Fort Drum is located in upstate New York, and used to be called Pine Camp when it was first founded in 1908. There has been a military presence in the area since the 1700's. Due to its proximity to Canada it is a valuable position for the military. Fort Drum is famously home to the 10th Mountain Division. The base is one of the most densely populated military bases and has a mix of single soldiers and families living on base.
Fort Drum has a unique location that makes it very appealing for families and for those who love the outdoors. Ft. Drum occupies a large part of Jefferson County, NY and borders Lake Ontario, Canada, The St. Lawrence River, the Adirondack Mountains, and the state of Vermont. The area is famous for receiving a lot of snow during the winter but it can also get warm in the summertime. Autumn is a particularly beautiful time of the year at Ft. Drum when the leaves are changing color.
Arriving At Fort Drum
The closest town to Fort Drum is Watertown, NY. The closest large city is Syracuse. Syracuse is just 70 miles away so most incoming soldiers and families fly into Syracuse and drive to Fort Drum. You can rent a vehicle to make the drive or you can find the CPL Gregory J. Harris lounge in the Syracuse airport and from there you can arrange transportation to the base by shuttle.
Once you get to Fort Drum you will need either a military ID or dependent ID to get on the base. If you don’t have a CAC card or dependent ID you will need a sponsor in order to get a pass to get on base. There are three visitor centers that you can access to get a pass if you need one. If you live on the installation and you have visitors you will need to sponsor those visitors in order for them to be allowed on the base. Incoming soldiers must report to the Fort Drum Welcome Center in Clark Hall which is open 24 hours a day.
For single or unaccompanied soldiers Ft. Drum offers suite style barracks rooms that have individual bedrooms that share a kitchen and common area. For families there is on post housing available through Fort Drum Mountain Community homes. There is usually a long waiting list for on post housing so be prepared to find housing in the outlying communities. The closest town to the base is Watertown. Rent and utility costs in Watertown can be high, so be sure to budget appropriately if you are going to live off post.
There are not a lot of opportunities for spouse employment except those on base. For those who don’t mind a commute Syracuse offers great employment and educational opportunities. But spouses who want to work close to home will find the best opportunities in the area on post.
There are fantastic activities available both on and off post for soldiers and families. Hiking, sailing, and other outdoor activities are always available. In the winter skiing, ice skating and sledding are very popular. Iin the fall and summer there are many different festivals and events ranging from concerts to historical celebrations to local farmer’s markets.