Graduation ceremonies for basic trainees at Fort Benning take place nearly every Thursday and Friday on a beautiful parade field adjacent to the National Infantry Museum. Classes range from 200 to 600 and loved ones travel from across the country to witness this milestone in their Soldier’s life. If you are visiting the museum on graduation day, plan to attend the ceremony. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Planning to Attend a Graduation?
Watch these two short videos to prepare for your upcoming visit. The first video tells you what to expect at 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 including the ceremony start time. 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. Many guests walk to the stadium but you can also use the tram service provided. Please allow yourself time for parking so you don’t miss the beginning of the ceremony. *There is no parking fee.
Museum Policies -
The museum strictly prohibits:
-Weapons, including guns and knives -Pets, other than service animals
-Bags or parcels larger than 11″ x 6″ x 15″ -Coolers
Bag Policy: Bags larger than 11” x 6” x 15” are not permitted in public areas while on the museum campus. This applies to purses, handbags, fanny packs, backpacks, day packs, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage, and/or other such items that offer concealment. These bags cannot be checked and should be left at home, the hotel, or in the vehicle.
Lockers are available for your convenience at the information counter for items that are 11” x 6” x 15” or smaller. There is no charge for the use of the locker. Bags will be inspected by a security officer prior to storage. The Museum reserves the right to decide what can and cannot be checked in at the information counter. Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 11” x 6” x 15” are allowed inside the museum. For those whose bags exceed the size restrictions, gallon-size, clear resealable bags will be offered at no charge for carrying small items you wish to keep with you. Exceptions to this policy may be made for medically necessary items.
Pets: Please be advised that pets are not allowed in the museum or by the parade field and stadium. Pets can not be left inside of vehicles on the premises. Please make arrangements for your pets prior to graduation morning. Certified Service Animals are allowed.
Stadium Concessions – Breakfast sandwiches, Starbucks coffee, drinks and more are available for purchase at the concessions stand at the stadium. Cash and debit/credit cards are accepted. An ATM is available inside the museum lobby.
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 company 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 take a shot at the simulators. And if you have time to explore other attractions in the area, the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers at our Information Desk will be happy to show you what’s around the city.
Free Photos! – When possible, the National Infantry Museum takes photos during and after most graduations, including one very special company photo. There is no charge for these photos; you can download them from our Flickr and Facebook page for free.
Accommodations - The Hampton Inn is located on the museum campus, just feet away from the museum. Beat traffic on graduation day and stay right beside the museum and Fort Benning post. A full-service breakfast is served every morning which is perfect for families attending early morning Family Day and graduation. 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.