Fort Riley is one of the largest military installations in the United States, covering 407 square km and hosting over 25000 individuals. It is so large that it has its own zip code. It is located on the Kansas River and spreads over two different counties – Riley and Geary. The name was given in the memory of Bennett C. Riley, a professional general who led multiple armies and protected a lot of escorts in the Santa Fe trail. The fort is split in two parts – the north one and Camp Whitside. Although they are basically in the same place, they are administered by different units.
Fort Riley is one of the oldest in the Untied States. It started its expansion in 1853, when it was built more like a police station. The officers used to protect the trading in the area, as well as the Santa Fe trail. After the Civil War reached to an end, the fort was very useful for the training of multiple cavalry units.
As World War I began, the fort saw a massive improvement in facilities and technologies. A few km away from it, the US army decided to build one more camp, with more advanced technologies. There were only 16 camps like this throughout the country. Each of them could easily host between 30000 and 50000 troops. The first division coming out of this new camp – the 89-th unit – was sent straight to France. The second one was just about to go overseas when the war ended. The armistice allowed the US Army to take a better look at its minuses during the war. Therefore, with a sudden decision, the fort ended up with one of the most important cavalry schools on the US territory.
As World War II was about to begin, the US army decided to improve its camps a little for a potential involvement. More than 125000 soldiers were trained and dispatched from Fort Riley Kansas during the next few years. As the war ended, it was time for more improvements in the technologies and facilities.
For the upcoming wars, the fort saw a series of improvements and objective changes.
Fort Riley is now the home of the 1-st Infantry Division. It returned to the camp during the summer of 2006 and replaced the previous main occupant – the 24-th Infantry Division. At the same time, the camp hosts seven more divisions, with dozens of subdivisions.
While applying for an on site spot in Fort Riley, you need to fill up and application that will place you on a waiting list. The result is given between 4 and 12 months, depending on the area you want to live in. For this reason, a lot of newcomers opt to relocate off site. It is easier to find a place, besides you can always rely on the privatized housing system. This means you can forget about applications and waiting lists. Instead, you get to see a real estate agent and find a home within hours or days.