The Fort Riley Army Base that is situated in the North Central Kansas, near the Kansas River and is between the Junction City and Manhattan in Kansas. This army base covers 100,656 acres of the Geary and the Riley counties which include the two census-designated places: the Camp Forsyth, Camp Whiteside, Camp Funston, and Custer Hill. And during the daytime, the army base has a population that is almost to 25,000.

This Army base is known to be the home of the “Big Red One”, which is composed of the 1st Brigade, the mechanized 1st Infantry Division, the 3d Brigade, the 1st  Armor Division and the combat 937th Engineer group. Along the soldiers living here are their families that are happy enough to retire in the housing units in Fort Riley.

Cost of Living: 87.8 (low, US average 100)

Automated Telephone Attendant number: +1 785-239-3911

Base Population: 25,000

City/area Population:  56,143

Child Development Centers:

  • Amanda Arnold Elementary School

1435 Hudson Ave.

Manhattan, KS 66503

785 – 587 – 2020

  • Blue Valley High School

PO Box 68 2  Ram Way

Randolph, KS 66554


Youth Programs:

  • Youth Sports and Fitness Programs – Fort Riley, KS

6620 Normandy Drive,

Fort Riley, KS 66442


Airman and Family Readiness Center:

  • Family and MWR – Riley CYSS

6620 Normandy Dr

Fort Riley, Kansas

+1 785-239-9885


  • Teaching – 14.48%
  • Office and administrative  support – 11.87%
  • Sales jobs – 9.86%

Base Services:

  • RAZ Automotive Shop

411 N Main St, Riley,

KS 66531, United States

+1 785-485-2787

  • Riley County Fire Station

327 N Main St, Riley,

KS 66531, United States

+1 785-485-2261

  • Army Community Services

7264 Normandy Dr,

Fort Riley, KS 66442, United States

+1 785-239-9435

Medical Services:

  • Irwin Army Community  Hospital

600 Caisson Hill Rd, Fort Riley,

KS 66442, United States

+1 785-239-7000

  • Farrelly Health Clinic

8072 Normandy Dr, Fort Riley,

KS 66442, United States

+1 785-239-3627

  • Custer Hill Health Clinic

7672 Estes Rd, Fort Riley,

KS 66442, United States

+1 785-239-5181


The Fort Riley Army Base was named after Major General Bennett C. Riley who courageously led the first military escort along the Trail of Santa Fe, a transportation route that connects New Mexico and the central North America. The base was established in 1852 in aims to secure the trades and protect the travelers who use the route.

Later in 1853, the site that overlooks the Kansas River valley was chosen to be the staging post of the 1st US Dragoons. With the establishment of the camp, it became one of the many military posts in the 1850s that protects the Oregon and the Santa Fe Trails. And to enhance the security in the area, the three companies of the 6th Infantry constructed temporary quarters.

At the end of the Civil War, the Army base in Riley, Kansas became a US Cavalry School. And in the 1917, it was then used as a training centre for reserve officers and was further expanded at the height of the World War I. The expansion of Fort Riley includes the addition of the Camp Funston cantonment, which is a training area with a large capacity enabling it to host the training of the military officers. And with the hugeness of the area, it became a home to 50,000 soldiers who participate the World War I.

The Camp Funston was then rebuilt with new barracks constructed towards the end of 1930. This is done by the US Army as part of their preparation to World War II where several infantry divisions that include the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments or the “Buffalo Soldiers” were positioned at Fort Riley. In 1946, it became the basic military training center where the trained troops were then deployed for Korean War.

By 1955, an additional barracks, quarters and work areas, as well as the Irwin Army Community Hospital, were constructed. And during the 1990s, the troops trained in Fort Riley were deployed to help the alliance nations in the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. It was noted that in between the years 1955 and 1996, Fort Riley became the home of the 1st Infantry Division, while from 1999 to 2006; the army base became the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division.


Fort Riley has two major facilities: the Garrison and the Air facilities. The Garrison facilities of the base house the 1ID Brigades, the Division Staff, the Warrior Transition and the Special Staff. It became an ideal training ground for live fire training as this facility has a 70,926-acre area which is enough for the Battalion Task Force level maneuvers.  Aside from this, it has two multipurpose range complexes and a center for battle simulation.

On the other hand, the Air facility of Fort Riley is composed of the Marshall Army Airfield (MAAF) which was first opened in 1921. The Combat Aviation Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division uses the military airfield for the integrated fixed-base helicopter operations. It has a control tower, a ground approach control facility, and base flight operations. Other than these, it has air space management, fire and crash rescue station, flight simulators, and a rapid refuel facility that is essential in an army base.


There are lots of housing options in Fort Riley whether its off-post or on-post, buy or rent or in a gated community. To get the best housing unit in Fort Riley, it is best to approach the base’s billeting office for available housing options.

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