Plan & Know, Before you Go

More than 2000 pursue strategy education at the Army War College through varied programs. The resident course includes almost 400. Others are listed below.

For ALL educational participants, the POCKET GUIDE to War College and Post is a quick orientation to services, activities, and inside information about your time at Carlisle.

Resident Student Plan Ahead

RESIDENT STUDENT PLAN AHEAD for – Dress codes, dues, social activities, kids' participation in on-base programs, housing choices and forwarding address for on-base homes

Dress codes over the course of a year will require all of these --

  • Army Service Uniform/Class A or Service equivalent (occasional)
  • ASU Class B or Service equivalent (weekly)
  • Civilian Coat & Tie/ business dress (weekly)
  • Combat/ Functional (weekly)
  • Dress Mess (optional, e.g., Joint Ball)

Military Clothing: The Exchange has very limited military clothing items but can take orders. The closest Military Clothing Sales is located at Fort Indiantown Gap about an hour away in Annville, PA. Your colleagues in earlier classes recommend buying all needed clothing items before arriving at Carlisle.

Dues and Fees: Each class will make decisions about class dues and social activities; you can anticipate expenses of class dues, e.g., SSC resident & distance class gift and yearbook, and social events come with a per-person price tag. The resident student body will form a non-profit organization for the class, with representation from each of the 24 student seminars. The Resident Class of 2018 will create its own norms, decide about amount and purpose for class dues, and decide on whole-class social activities.





Social and athletic activities: These ARE part of the Carlisle experience. Remote families can plan weekend visits to join geo-bachelor students and socialize with seminar colleagues for key events, highlighted below. Each year's social activities reflect the character of the student body. Most are held on base; most call for casual dress. (The Joint Ball is an exception: optional, held off base, formal). A rule of thumb is family-friendly OR parents-night-out with babysitting available through Child, Youth & School Services (CYSS) for those who register.


All incoming Reserve/ National Guard officers:

All are invited to participate in the RC Orientation, 19-21 April 2017, which will introduce incoming students to RC advisors, academic overview, expectations, administration and a tour of post homes. To learn more, contact COL George McDonnell (Army Reserve) at 717.245.3543 or COL Ed Siegfried (National Guard) at 717.245.4514.


Pennsylvania has specific, unique requirements – check before you travel:
Pa Department of Motor Vehicles Military Personnel/Veterans Information Center
Pa Department of Education overview of homeschooling
Firearms information – Pa State Police (All post residents must register firearms, call 245-4929)


Social Highlights

August 2017

  • Event: Welcome Jam & Boatyard Wars
  • Seminar Activity?: Seminar-based
  • Description: Seminar team-building exercise; spouses engaged; picnic – socializing-music
  • Place/Time: Swim Pool/ Zero Week Fri evening
  • Kids?: Kid-friendly games, activities
  • Dress: beach casual
  • Cost: Per-person fee
  • Plan By: post

September 2017

  • Event: Air-Shipwreck Ball
  • Seminar Activity?: Seminar-based
  • Description: 2017: picnic, field events, live music
  • Place/Time: Indian Field/ Friday evening
  • Kids?: typically, the class plans a family event
  • Dress: casual
  • Cost: Per-person fee
  • Plan By: Class: Air Force, Navy students lead

October 2017

  • Event: Oktoberfest
  • Seminar Activity?: Individual, family, or seminar-based
  • Description: German music and food, volksmarching, carnival rides and traditional beer tent
  • Place/Time: Thu-Sat all day
  • Kids?: yes
  • Dress: Seasonally appropriate casual
  • Cost: Pay as you go
  • Plan By: post

December 2017

  • Event: Army-Navy student football game
  • Seminar Activity?: Individual, family, or seminar-based
  • Description: Local version of the annual event, played with all-Service augmentation
  • Place/Time: Indian Field/ weekday
  • Kids?: Welcome as fans
  • Dress: casual
  • Cost: None
  • Plan By: The class
  • December 2017

    • Event: Holiday Reception
    • Seminar Activity?: Seminar-based, with spouses
    • Description: Traditional reception
    • Place/Time: Quarters One
    • Kids?: No
    • Dress: Cmdt call
    • Cost: None
    • Plan By: USAWC Commandant

    December 2017

    • Event: Holiday Outreach
    • Seminar Activity?: Seminar-based, with spouses, kids
    • Description: Long-time tradition, sharing holiday cheer at retirement homes: music & conversation
    • Place/Time: One home per seminar/ sked'd by sem
    • Kids?: Welcome
    • Dress: casual
    • Cost: None
    • Plan By: The Class

    January 2018

    • Event: Civilian Social
    • Seminar Activity?: Seminar-based participation, with spouses
    • Description: Deep-winter Friday night break: varied concepts; recently: Chili Cookoff
    • Place/Time: LVCC/Friday evening
    • Kids?: No
    • Dress: casual
    • Cost: Per-person fee
    • Plan By: The Class

    February 2018

    • Event: Valentine Dance
    • Seminar Activity?: Individuals/couples
    • Description: Opportunity to show ballroom dance class skills
    • Place/Time: LVCC/Sat evening
    • Kids?: No
    • Dress: Your call
    • Cost: Per-person fee
    • Plan By: Post

    March/April 2018

    • Event: Family Fun Fair
    • Seminar Activity?: Family
    • Description: Egg hunt, bounce-house, games, food
    • Place/Time: Indian Field/ Saturday
    • Kids?: Yes
    • Dress: Casual
    • Cost: None
    • Plan By: Post

    April 2018

    • Event: Jim Thorpe Sports Days
    • Seminar Activity?: Students/families
    • Description: Senior Service College face-off: 12 sports, with social events
    • Place/Time: Indian Field & other venues/ Th-Sa
    • Kids?: Yes
    • Dress: casual
    • Cost: Pay as you go for food
    • Plan By: The Class

    May 2018

    • Event: Joint Ball
    • Seminar Activity?: Student & spouse
    • Description: Traditional military ball
    • Place/Time: Off post/ Sat. eve
    • Kids?: No
    • Dress: Formal
    • Cost: Per person
    • Plan By: The Class

    June 2018

    • Event: Graduation brunch
    • Seminar Activity?: Optional: family/ guests
    • Description: Post-grad ceremony
    • Place/Time: LVCC
    • Kids?: Yes
    • Dress: casual
    • Cost: Per person
    • Plan By: Post

    *LVCC = Letort View Community Center, on base
    *Indian Field = athletics field, on base
    *AHEC = Army Heritage & Education Center outdoor field


    Kids Programs: USA War College children are highly likely to participate in some CYSS activity during the course of a year. Carlisle Barracks youth programs are a unique and key part of the kids' Carlisle Experience. Summer camps, Youth sports teams, child care, hourly care, parents' night out, after-school programs, youth services clubs and activities,, teen 'lock-in,' teen trips – ALL require CYSS registration with Child, Youth and School Services. Registrations for kids with allergies, and other special needs will require extra steps that take time. Plan ahead. See FAMILY SECTION for details.

    Housing Choices: Give yourself plenty of lead time for housing choices. Contact the Carlisle Barracks Housing Office for guidance: See HOUSING SECTION for insider information about on-post and neighboring choices.


    Forward addresses: Once a student is assigned family housing [See HOUSING SECTION], the housing manager will forward name and address to the U.S. Post Office on base. Residents will use their new address as the forwarding address. The post office will hold mail until your arrival. Large package deliveries can be sent to BBC, c/o YOUR NAME at 451 Fletcher Drive and BBC will hold until your arrival.

Contacts for pre-arrival questions, interests


G1/ Personnel Office, email TO

Army Lodging at Carlisle Barracks (by International Hotels Group)

Housing Office, email TO

Balfour Beatty Communities Family Housing Mgmt

Transportation Office,
email TO

Military Pay, Army, email TO

Military Pay, Air Force-Navy-Marine,
see Senior Service Representative

Health Clinic, Dunham U.S. Army
Dunham Nurse Advice Line, Call 1-800-TRICARE, option 1
Emergency Room: closest is Carlisle Regional Medical Center (Call 911)

Exceptional Family Member Program,
ACS (Army Community Services)


Carlisle Barracks Dental Clinic (military only)

Army Wellness Center (facebook site)

Veterinary Services

Civilian Personnel (see USAJobs for listings

School Liaison Office (LNO with school districts)