Graduation ceremonies for basic trainees at Fort Benning take place nearly every Thursday and Friday on a beautiful parade field built just for them adjacent to the National Infantry Museum. The classes range in size from about 200 to 600. Loved ones travel from across the country to witness this milestone in their Soldier’s life. The museum is proud to be their host!
Planning to Attend a Graduation?
Watch these two short videos to prepare for your visit. The first one tells you what you can expect for the graduation; the second gives you a glimpse at what you’ll see inside the museum.
Tips to Make the Most of Your Graduation Visit
Bring Your Letter – Your Soldier’s company will send letters with important information such as the ceremony start time and when you’ll get to spend time with your Soldier. Bring this letter with you! Each company manages things differently, and the museum does not have access to those details.
Arrive Early – The parking lot is large, and there is overflow parking nearby for exceptionally busy days. But you may have to walk some distance to the stadium (or to one of the trams we provide) and you want to make sure you don’t miss the beginning of the ceremony.
Stadium Concessions – Breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks coffee, drinks, and more are available for purchase at the concessions stand at the stadium. Cash and debit/cards cards are accepted.
Wear Comfortable Clothing – Georgia summers can be real scorchers, even in the morning. Wear lightweight clothing and maybe a hat to protect your face. Winter mornings can start cold but warm up nicely, so layering is always a good idea. The stands are covered, but if more than a light rain is expected, your Soldier’s unit may decide to move the graduation to an indoor facility on post.
Build a Trip to the Museum Into Your Itinerary – We know you want to spend as much time as possible with your Soldier. What better place to spend some quality time together than in the museum, where you can learn all about the legacy your Soldier has just joined? He will take great pride showing you what he’s learned! Enjoy a relaxing meal in the Fife and Drum Restaurant or a movie in the IMAX Theatre. The Fort Benning Hampton Inn Hotel is located at the north end of our parking lot. Beat the traffic on graduation day and stay right beside the museum and Fort Benning post. And if you have time to explore other attractions in the area, the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers at our Information Desk in the museum lobby will be happy to show you what’s available.
Free photos! – When possible, the National Infantry Museum takes photos during and after most graduations, including one very special shot of your Soldier surrounded by his battle buddies in front of the Infantryman statue. There is no charge for these photos; you’re free to view them and download them from our Flickr and Facebook page.
Pet Policy – Please be advised that pets are NOT allowed in the museum or by the Parade Field and stadium. Please make arrangements for your pets prior to graduation morning. Certified Service Animals are allowed. For questions, please contact our Information Desk.
Accommodations - The Hampton Inn is located on the museum campus, just feet away from the museum. A full-service breakfast is served every morning which is perfect for families attending early morning Family Day and Graduation ceremonies. For other lodging options, visit visitfortbenning.com.
Directions – Take I-185 South from Columbus to exit 1B. Drive west on US 27/280/431 (Victory Drive) for about a mile, turn left at the light onto Fort Benning Blvd. The museum entrance is on the right. On graduation mornings, security will direct you to parking spots due to heavy traffic. If handicapped or in need of assistance please ask security for directions to the traffic circle in the front of the museum. Tram shuttles are available for all visitors on Graduation Day from the top of the parking lot to the stadium.
When exiting the museum parking lot after graduation please use both Fort Benning Blvd (on right) and South Lumpkin Road (on left). Both lead to Victory Drive. Once on Victory Drive, continue a mile until reaching the I-185 exits to Columbus, Fort Benning, or Alabama.
GPS Directions: The museum address is 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus GA 31903. If you are using an older model GPS an alternative address is 2870 S. Lumpkin Rd., Columbus, Georgia, 31903.
Need a map of Fort Benning? Click HERE to see the Flipbook
Will you be able to stay awhile? The folks at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau have all kinds of information on lodging, dining, shopping and attractions to share with you. Visit them at www.visitcolumbusga.com or www.visitfortbenning.com or call 706-322-1613.