Home to the famous 1st Infantry Division (known as The Big Red One), Fort Riley is in the area of Kansas called the Flint Hills, also known as Bluestem Pastures or Blue Stem Hills. Named after Major General Bennet Riley, who was in charge of the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail, the post turned 100 years old in 2017, and is home to active, Guard, and Reserve Army units. It is about two and a half hours from Kansas City, and about an hour west of Topeka, Kansas.
Find information about Fort Riley, Kansas including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Mission & Units
Fort Riley is home to the United States Army 1st Infantry Division, also known as “The Big Red One”. This base’s primary mission is to “build and maintain combat-ready forces” ready to deploy world-wide at a moment’s notice.
Fort Riley units and partnerships include:
- 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team
- 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team
- 1st Infantry Division Artillery (DIVARTY)
- 1st Combat Aviation Brigade
- 1st Sustainment Brigade
- Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion
- 97th Military Police Battalion
- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison
- 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, USAF
- 407th Army Field Support Brigade
- 902nd Military Intelligence Group
- Det. 2, 3rd Weather Squadron, USAF
- Irwin Army Community Hospital
- Warrior Transition Battalion
- 630th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
- 774th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
- 923rd Contracting Battalion
Fort Riley began in 1853 as military post offering protection to those headed to and traveling on the Oregon and Santa Fe trails. It would evolve into a training post for Army Cavalry troops, starting that mission in 1883. Fort Riley is known for being one of the assignments of the infamous General George Custer.
U.S. Cavalry training would evolve into mechanized cavalry operations; the First World War and a greater emphasis on mechanized infantry led to the creation and of activation of the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized) at Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1936 to make-up the 2nd Regiment of this brigade.
In 1938, the 7th Cavalry Brigade marched from Fort Knox to Fort Riley for military exercises between horse and mechanized cavalry units at Fort Riley; this was to be the start of the Army’s long history of mechanized cavalry operations.
By World War Two’s end, about 125 thousand troops had trained at Fort Riley over a four-year span of time. The 9th Armored Division organized at Fort Riley in 1942, but when the war ended it was time for horse-based cavalry training to come to an end.
During the Korean War, many soldiers experienced boot camp at Fort Riley, but this would give way to other needs. The Cold War brought new mission requirements for Fort Riley; it was becoming less of a training facility and more of a 1950s-era home base for a major infantry division-the Big Red One, also known as the 1st Infantry Division would begin arriving at Riley circa 1955.
Soldiers from Fort Riley would take part in all the major conflicts of the day from Vietnam to Desert Storm, but following Operation Desert Storm, the Big Red One would have it’s headquarters transferred out of Fort Riley and over to a post in Germany. Fort Riley would serve as a Division Headquarters following the reactivation of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division.
In 2006, Fort Riley began training operations for Military Transition Teams, which are multi-service teams from Army, Navy and the Air Force. These troops learn to serve as advisors to Iraq and Afghanistan security forces and includes work in combat skills, force protection, tactical training, and counter-insurgency skills. In present day operations, Fort Riley troops are deployed all over the globe.
Fort Riley Main Address And Phone Numbers
Fort Riley, 7264 Normandy Drive, Custer Hill
Fort Riley, KS 66442
- DSN 312-856-9435
Important Contact Numbers
- Victim Advocate 24 hour Hotline – (785) 307-1373
- Emergency – 911
- Housing Office – (785) 239-3525
- Temporary Lodging – (785) 239-2830
- Medical Appointments – (785) 239-3627
- Hospital – (785) 239-7000
- Post Staff Duty NCO – (785) 239-2119
- ID Card Center/DEERS – (785) 239-3654
- Information and Referral – (785) 239-9435
- Legal Services JAG – (785) 239-3117
- Base Operator – (785) 239-3911
- Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800 273-8255
- Women, Infants, and Children – (785) 239-5730
- Forsyth CDC – (785) 239-4846
- Whitside CDC – (785) 239-4978
- Middle School / Teen Center – (785) 239-9222
- Child Development Center (CDC) #1 – (785) 239-9935
- Child Development Center (CDC) #2 – (785) 240-2368
- Warren East CDC – (785) 240-0821
- Forsyth East CDC – (785) 239-5820
- Family Child Care Programs (FCC) – (785) 239-9892
- Kids on Site Child Care – (785) 239-4745
- Family Child Care – (785) 239-4313
- Irwin Army Community Hospital & Clinics – EFMP Enrollment – (785) 239-7198
- New Parent Support Program – (785) 239-5693
- School-Age Service (SAS) – (785) 239-9220
- School Support Services – (785) 239-1648
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing – (785) 239-2119
- Leasing and Relocation Office (785) 717-2258
- Housing (Off Post) – (785) 239-3525
- Temporary Lodging/Billeting – (785) 239-2830
- Household Goods/Transportation Office – (785) 239-6468
- ID Card Center – (785) 239-3698
- In-processing – (785) 239-2119
- Welcome/Visitors Center – (785) 239-0302
Fort Riley is in a mostly rural area near a number of communities, the closest to the Fort are the cities of Junction City, Ogden, and Manhattan. Outdoors lovers will want to explore the Central Flint Hills, Milford Nature Center & Fish Hatchery, plus the Milford Wetlands. Approximately three and a half hours from the fort is the C.L. Hoover Opera House, but closer to home you’ll find the U.S. Cavalry Museum, plus the Custer House.
Tuttle Creek is a nearby state park offering camping facilities, biking and hiking trails, fishing and boating, etc. Nearby Topeka, Kansas offers the Kansas Museum of History and the Evel Knievel Museum. Kansas City is a farther drive, but offers major league sports including the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Kansas City is also home to the the AFC West Division Kansas City Chiefs.
Inprocessing and Check-In
All new arrivals are directed to sign in with the Staff Duty Desk in building 208 on the main post. Those PCSing to the base who are approved for permissive TDY for house hunting are required to sign in at the Fort Riley Housing Office the day prior or the first day of the permissive TDY to obtain a stamp.
According to the Fort Riley official site, permissive TDY for house hunting must be completed before checking into the new duty station. If check-in procedures for permissive TDY are not followed, new arrivals are advised, “PTDY will NOT be backed dated and could be counted as ordinary leave.”
Upon check-in, PCSing soldiers must furnish copies of their DA31 signed by losing unit, plus three copies of PCS orders. Medical and dental records are also required. Those who arrive in need of permissive TDY “may be approved during in-processing at 1st Replacement Company”.
The inprocessing procedures themselves will take approximately five duty days. Sergeants First Class and above will check in and be in-processed on their own. Staff Sergeants and below are “placed in Platoons at 1st Replacement for in-processing”.
Medical care services are provided on Fort Riley by Irwin Army Community Hospital, a 47-bed facility that includes emergency care. Call to make appointments: 785-239-7042. PCSing military families should know that care at Irwin is prioritized according to the following list:
- First priority of care is active duty military;
- Second priority: family members of active duty;
- Retired military and family members of retired military is at the bottom of the priority list but care may still be available.
Dental services are offered to active duty military only. Clinics and services available include:
- Allergy & Immunization
- Army Wellness Center
- Behavioral Health
- Centering Pregnancy
- Emergency & Urgent Care
- Exceptional Family Member Program
- Lab Services
- Nutrition Care
- Ophthalmology & Optometry
- Orthopedics & Podiatry
- Pharmacy Refills
- Self Care
- Primary Care
- Public Health
- Environmental Health
- Industrial Hygiene
- Public Health
- Occupational Health
- Rehabilitative Services
- Women’s Health
Fort Riley child care is provided by the Child Development Center (CDC)-there are multiple CDC locations on post and these facilities serve children between six weeks to five years old. Programs include full-day care, part-day preschool and hourly care. Waiting lists may apply, it is best to contact the CDC as soon as PCS orders are received to make arrangements and learn about wait list times, requirements, etc.
Fort Riley also offers child care in on-post homes via the Family Child Care program or FCC. FCC care is offered at Fort Riley both on and off-post; FCC care is certified and providers must meet standards, be inspected, etc. FCC is offered for children between six weeks and 12 years old.
Call 785-239-9885 for more information on Fort Riley child care options, wait lists, etc.
All incoming personnel are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments headed to Fort Riley via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. You can also contact the Fort Riley inbound TMO office for further assistance at (785) 239-6468.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Renewal, Replacement, New Issue
All ID card services at Fort Riley are scheduled via the RAPIDS system and one appointment should be scheduled for each person who needs ID card services. Each appointment will take approximately half an hour. Walk-ins are discouraged and will be seen on a space-available basis.
All ID card services require two forms of approved, unexpired ID and may require REAL ID Act compliance depending on the nature of the ID card and other factors. Dependents who need ID card services must be accompanied by the service member or have a power of attorney authorizing ID card services on the member’s behalf.
Fort Riley features five elementary schools and one middle school operated on-post. These schools are administered by Geary County Unified School District 475:
- Ware Elementary
- Jefferson Elementary
- Seitz Elementary
- Fort Riley Elementary
- Morris Hill Elementary
- Fort Riley Middle School
Families who live off-post will send their children to local school districts based on where the home is located. These school districts include:
- Geary County USD 475
- Manhattan/Ogden USD 383
- Clay County USD 379
- Chapman USD 473
- Abilene USD 435
- Riley County USD 378
- Rural Vista USD 481
- Herington USD 487
- Morris County USD 417
- Wamego USD 320
- Rock Creek USD 323
- Solomon USD 393
- Salina USD 305
- Mill Creek Valley USD 329
- Centre USD 397
- Blue Valley USD 384
For assistance choosing a school or to learn about transfer requirements, call the Fort Riley School Liaison Office, 785-240-3261.
Kansas state law requires children to be five years old on September 1st to enter Kindergarten. Children must be six years old to enter First Grade. The State Of Kansas requires Individual Education Plans for all students who need placement in special needs or advanced classes.
Family housing at Fort Riley is privatized and operated by Corvias Military Living. Fort Riley has seven neighborhoods; housing is assigned by rank and “bedroom qualification”. Waiting lists will apply. Call 785-717-2258 for more information on how to sign up for housing waiting lists which may be organized by rank, arrival dates, etc.
In most cases military members and their families should expect to live in the community until they receive authorization to move on-post. Fort Riley features approximately three thousand family housing units that accommodate roughly half of all eligible families assigned to the installation.
Single or unaccompanied military members in the ranks of E5 or below are required to in Fort Riley barracks unless no space is available for new arrivals. “Dual military” service members married to another service member stationed elsewhere are also required to stay in the barracks unless space is not available.
PCS and TDY Lodging
Temporary lodging at Fort Riley is provided by InterContinental Hotels Group. Military families PCSing to Fort Riley should make reservations once orders are received, call 1-877-711-TEAM (8326) or 785-560-3080, DSN 312-856-2830.
Limited options for families traveling with pets may require those PCSing to the area to make alternative plans, but in any case it is necessary to get a certificate of non-availability to be reimbursed for off-post temporary lodging. Single soldiers or “geographic bachelors” are required to stay in 1st Replacement Barracks until they are released to the gaining unit.
The usual commercial transportation options are available from the airport depending on where you land; the major airport in Kansas City is a little over two hours away, but regional airports in Manhattan, Kansas and Wichita, Kansas are also available. If you are flying into any of the three area airports listed above, contact the 1st Replacement Staff Duty Desk at 785-239-2119 to request transportation for a permanent change of station move.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Base decals are not required at Fort Riley but all vehicles and passengers are subject to 100% ID checks and all visitors to the base will be required to furnish either REAL ID Act-compliant ID cards or furnish alternative forms of ID which must be unexpired.
All vehicles operating on Fort Riley must comply with Kansas laws including use of seatbelts, child safety seats, minimum required insurance, etc. You will be required to carry proof of insurance at all times.
One aspect of Kansas state law that newcomers to the state should be aware of is the state’s strictly enforced child vehicular safety laws. Children under the age of four are required to ride in federally-approved child safety seats.
Passengers between the ages of four and 14 must wear seat belts in all vehicles built for ten or less passengers. All passengers under 14 are prohibited from riding in the back of pickup trucks or any other part of the vehicle not specifically designed for passengers.