Walter Reed Medical Center
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Relocation Information
Image via tricare.mil
Welcome to Walter Reed Medical Center!
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is one of the most prominent military medical centers in the world. Walter Reed employs cutting edge technology with medical expertise and rehabilitation facilities designed to care for America's wounded warriors. It is located in Bethesda, Maryland, which is part of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Walter Reed is often referred to as “The Nation’s Medical Center” as it serves not only military members and their families in the National Capital Region (NCR) but servicemembers are flown in from around the globe to receive care. The medical center has more than 100 clinics and specialties and is staffed by approximately 7,000 civilian and active duty members.
Walter Reed’s history is illustrious, beginning in 1909 as a general hospital. The hospital’s namesake was Major Walter Reed, who was best known as the leading researcher to discover the transmission of yellow fever through mosquitoes.
Images via defense.gov. Top: U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Carrie Dreyer, a physical therapist, interacts with a baby in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, during a Continuing Promise 2015 medical event, May 24, 2015. Bottom photo: Navy Seaman Recruit Andrew Silva and Seaman Recruit Mildred Cantu check a patient’s vitals while conducting COVID-19 screenings at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., March 19, 2020.
From this point on, the various versions of the hospital are associated with all-American names such as Major William C. Borden, General John J. Pershing, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Mamie Eisenhower. Walter Reed has cared for military members with injuries from all U.S. conflicts and wars, in addition to providing care for each president, members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and other national leaders.
As a result of the 2005 BRAC changes, Walter Reed Medical Center was born from the combination of the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2011. It is for this reason that you’ll often hear references such as Walter Reed, the Navy Hospital, and Bethesda when referring to Walter Reed Medical Center. Common shortened abbreviations include WRNMMC and WR.
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Moving to Walter Reed Medical Center? Download your free guide to the D.C. area below!
Frequently Asked Questions About Walter Reed Medical Center
1) If assigned to Walter Reed, where do we live?
For simplicity in commute, and easiest access to Walter Reed, a high number of servicemembers assigned to Walter Reed choose to live in Maryland. The most popular cities in Maryland near Walter Reed are: Bethesda, North Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Kensington, and Gaithersburg.
However, there are many reasons that families choose to live further away in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. The most common factors are affordability and the need for dual military families who hope to split the difference between duty stations.
2) Is there base housing assigned to Walter Reed Medical Center?
There is no base housing at Walter Reed. If you’re interested in privatized on base housing, the closest and/or most popular options include: Fort Meade NSA, JB Andrews, JB Anacostia-Bolling, and Fort Belvoir.
3) What are the commuting options near Walter Reed Medical Center?
Similar to bases throughout the rest of the NCR, commuting to and from Walter Reed is a challenge. From unpredictability in delays due to traffic and accidents to extensive drive times, those assigned to Walter Reed get creative to find their commuting solutions.
D.C. Metro Map
Walter Reed is located on the Red line of the Washington, D.C. Metro System. Commuter buses, shuttles, carpools, and biking all are possibilities, as is the purchase of an EZ Pass to use expedited commuter lanes. Although a time saver, EZ Pass toll prices can reach $20.00 and above during high traffic times of the day.
4) What is the zip code for Walter Reed Medical Center?
The zip code for the Walter Reed Medical Center is 20814. Nearby zip codes include 20889, 20892, and 20815.
5) What is the BAH for Walter Reed Medical Center?
BAH for Walter Reed Medical Center ranges from $2,655 for E-1 to $3,408 for E-9 with dependents, and from $2,706 for O-1 to $3,963 for O-7 with dependents. See housing section for more info.
6) What military bases are near Walter Reed?
Bases in the D.C. area:
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Location and Information
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is located at 8901 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20889. Silver Spring, North Chevy Chase, College Park, and Bowie, MD are just east of the medical center, while Kensington, North Bethesda, Rockville, Derwood, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Clarksburg, MD are to the north. In Nothern Virginia, McLean, Falls Church, and Arlington, along with Washington D.C., lie to the south of the facility.
Public transportation is integral to the way of life surrounding Walter Reed. Service members use public transportation to the hospital for multiple reasons: it saves time and money, the military provides a stipend for public transport, and parking at Walter Reed is severely limited. Not everyone will have an official space and if they do, it could easily be a 20-minute walk to enter the building. Walter Reed has both Metro and bus routes convenient to the entrance.
Military members relocating to Walter Reed are served well by understanding the terms Inside or Outside the Beltway. Interstate 495 is a 64-mile loop around Washington, D.C., that encompasses suburbs of Virginia and Maryland. The Beltway is used to describe where real estate is located, a reference to where political action occurs (inside the Beltway in D.C.), and most frequently in traffic reports.
Additionally, the Legion Bridge and I-270 in Maryland are very popular routes driving south toward Walter Reed. This section of roadway is notorious for difficult commutes and has just begun a multi-year widening project.
The National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Because of its location near Washington, D.C., Walter Reed and surrounding area residents have access to year-round adventures, including cultural activities of every kind, sporting events, and the abundance of government and historic buildings to tour. You’ll find something for everyone: festivals, museums, food, wine, and concerts.
Do note that major events like the Cherry Blossom Festival, Marine Corps Marathon, and National Christmas Tree Lighting require advance planning. Like the pace in D.C., everything moves quickly. Realize that attractions such as the iconic Smithsonian museums easily take weeks to explore. Plan well in advance for visits to the White House or the Pentagon.
Walter Reed’s centric, Mid-Atlantic location provides vacation destinations that include river, bay, and ocean excursions in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Western Maryland is known for access to mountain terrain, and many families find themselves heading there to seek relief from humid summers, but also to sharpen their ski skills in the winter. Keep in mind there’s plenty of recreation outlets within a 2-3 hour drive in neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Image via Navy Lodge-Bethesda
NSA Bethesda Inns and Suites
8901 Wisconsin Avenue Bldg. 52 NNMC
Bethesda, MD 20814-5000
Walter Reed Medical Center Housing
Housing Photo via Glen Haven Family Housing
Privatized military housing is available near Walter Reed Medical Center at Glen Haven Family Housing located in Wheaton, MD, and near Washington, D.C.
Housing is managed by Balfour Beatty Communities: (301) 649-9700
Walter Reed Off-Base Housing
It's helpful to know that in the NCR, military families tend to build their lives around their immediate homes and neighborhoods. The dense population, intense traffic, and readily accessible retail and entertainment allow for most families to find what the need in close proximity.
This is true around the Walter Reed area. You’ll notice Maryland military families stick to their home sites and don’t often head south into Northern Virginia unless they have to. The same is true for the opposite direction.
When searching for a home near Walter Reed, choosing an off-base house often comes down to ranking and balancing personal preferences as associated with budget, commute, and school accessibility. Your family’s priorities will determine the best location to search for a home. In most cases, you can expect to pay premium prices for homes for sale and rent that are zoned for top schools or have very convenient commutes. Homes with larger property sizes and smaller price tags have longer commute times.
Commuting routes are challenging near Walter Reed. Although many places of work and home destinations are less than 15 miles in distance, at peak traffic hours, it's not uncommon for drive times to measure beyond one hour and more.
Bethesda Avenue in Bethesda, MD
Military families searching for homes should be aware that although stand-alone single family homes are the most popular, townhouse, condo, and apartment living are all comparative options. For example, some neighborhoods only cater to those interested in town homes and single family homes aren't available.
For military families arriving in the Washington, D.C. Maryland, Virginia (DMV) location, it’s highly recommended to consult a qualified real estate agent knowledgeable about rental properties and home sales in your desired area. It’s common for agents to be licensed in DC/MD/VA, but some choose only to work in one or two states or the District.
Real estate in the DMV can be a challenge for first-timers. Both property and money move quickly and often in cash transactions. Unless PCS’ing from other expensive locations such as San Diego or Hawaii, you’ll want to prepare savings accounts to adjust to rental and home buying costs. There isn’t a shortage of neighborhoods to choose from. Each has a unique setting, feel, vibe, and pro/con list. It’s up to you and your real estate agent to research the vicinity to choose the perfect match.
- Homes for sale or rent near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center: Walter Reed homes.
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Walter Reed BAH Information
The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a U.S. based allowance determined by geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status. It provides uniformed service members compensation based on housing costs in local civilian housing markets when government quarters are not provided. Learn more about your Basic Allowance for Housing.
Walter Reed Medical Center is in Bethesda, MD with many options to buy or rent. Some sample Walter Reed BAH rates for zip code 20814:
- E-1 with dependents: $2,655
- E-1 without dependents: $2,124
- E-9 with dependents: $3,408
- E-9 without dependents: $2,862
- O-1 with dependents: $2,706
- O-1 without dependents: $2,652
- O-7 with dependents: $3,963
- O-7 without dependents: $3,354
Area Weather & Climate
North Bethesda, MD, image by Matthew Straubmiller
Get ready to go shopping! In and around the NCR, you’re going to need all the gear, from shorts and bug spray to shovels and winter boots. The good news is that if a heat wave or cold front sets in, you can expect it to head out in a week or two.
Walter Reed’s weather patterns include a little bit of just about every phenomenon. Cold but not bitter winters with an occasional blizzard, a blustery and wet spring season, very humid and hot summers, with the potential for hurricane residue from the coast, and a colorful, but temperate and short lived fall season.
- Summer: July high is around 87 degrees.
- Winter: January low is around 28 degrees.
- Rain: About 43 inches of rain per year.
- Snow: About 14 inches of snow per year.
Worth noting: Weather forecasters often use I-95 as a dividing line to describe transitioning weather. Areas north and west of D.C. take on weather from the Shenandoah Mountains. East of the city, weather is influenced by coastal weather patterns.
Walter Reed Area Schools
Area Regions and Zip Codes
You’ll find many outstanding public school options surrounding Walter Reed. Although the choices exist, it’s a balancing act to mix commute times and housing payments with your desired school district. Private schools are plentiful, but costly, and there is an abundance of resources for homeschoolers, many of which are free.
Simply joining local Facebook or online neighborhood groups geared toward military members will shed plenty of light on how to navigate the world of educating children throughout the greater Washington, D.C., region.
The area around Walter Reed is vast, as are the schooling options. Montgomery County Public Schools are highly ranked and recommended by military families. MCPS encompasses many of the most popular cites including Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Kensington, and Gaithersburg. Further south, you’ll begin to run into Fairfax County, including McLean, and their school system, Fairfax County Public Schools, which is also well thought of.
For a complete listing of area school districts and more details about all schooling options please refer to the Student Liaison Officer’s resources.
The following are some helpful links for more information for your children’s schooling. Don’t forget to check to check baseline information with outlets such as Niche and Boards of Education for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Support for Military and Families
There is an abundance of support for military families on and around Walter Reed. The Washington, D.C., area is inundated with entities that provide support systems of various types. From employment to education and recreation, there is a group eager to share opportunities with military families. Some recognizable names include: Military Officers Association of America, National Military Family Association, Hiring Our Heroes, and Blue Star Families.
There isn’t a better region among military destinations for military spouses to take advantage of the amazing number of resources designed specifically for them. The area provides outlets to further education, examine career resources, or volunteer for the multitude of worthy causes for both military and non-military related organizations.
Some more helpful links:
More Area Info
8901 Rockville Pike