Preparing for Fort Sill Army graduation can be very exciting, especially when you have accurate information regarding transportation, accommodations, and agenda of the activities. To make sure you have the most up-to-date information possible, we’ve compiled many of the frequently asked questions – and their answers – that we get from families who are planning on traveling to Fort Sill for Army basic training graduation.
With over 50 years of military experience, Sandboxx has compiled some great graduation FAQs and tips to make your trip to graduation very rewarding and memorable. Let us help you take the worry out of your travel, and allow you to focus more on supporting your trainee. Before you know it, your loved one will be a United States Soldier and begin their journey in the world’s greatest Armed Force. Below you will find all that you need to know for Fort Sill graduation weekend as well as a full graduation schedule.
Want to get your new Soldier a graduation gift? Check out our guide to the best gifts for basic training graduation.
Looking for something specific? Click on a heading to bring you straight to what you need to know.
- When is Fort Sill graduation?
- Where is Fort Sill?
- Where to stay near Fort Sill?
- How many can attend Fort Sill graduation?
- What should I wear to Fort Sill graduation?
- What do I need to get on to base at Fort Sill?
- Fort Sill Graduation Schedule
- What happens after Fort Sill graduation
If your Soldier In Training (SIT) successfully completes all the requirements of Army Basic Training, they will graduate a Soldier in the United States Army. Fort Sill graduation activities consist of two days of events that begin on the Thursday with Family Day, and conclude on Friday with the Graduation ceremony. Depending on what company and battalion your Soldier in Training is in, they may have a town hall-style meeting the evening before Family Day to run through your Soldier’s journey. It also gives you a chance to meet the other military families. It is not an official part of the Graduation ceremonies and some companies do not hold them so it’s important to check in advance if it is something you might be interested in.
You will receive a Letter from your SIT during training that will give you more information on Graduation Day and festivities, so don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure what date their Graduation is.
Fort Sill is located in southwest Oklahoma about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City.
If you are flying to Fort Sill for graduation, there are 2 airports you can choose from;
- Lawton- Fort Sill Regional Airport – LAW – 10 minutes from Fort Sill
- William Rogers World Airport – OKC – 1 hour 45 minutes from Fort Sill
Lawton Municipal Airport is much closer to Fort Sill but also much smaller so flights tend to be more expensive and limited in comparison to William Rogers World Airport. However, you will have to arrange more transport to get you from Oklahoma City to Fort Sill so you should weigh up the options and see what is most convenient for you.
If you are driving into Fort Sill, visitors have to enter through;
- Sheridan Gate, which is on Rogers Lane, Highway 62 Sheridan Road.
- Key Gate, which is off of Interstate 44.
For figuring out your best options for booking travel to Fort Sill graduation today, get in touch with Sandboxx Travel.
Our favorite hotel in Fort Sill is the Springhill Suites Lawton. There is a free hot breakfast buffet in the morning (we are all about the free food) as well as free Wi-Fi and a pool. It is located minutes from Fort Sill as well as some restaurants to make your graduation stay much easier.
Springhill Suites Lawton has all you need for an amazing Army graduation trip at Fort Sill.
If you want to see a larger selection of hotels we offer that are available near Fort Sill, check out Sandboxx Travel.
The great news is that you can bring as many people as you like to graduation at Fort Sill. Once they bring the required items needed to get on to base, the more the merrier!
If someone is unable to attend graduation for any reason, the graduation ceremony is available on livestream so no one misses a moment.
Fort Sill’s location in southwest Oklahoma means that the weather throughout the year tends to be quiet pleasant. Rain is most likely during the mid-summer as are temperatures up to 97F so an umbrella and some suncream are recommended at this time of year. The winter time rarely gets below freezing but can be quite chilly.
Your Soldier will be in their dress uniform and it’s nice to put in an effort too. Having said that, we would advise leaving the stilettos at home, walking across training fields becomes quite treacherous in them.
Fort Sill family day tends to take place outside with graduation can take place either outside or inside the Cache Chapel Complex so you should check the graduation schedule in advance and ask your SIT so that you can plan your wardrobe accordingly.
Each person that plans on entering Fort Sill will need the following:
- A government-issued form of identification (driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate)
- Car insurance
- Vehicle registration
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation card (if arriving by motorbike)
- Visitor Pass
The Visitor Pass is granted after a background check is completed. This applies to non-military persons over the age of 16. Save yourself time and submit your details for the background check prior to graduation.
Family day is the first day you will be able to see your Soldier in Training for the first time in weeks and is hugely exciting. The scheduling times will vary depending on companies/battalions and you should check these in advance.
Usually between 08:30 and 10:00, families should arrive at the pre-noted location which is usually the battery pad/company building. These details will be in the graduation letter pack you will receive from Fort Sill. The family day ceremony is a fantastic chance to witness all that your Soldier has learned over the last number of weeks, including demonstrations on weapons, physical fitness, tactics, as well as drill and ceremony. These are always entertaining as most Drill Instructors like to inject some humor into them. It’s also a great photo opportunity to see your Soldier in action.
Next, the Cadre will give the instructions on the passes for family day and graduation such as the etiquette to be followed and the establishments which Soldiers are not permitted to enter. After the family day demonstration, all graduating Soldiers will enjoy an off-post pass with their family. They are signed back into their battery by the designated time, usually 19:45 / 20:00. They are permitted into the Lawton/Ft Sill area and free to enjoy most activities and attractions that the locality has to offer.
All graduations unless explicitly stated otherwise, will take place in Cache Creek Community Chapel. These can take place at either 10:00 or 13:00, check your graduation letter for details. We recommend arriving a half an hour before graduation starts to ensure you don’t miss anything and this gives you time to get a good seat.
All Soldiers will sit with their graduating class so they won’t be available to socialize with before or during the ceremony. The Soldiers Creed is recited by the new Soldiers and current active duty service members and veterans are acknowledged. They will pledge their allegiance and sing the Army song, “The Army Goes Rolling Along“. During the ceremony, each Soldier will call out their name and hometown as they individually cross the stage. This is a perfect opportunity to get pictures of your new Soldier shaking hands with their superiors in their dress uniforms.
The Battery Commander and a guest speaker will speak to the new graduates and their loved ones too. The graduation ceremony ends with the new Soldiers leaving in procession out of the chapel.
Immediately after the graduation ceremony, Soldier will either receive another pass to spend the day with loved ones or they will have to report to their AIT
Soldiers who are reporting to MOS 13 or MOS 14 for their Advanced Individual Training are based at Fort Sill and will be sent back to the battery to report into their AIT. Family will have to attend a brief to sign their Soldier out on pass. This can take some time so please keep this in mind if your Soldier falls into this category, we know how much you want to spend time with them. As your Soldier will be immediately at their AIT, that AIT can determine their weekend passes so it is possible that your Soldier may receive the Saturday and Sunday post graduation off. This is determined at your Soldiers AIT’s discretion and you should contact your Soldier towards the end of their basic training when they learn more about their AIT and its weekend pass procedures.
If your Soldier is not in these MOS’s, they will be given a Day pass and are permitted to spend time with you in the Lawton/Fort Sill area until the time specified that evening. Shipping to the Soldier’s next post will usually occur that evening or early the next morning. As result, there will be no additional leave for these Soldier’s past graduation day.
Sandboxx Top Tip
Fort Sill is based in Central Time Zone so be careful on times if you are traveling through time zones.
The feeling you will get when you see your New Soldier for the first time will be more than you could ever imagine. It is truly a special day and time to enjoy and celebrate with your Soldier and family. There are many other questions you probably have, so please reach out and ask our Sandboxx Travel Team.
Happy travels, and congrats to you and your soon-to-be new Soldier!