Fort Benning has been a vital part of the Columbus community for nearly a century. The post moved here from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1918 when Army officials desired a larger site with a climate and terrain better suited to training needs. From its beginning as a small training base, Fort Benning has grown to become one of the largest military installations in the world.
A wide variety of training and weapons testing critical to the nation’s defense has taken place at Fort Benning. The U.S. Army Infantry School, where enlisted soldiers undergo basic training and advanced individual training, has been central to its mission. The U.S. Army Airborne School, or “Jump School,” has trained military parachutists since 1940. The elite U.S. Army Rangers are also trained at Fort Benning. The post’s most recent addition is the U.S. Army Armor School, which combined with the Infantry School to create the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence in 2011.