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Your Fort Bragg Area Guide

Area Guides

PCS orders to Fort Bragg? Welcome to Coastal North Carolina! Bragg is famously known as the home of the 82nd Airborne Division, but it also houses Special Operations Forces, 18th Airborne Corps, Air Force, and PsyOps. It is one of the largest Army installations in the world and is home to more than 50,000 active duty soldiers. But before you start yelling '"All the way," let's dive in and learn more about your duty station.


Fort Bragg is located close to Fayetteville, North Carolina almost in the middle of the state. Bragg is such a large installation that several counties are located around the post borders. Nearby counties include; Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, and Moore. Popular cities within Cumberland County are Fayetteville, Eastover, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Linden, and Wade. Harnett County includes many small towns such as Lillington, Dunn, Erwin, Coats, and Bunn Level. Hoke County provides the popular town of Raeford and Moore County has the well-known golf town of Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen, Whispering Pines, Vass, and Cameron.


Should you live on post or off? Corvias Military Living is the leasing agent for on-post living. It's a good idea to do thorough research of on-post housing before committing to it. Due to the history and age of Fort Bragg, some housing options are in better condition than others. Check out all of your options prior to making a decision and signing a lease. A lease is not easily broken if you move in and are dissatisfied with your living space. Convenience is the biggest reason why families choose to live on-post.

Living off post has its perks as well. Due to the sheer size of Fort Bragg, it's necessary first to find out which part of post your spouse will be working on, then find the closest geographical area off post in that particular section. Commute time could turn from 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the above factors, so thoroughly research. Some popular neighborhoods off post are the Jack Britt area and Southern Pines. To see where military members recommend living and also view maps and school ratings, click here.



The median home cost in the Fayetteville area is $135, 000 making it a very attractive place to buy. The Southern Pines area is a favorite of military families even with the 40-minute commute but averages $268,000 to buy a home. For those considering using their VA loan, PCSgrades has local military spouses who are Realtors ready to assist you in your search!


A large installation like Fort Bragg has many perks. There are two Commissaries, several PX's, the Iron Mike Conference Center, fourteen fitness centers, Army Community Services that offers classes and resilience training programs, and the U.S. Army Morale, Welfare, & Recreation (MWR) that organizes many fun events across post.

If being outdoors is your forte' Fort Bragg will be a perfect place for you. Points of interest across post include; McKellers Lodge, Tank Trail, Mott Lake, Smith Lake, Area J, and Flight Line Park.


Fort Bragg weather varies, but North Carolina does have four seasons. A mild climate sums up Fort Bragg pretty well as agriculture is booming in this area throughout three of the four seasons. From late December to early March is considered winter time with lows in the 20's and highs in the 60's. Mid-March through early Mid springtime with warm days, cool nights, and a multitude of rain. Late May through early September is summer time with highs sometimes reaching into the 100's and lows in the 60's. Mid-September through Mid-December is fall with temperatures varying from lows in the 50's to highs in the 70's.



  • Raleigh
  • Asheville
  • Boone
  • Cherokee
  • Wilmington
  • The Outer Banks

Fort Bragg, N.C. gets a bad reputation, but surprisingly offers a wonderful way of life. The people in the surrounding counties are super nice and hospitable. Patriotism is present around every corner. Agriculture is fruitful for three out of four seasons. Outdoor activities are numerous, and small businesses thrive and populate the area heavily. When you move to Fort Bragg, come with an open mind and give it a chance. Try to get out and explore the area and find your way around. You just might fall in love with it here.

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

Stephanie Wade/U.S. Transportation Command

In military life, there is really nothing more stressful than a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Deployments are a close second, but a PCS takes the cake. Combine a PCS with a deployment and not only do you want to eat all of the proverbial cake, you want to guzzle copious amounts of wine, too. We see you. Cheers.

One company, PCSgrades, is trying to make the PCS process feel more like a three-letter acronym than a four-letter expletive. Founded by veteran Todd Ernst, PCSgrades is the epitome of the military community taking care of its own. "PCSing has an emotional connotation," said Ernst. "We use it as an adverb, adjective, a noun and even as a cuss word."

Ernst started PCSgrades in 2015 after seeing friends struggle with unethical real estate agents and being taken advantage of by moving companies who knew DoD would be a paying customer no matter how poorly the companies treated their clients - us.

Here are 4 resources PCSgrades provides that you need to make moving easier:

1. Housing reviews

Does it get any more stressful than finding out where you're going to be stationed, Googling base housing at that station and getting results from 15 years ago (if you find anything, at all)? Nope, no it doesn't.

PCSgrades is changing the game on that by having military families who live in an area provide honest, candid reviews of their housing so incoming families can benefit. With reviews of both on and off base locations, families can finally get the truth about housing, whether it has black mold or the best views in town.

2. Moving company reviews

Great, you've figured out where to live; that's half the battle. The other, larger, more complex half? Figuring out how your stuff is going to get there. Knowing someone else will be handling your personal property and driving away with it for the foreseeable future is stressful enough. But not knowing what that company's background is, well that's a whole different ball game.

PCSgrades has countless reviews of moving companies provided by military families who have used them. Let's be honest: You wouldn't try a new Chinese delivery place without looking at reviews … why should picking a moving company be any different?

3. Area guides

The giant Google machine can only get you so far in life when you're researching your new duty station. We know you're busy and you want one-stop shopping on the interwebs. What you really need is aggregate data of things like schools to attend, restaurants to try, day trips to take and neighborhoods to avoid.

Introducing Area Guides, which offer exactly that: a holistic view of where you're moving and what to do once you get there. The best part? These are written by military families who have done it, for military families who are doing it.

4. Network of realtors and resources

PCSgrades has a nationwide network of A-graded realtors who know and understand the military and veteran lifestyle. Many of the realtors are veterans or spouses themselves, which takes the empathy to a whole new level. Having a realtor who gets the pressures of PCSing and the challenges of a military move is key to finding the right home for your family.

"I have friends who are hundreds of thousands of dollars upside down after bad home choices," Ernst said. "Housing choices can be pretty limited. Our moves are way more expensive than the typical civilian move." This is why Ernst created a way to alleviate the pain points for military families through PCSgrades.

In addition to a network of realtors, PCSgrades partners with "HomeScout," which allows you to search up-to-date home listings nationwide. Simply create an account with PCSgrades and the realty world is your oyster.

Whether you're looking for a new neighborhood, trying to find a vetted realtor, need a PCS checklist (let's be honest, is it on your radar to look at the expiration date of your military ID card two months before you PCS? Yeah, we know the truth; download the checklists here), or you're just wanting to know more about where you're heading, PCSgrades is making moving easier for every military family. Pay it forward by leaving reviews and be sure to take advantage of their excellent resources, today.

This post sponsored by PCSgrades.

7 airplane travel hacks with kids


Yeah! You got orders to (insert foreign country overseas)! You can already picture your kids in the international school, speaking with cute little accents and wearing local garments. Adorbs. You've got your housing picked out, adventures planned and passport photos taken. You're ready for your epic move ... except for that 13 hour plane ride. Have you wrapped your head around that yet? Before you grab for a paper bag and start hyperventilating, use our travel hacks to help make the emotional turbulence you're experiencing a little lighter.

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We've all said it: "We'll drive. It won't be that bad." We picture the adventure, the memories, the nostalgia of car trips when we were younger.

But if we're really being honest with ourselves, think back to those car trips. Someone was crying. Someone was puking. Someone was whining. That person very well may have been your poor mother. True story, my mom once got out and walked along the highway when all six of us kids wouldn't stop fighting. A long car trip can be daunting, but with our tips and tricks they don't need to be.

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Nordwood theme, Unsplash


Name the most disgusting item erroneously packed by your movers… for me it was used coffee grounds and of course, trash. For others, I've heard everything from wet towels to dirty diapers. I've caught movers raiding my fridge, lounging on my mattress in my front yard, and throwing out items that they've broken. Raise your hand (or have a drink) if you ever had packers show up late (or not at all). Ever had packers get into a shouting match among themselves as they were packing your china? Or have you caught your movers throwing boxes down the stairs to the basement? That would be me!


With each military move, there are "lessons learned". For instance, I won't go into great detail but let's just say after watching one packer go directly from using the restroom back to packing my kitchen without washing his hands, we now use gigantic ziplock bags to "pre-pack" all my kitchen utensils. A packers' bare flesh has never again touched one of my kitchen utensils.

My family's last military move was by far the shortest, only 1½ miles up the road. We were moving from a rental to a home we purchased. It was by far the worst in terms of damage and overall angst. I think because we were only "moving up the road" the pack job left a lot to be desired. I found one box of dishes which had not one piece of wrapping paper! Instead two throw pillows from my family room were used as a buffer! Amazingly, nothing was broken! Go figure!

When I heard glass shatter in the moving truck, I asked one of the guys what shattered.

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There are any number of reasons why in a given situation renting might be better than buying or vice versa. For military families, it might make more sense to buy at one duty station and then rent at the next. Up for consideration with each PCS is whether to buy or rent, to stay on-base or off. In making these decisions, there are numerous pros and cons to consider.


  • Purchasing the right home can be a great financial investment that can grow in value over time.
  • Tax deductions such as mortgage interest and property taxes can greatly reduce your overall income tax burden if you itemize.
  • Being a homeowner can give you pride of ownership and a sense of stability, rare in the military life which can seem nomadic at times.
  • A mortgage payment that is lower than your BAH can result in a boost to your savings.
  • You can decorate however you want! Goodbye white walls! Hello, Color!
  • Anyone can stay with you at any time. So it is not a problem when your Mom or sister comes for an extended stay during a deployment or following a PCS.
  • You can do (almost) whatever you want….host a late night party, plant a garden, knock a wall down!
  • There are no security or pet deposits when you buy a home.
  • You have the opportunity to become a landlord when military orders arrive and you have to move. Your home can become an investment property, providing a source of income which can partially or totally offset your mortgage, taxes, and insurance payments.
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