Center, and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including all holidays. If signing in Monday through Friday during duty hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the uniform is ACUs. The uniform during in processing is PT's during PT times only, Army duty uniform during the business day, no civilian clothes will be worn while in processing without the CDR or 1SG approval.
The telephone numbers for 1st Replacement Company are 785-239-2119 or 239-0969, 24 hours a day. Additional telephone numbers: 785-239-8332/8302.
Single Soldiers stay in the barracks assigned by 1st Replacement; accompanied Soldiers arrange for the on-post guest house or hotel (Candlewood Suites Hotel) or off-post lodging.
Soldiers should sign in with the following in their possession:
Traveling by Plane and Shuttle
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 (816) 645-1815.
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, locate the sign showing 435 South. Travel on 435 South until you see the exit for I-70 west, which will take you onto the Turnpike (the Turnpike does have a small fee). Stay on the Turnpike until you get to the Topeka Exit (there are only two and it does not matter which one you take). Look for signs showing I-70 west (some city names that will be mentioned: Manhattan, Salina and Denver) and stay on the Interstate until you find exit 301. (Towns you will pass and/or just pass their exit signs while on the Turnpike: Bonner Springs, Lawrence; Interstate: Paxico, Wamego, Manhattan, Ogden.)
You are currently authorized to use taxi services or Uber to travel from the Airport if 1st Replacement cannot provide transportation to pick you up. If you are traveling with a family or coming from overseas, contact your gaining unit, Sponsor, or 1st Replacement prior to arrival to make arrangements to be picked up upon arrival. They will need to know how many are traveling with you, how many bags, pets, and any special items needed. This will need to be done at least 24 hours prior to you flight or arrival.
Army Lodging or the on post Hotel see Candlewood Suites Hotel on Fort Riley for reservations 785-560-3080.
Fort Riley operates six access control points. Anyone entering Fort Riley, who appears to be over the age of 16, is required to show a valid DOD ID Card, Riley Access Pass or Riley Access Badge.
In order to comply with federal Real ID Act standards, Fort Riley requires additional identification for visitors with a driver’s license from a state that is not in compliance. For a full list of acceptable forms of ID click here.
Effective 30 January 2017 state ID's affected will change. To check the status of your state driver's license or identification visit the Department of Homeland Security website. Current identifications affected are from the following states: Minnesota, Missouri and Washington.
Visitors: Visitors without a DOD ID card who wish to enter Fort Riley are reminded that a temporary Fort Riley Access Pass or Badge is required. If you know the exact date of your visit, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to get a temporary pass or badge early by stopping by the Visitor Control Center. The Visitor Control Center (Bldg. 885) is located just prior to the Henry Gate Access Control Point (Exit 301, U.S. Interstate Highway 70) and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Effective 1 Jan, 2017 the Visitor Control Center will change operational hours to: Monday through Friday: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m./ Sat-Sun and Federal Holidays: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information on these changes click here.
For questions regarding access requirements contact the Visitor Control Center at (785) 239-2982 or email email@example.com. Emails will be answered within 48 hours Mon-Fri and 72 hours if received during weekends or Federal Holidays. Please note there are longer wait times for passes on weekday mornings and weekday afternoons when Soldiers and civilian employees are traveling to work and physical fitness activities. If you're unable to get a pass early, make sure to allow extra time the day of your visit to get through processing at the Visitor Control Center. For more information on the length of Riley Access Passes or Riley Access Badges click here.
Emails sent from a non ".mil" email account are not encrypted, and therefore the information is not secure. Unauthorized access to, or interception of, your personal information by others during transmission is possible. Do not use email for discussion of sensitive or highly confidential issues.
Deliveries: Commercial deliveries and vehicles must use exit 303 to K18 to the 12th Street Gate or Estes Gate off of U.S. Highway 77 to old Highway 77 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. 12th Street Gate is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commercial deliveries outside established commercial hours should coordinate prior approval through the Fort Riley Access Control Branch at 785-239-3138.
Fort Riley is located north of Interstate 70, 125 miles west of Kansas City. It is accessible from I-70 exit 301 at Marshall Army Airfield via Henry Drive.
Directions from Kansas City International Airport
Exit the airport area toward Hwy. 435 south. Take Hwy. 435 south to I-70 west. I-70 west becomes the Kansas Turnpike. Take the Kansas Turnpike west (the Turnpike has a small fee). Pass exits for Bonner Springs and Lawrence while on the Turnpike. Exit the Kansas Turnpike at Topeka and continue on I-70 west. Take I-70 to exit 301 (Marshall Army Airfield exit) and stay on Henry Drive to Main Post.
Directions from Manhattan Airport
Soldiers needing transportation from Manhattan Airport should contact the 1st Replacement Company’s staff duty NCO at 785-239-2119. To reach Fort Riley from the Manhattan Airport by automobile, exit the airport and head west on Kansas Hwy. 18. Enter Fort Riley either at the Ogden Gate or the 12th Street gate.
Arriving from East of Fort Riley
Please note that Fort Riley is about 2 1/2 hours from Kansas City and about one hour from Topeka. Main roadways are the Kansas Turnpike (there is a small fee for using the Turnpike) and I-70.
Arriving from West of Fort Riley
Fort Riley is about one hour east of Salina. From Salina, take I-70 east toward Topeka/Kansas City. You will pass exits for Solomon, Abilene, Chapman and Junction City. Continue on I-70 east to exit 301 (Marshall Army Airfield, and stay on Henry Drive to Main Post.
Arriving from Southwest of Fort Riley
Wichita is about two hours southwest of Fort Riley. Take I-135 north from Wichita. You will pass exits for Newton and McPherson while on I-135 north. Exit onto I-70 east (near Salina). Proceed on I-70 east. You will pass exits for Solomon, Abilene and Chapman. Continue on I-70 east to exit 301 (Marshall Army Airfield) and stay on Henry Drive to Main Post.
785-239-3911 or DSN 312-856-1110