Fort Sam Houston
Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)- Fort Sam Houston Relocation Information
Welcome to JBSA-Fort Sam Houston!
Fort Sam Houston is an Army post rich in history. Named for General Sam Houston (a hero in the Texas Revolution of 1836 and the first president of the republic of Texas, later serving as a senator when Texas became a state), “Fort Sam,” as it’s often referred to, is a well known and historical Army post. Founded in the 1870s, the installation is a National Historic Landmark with the largest collection of historic structures in the Department of Defense.
Here’s some history of Fort Sam Houston from the National Park Service:
“The original mission of the troops stationed at Fort Sam Houston was to pursue an aggressive peacekeeping policy along the U.S.-Mexico border. In 1886, Geronimo, Chief Natchez, and their band of Apaches were detained for 40 days in the fort's Quadrangle complex following their surrender to U.S. Army forces. In 1898 the fort served as a rendezvous for Col. Leonard Wood and Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt's ‘Rough Riders,’ before their departure for Cuba during the Spanish American War. The fort also supplied the men and materials for Brig. Gen. John J. ‘Black Jack’ Pershing's campaign against Pancho Villa in 1916.
In addition, Fort Sam Houston saw the beginnings of the Army Air Corps and the Airborne Infantry. The fort has expanded greatly over the years and today contains many historic buildings and properties. Among the most notable are The Quadrangle (the original fort), consisting of the post's oldest building and a watch tower; The Pershing House (building #6), an irregularly shaped two-story house built in 1881 and serving as the Staff Post Commander's house; and the Artillery Post and Calvary Post Barracks, large two-and-one-half-story brick barracks built between 1905 and 1908 to house troops stationed at the fort.”
The fort’s museum (more info below) is located within the Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle, a gorgeous grounds with its iconic centerpiece Clock Tower. You’ll see peafowl and deer roaming the grounds, and they’ve been part of the landscape for more than 130 years.
Pershing House at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. Historic American Buildings Survey—HABS image.
The iconic clock tower in the Quadrangle
Peacock at the Quadrangle. Image via jbsa.mil
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In 2005, the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) Process made Fort Sam Houston a part of Joint Base San Antonio, but also consolidated medical training for all branches of the military on one post. Joint Base San Antonio is a consolidation of Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB and Randolph AFB.
Fort Sam Houston now serves as command headquarters for U.S. Army North and South, the Army Medical Command, the Army Medical Department Center and School, and other tenant units. Home of the prestigious Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), Fort Sam Houston has become the largest, most important military medical training facility in the world.
The San Antonio area is home to multiple military installations and the Air Force’s Basic Training.
Brooke Army Medical Center, image via BAMC Facebook
San Antonio is commonly referred to as “Military City USA,” due not only to the presence of multiple area military installations, but also because of the large retiree population and the overall friendliness to military in the area. It’s the seventh largest city in the country, and it’s only growing.
The South Texas area is a vibrant location combining Old West, Hispanic, and modern day cultures. You may know it as the home of the Alamo, but San Antonio is also a destination city featuring attractions like SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas.
The San Antonio Riverwalk
With big city amenities like fine dining, museums, and professional sports (like the San Antonio Spurs), merged with the laid back lifestyle of the southern U.S., you may come to embrace the area and understand why San Antonio is one of the top areas in the nation that military retirees choose to settle.
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Relocating to JBSA-Fort Sam Houston? Download our free guide to the area below!
Frequently Asked Questions About JBSA- Fort Sam Houston
1) Is Fort Sam Houston open to the public?
If you’re not in possession of a military ID, Department of Defense civilian or contractor ID, or previously issued and active base access passes, you must enter JBSA- Fort Sam Houston through the visitor access gate and comply with requirements for entrance.
Visitors may be interested in visiting the Fort Sam Houston Museum. The fort's museum is located inside the Quadrangle. Maps and self-guided tour information are available at the Quadrangle at 1400 E. Grayson St. Non-military visitors must use the Walters Street entrance. For further information call 210-221-1886.
2) In what county is Fort Sam Houston located?
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston is in Bexar County (pronounced “Bear”), Texas.
3) How many people are stationed at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston?
According to Military OneSource, Fort Sam Houston is home to 36,976 active duty and DoD civilians, 48,415 Family Members, and 76,580 retirees.
4) How many gates does Fort Sam Houston have?
Here’s a list of the Fort Sam Houston gates and hours. Always check with the jbsa.mil/hours for any updates.
- Wurzbach East: 24/7
- Walters: 24/7
- New Braunfels: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Schofield: 24/7
- BAMC: I-35: 24/7
- JBSA-Camp Bullis: 24/7
- Pedestrian Gate: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Jadwin Commercial: Closed
- Walters Commercial: Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
- SAMMC I-35 Visitor Center: 24/7
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Base Location and Information
Fort Sam Houston is located on the northeast side of San Antonio, Texas between I-35 and the Harry Wurzbach Parkway. It’s southeast of the San Antonio International Airport, and about 10 minutes away from the downtown area. Randolph AFB is northeast of the post by around 12 miles, and in between the two installations lie the towns of Kirby, Windcrest, and Converse. About 20 miles from Fort Sam Houston are the cities of Cibolo, Schertz, Universal City, and Live Oaks, TX.
The bases belonging to Joint Base San Antonio are in different sections of the city, which is the second largest city in Texas. Though now considered a combined base, and the largest one in the DOD at that, the installations of Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) are quite spread out across the city. Most residents continue to call them by their individual names. The Air Force is the lead agency for Joint Base San Antonio.
Downtown San Antonio is navigable by foot and also has a streetcar system that runs on several different routes. Public transportation is available via bus, the VIA Metropolitan Transit System. However, most area commuters travel by POV.
The area is crisscrossed by highways I-35, I-37, US Hwy 281 and I-10. As well, concentric highways that circle the city are often referred to as the “inner loop” I-410 and “outer loop” state highway 1604. Expect frequent construction as the city continues to spread outward as well as typical rush hour traffic.
Activities abound in the San Antonio area. Walk through history with a tour of the four area Spanish missions. Those, along with the Alamo, have been named a World Heritage Site.
Mission San Jose in San Antonio
Foodies can embrace cuisine from Tex-Mex to BBQ, as well as the local food truck scene. Attend productions at the Majestic Theater, view art at the Briscoe and McNay Art Museums, and cheer on local fan favorite NBA team, the Spurs.
Whether your idea of a good time is a stroll along the iconic Riverwalk with a stop for margaritas and tacos or a hike on one of the area's nature trails, activities abound year-round. Spring’s famous Fiesta, a 10-day salute to Spanish heritage, is a city signature event, with schools closing so students can participate. With the famous Hill Country north of the city and beaches just a few hours away, not to mention the local area, you won’t run out of things to do!
If your busy military family enjoys spending time outdoors, San Antonio offers an extended version of summer weather. It will be hot and humid, but there are plenty of ways to keep your cool. From Schlitterbahn Water Park to Schumacher Crossing swimming hole, San Antonio offers a pool of options to go for a swim. For the surf and sand of a beach, a couple of hours in the car lands you at Corpus Christi Bay and Padre Island National Seashore. For more inland adventures, consider a weekend getaway to eclectic Austin or historic Fredericksburg.
Within just a few hours’ drive lie several other military bases, including Fort Hood and NAS Corpus Christi.
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Temporary Lodging is available for DoD Card Holders on Joint Base San Antonio through Air Force Inns and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
Contact information for Fort Sam Houston:
- Phone: (210) 357-2705
- Reservations: 877-711-8326
- Direct Group/DVQ Reservations:(210)357-2705 ext.5006
- General Manager POC: (757)768-0126
- IHG Army Hotels
Lodging is located at multiple locations.
Check in at Building 592, 3325 William Hardee Road, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas 78234
JBSA- Fort Sam Houston Housing
Military housing at Fort Sam Houston is privatized. Housing consists of a variety of home types within 8 villages and is provided by Lincoln Military Housing .
Get virtual tours, floor plans, and photos of different styles of on base housing.
Contact Info for Lincoln Military Housing- JBSA Fort Sam Houston
2739 Dickman Bldg 407
P.O. Box 341088
San Antonio, Texas 78234
General Management Office (GMO) 210-226-5597
Government Housing Office 210-221-2250
Military Housing Office
Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston
Open: M-F - 7:30am - 4:00pm
Phone: (210) 221-0881
Fax: (210) 295-8636
Address: 3171 Zinn Road, Bldg 1161
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234
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JBSA- Fort Sam Houston Off Base Housing
View homes for sale and houses for rent near Fort Sam Houston – Fort Sam Houston Homes
Even with the woes of freeway traffic, life in the suburbs may offer more home for less money in Texas. With no state income tax (and no tax placed on a military pension), investing in a home in the Lone Star state may be an idea worth considering, but one fact to note is that property taxes can be hefty.
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Area Weather & Climate
Texas Bluebonnets in the Spring
San Antonio is ideal for fans of warm weather. Mild year-round with a semi tropical climate, the “hot months” are typically May through September, with the wetter season from April to October. You will still need a jacket, as there can be some cold days and even freezing weather during the winter months.
The area’s weather is affected by the Edwards Plateau to the northwest and the Gulf Coastal Plains to the southeast. Sunshine is the norm, with more than 60% of days clear or partly cloudy. Bluebonnet season in the spring, when the state flower dots the sides of roadways and fields, turns all the outdoors into a portrait studio. Thunderstorms are not uncommon in the late spring and summer, and the area has been known to have a rare sleet or ice storm during the winter months.
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JBSA- Fort Sam Houston Area Schools
Area School Districts
The San Antonio area is vast and diverse, and schooling choices in the area reflect that. The city’s public schools are administered by various San Antonio-area Independent School Districts. Learn more about these school districts, along with information about neighboring county and city school districts at the Bexar County website.
From the San Antonio ISD:
The San Antonio-area Independent School Districts serve 340,238 students. Extracurricular clubs for all skill levels and interests, Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, Magnets, Trades, Special Needs, Fine Arts and STEM are among the 173 academic and developmental choices that exist within the districts. View more info at San Antonio Go Public.
Fort Sam Houston Independent School District (ISD) serves children of military personnel residing on Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis. Active duty military parents assigned to Fort Sam Houston, but who are not living on base, can apply for their children to enroll in the district as transfer students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade. FSHISD is one of three military school districts in Texas, all located in San Antonio, whose boundaries are within the military installation they serve: Fort Sam Houston, Lackland AFB, and Randolph AFB.
FSHISD has two campuses: Fort Sam Houston Elementary, grades PK-5, Robert G. Cole Middle School, grades 6-8, and Robert G. Cole High School, grades 9-12. The district enrollment is approximately 1500 students.
JBSA-Fort Sam Houston School Liaison Office (SLO) Main Office: (210) 221-2214, 221-2256
Private school tuition is lower than the national average. Find private school ratings at Niche.com and Private School Review.
Homeschoolers in Texas must comply with state law and provide instruction in prescribed areas. See specifics at the Texas Education Agency.
More school links:
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Military and Family Support
Photo via JBSA News
Opportunities abound for connecting with the military spouse community, whether through the area spouses’ clubs or volunteering.
For job seekers, area employment is strong in the industries of construction, oil and gas production, and healthcare. Your time at JBSA might prove to be a chance to network with other military spouses at a Military Spouse Symposium or the many other area events created for military family members.
Things to Do Near Fort Sam Houston
Tower of the Americas has a rotating restaurant at its top. Image via San Antonio Things to Do.
If you’re lucky enough to be stationed at Joint Base San Antonio, you should never be bored! Whether you love exploring cultural sites, the food scene, or getting outdoors, you’ll always find something to do. Here’s a list to start off your San Antonio adventures.
JBSA Force Support Squadron (FSS): Check in with the JBSA FSS for a calendar of events, Outdoor Recreation, and dining/entertainment.
The River Walk: The iconic 15-mile long River Walk is a beautiful spot to shop, dine, and stroll. Just below street level, it’s also the largest urban ecosystem in the U.S. In the downtown section, the King William District and the Alamo are walkable. Take a riverboat cruise for a quick drop off at a different section of the river or to simply enjoy a narrated cruise. Plan your River Walk excursion here.
San Antonio Dining: Foodies rejoice! San Antonio has it all, whether you’re looking for BBQ, fine dining, an amazing steak, or an American eatery. And of course, in this area, the Mexican and Latin American food scene is like no other.
Downtown area attractions: Take one of the City Sightseeing Double Decker buses for hop on-hop off transportation. Their tours cover Alamo Plaza, The Pearl, Spanish Governor's Palace, Cathedral, Theater District, Tower of the Americas, Mexican Market Square, King William Historic District, and more.
Historic Guenther House in the King William District. Image via sanantonio.gov.
A few other attractions you might want to visit include: The Guenther House, Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, The Witte Museum, The Buckhorn Saloon and Museum and Texas Ranger Museum, the Empire Theatre, Aztec Theatre, Briscoe Western Art Museum, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum, and of course, the historical Alamo.
San Antonio Missions and the Alamo: The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park includes the Mission San Jose, Mission Espada, Mission San Juan and Mission Concepcion. Along with the Alamo, the park was named the first World Heritage Site in Texas by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). These five Catholic missions were established in the 18th century by Spanish priests. Today, the missions (walled compounds encompassing a church and buildings where the priests and local Native Americans lived) are the largest concentration of Spanish colonial missions in North America. Plan your visit to the San Antonio missions.
San Antonio Tours: plan a bike tour, walking tour, helicopter tour, ghost tour, barwalk, and more. ‘Visit San Antonio’ has a nice round-up of area tours!
Confluence Park: Open daily, the park is a gateway to hike, bike and paddling trails, which begins near the Blue Star Arts Complex and ends near Mission Espada.
Texas Hill Country: San Antonio is on the southern end of the Texas Hill Country. Visit Fredericksburg, Boerne, and New Braunfels for a taste of city/country life. Picturesque small towns combine with outdoor living for an unforgettable experience.
Japanese Tea Gardens image via sanantonio.gov
Japanese Tea Garden: Dating back to 1919, the Japanese Tea Garden features a lush year-round garden, shaded walkways, stone bridges, waterfall, and ponds filled with koi fish. The garden’s entrance features a moon gate created by a renowned Mexican artist. Free admission. Plan your visit to the Japanese Tea Garden.
The Pearl: Located north of downtown, the Pearl (a former brewery) is now a mixed use space featuring dining, seasonal events, boutique shopping, green spaces, and an amphitheater. It’s also home to the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America.
Image via Natural Bridge Caverns
Natural Bridge Caverns: Take a guided tour of the underground caverns and spectacular formations. Next, pan for gems at the Discovery Village Mining Company. Find your way through the outdoor maze and finish it off with one of the Canopy Challenge ropes course and zip lines. Fun for the whole family!
Sea World San Antonio: Family friendly interactive shows and exhibits, an immersive water park and marine life encounters! Located in northwest San Antonio.
Image via Fiesta Texas Facebook
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: San Antonio’s largest, most popular theme park. Situated in the center of a retail, restaurant and entertainment district, Six Flags Fiesta Texas offers roller coasters, park rides, live entertainment, food, beverages and more.
Outdoor activities in the San Antonio area:
Lost Maples State Natural Area image via Texas.gov
Tubing: Summertime finds San Antonians on the water, and ‘tubing’ (floating down one of the area rivers) is a popular way of enjoying the water. Rent tubes, canoes, and river rafts to float down the Guadalupe, San Marcos, Comal and Frio Rivers. Most vendors also provide shuttles to pick you up at the end of your float.
Canyon Lake: One of the most picturesque area locations, this 8,230-acre lake is one of the most scenic lakes in Texas. It has eight public parks with camping, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, picnicking, wildlife viewing, boating and other water sports. JBSA Recreation Park at Canyon Lake is available year-round for military members and families.
Hiking: Explore locations like Government Canyon State Natural Area, Lost Maples State Natural Area (especially in autumn), Pedernales Falls State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Find miles of hiking and biking trails, guided hikes, and rock climbing.
San Antonio Events:
The area always has something going on, but here are a couple of the annual popular events in the San Antonio area!
San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Opening Pageant. Image via Carol M. Highsmith, Wikipedia.
San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo: Every year, 1.5 million visitors come to the Stock Show & Rodeo. Since 1949, it’s one of the largest San Antonio annual events. Attend the carnival and then the Charreada, a unique blend of Mexican and Western culture. Learn more about the stock show and rodeo.
Fiesta San Antonio: Start planning your Fiesta schedule now! Even schools close for this yearly event. Attend one of the parades: Battle of Flowers, Fiesta Flambeau (the largest night parade in the country), and the Texas Cavaliers River Parade. Then attend a food event and watch local entertainment. Fiesta started in 1891 as a way to honor the heroes from the Battle of the Alamo. It is now the city’s largest party! ¡Viva Fiesta!
Easy day trips from San Antonio include:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Fredericksburg (Hill Country)
- Corpus Christi
More Area Info
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Fort Sam Houston Joint Base San Antonio
Fort Sam Houston