First 30 days

The First 30 Days lays out what you need to know to navigate arrival, in-processing, orientation, readiness AND enjoyment for your initial weeks: everything to expect from the front gate vehicle checks to your children's school and your first academic class.

All Reserve Component officers, all Services, in the Class of 2017 will receive an invitation to participate in the RC Orientation. This site reviews the range of activities for USAWC students and family members from that period through the first 4 weeks of USAWC classes: a smorgasbord of informational, educational, social activities.

Welcome to historic Carlisle Barracks: outpost of pride and military tradition

Carlisle Barracks can be entered from Route 11 (DoD ID card only) or through the Main Gate on Claremont Road. Set your smart phone map setting to "Jim Thorpe & Claremont roads, Carlisle 17013"

What to expect:

Choose one of two lanes through the vehicle inspection area. Select the middle lane for "DoD ID Only" All others select the left lane. Be prepared to show photo ID, as well as proof of vehicle registration and insurance.

Sign in

Follow signs to Anne Ely Hall and sign in during duty hours (7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays) at the Army War College G1/Personnel Office in Anne Ely Hall, Room 233, 46 Ashburn Drive on post (Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.)

What to expect:

Bring your orders. You'll receive your appointment time for Centralized In-Processing, and you can pick up a post map/walking tour.

Settle in:

With few exceptions, you'll have time to unpack, settle in, try the post pool and golf course, and check out Pennsylvania tourist destinations. Memorial Chapel, on post, schedules weekend Mass on Saturday 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 9:15 a.m., and Protestant Services on Sunday at 11 a.m. See a full list of regularly scheduled Area Religious Services.

What to expect:

You control your calendar before Zero Week. During the previous week: make note of your Centralized In-Processing appointment and complete at your own pace a handful of agency in-processing activities before your CIP appointment.

Before your Centralized In-Processing appointment

Before your Centralized In-Processing appointment, visit these agencies to complete in-processing that requires directorate-specific equipment. These locations are no more than a 10-min. walk from one to another.

  1. Off-post housing – On-post housing – families, singles, geo-bachelors

    All students must contact the Army Housing Services Office in Shughart Hall, 460 Sumner Road for neutral guidance and options for your specific housing needs prior to entering into any housing agreements. Once you have made a housing decision, notify the HSO with your new local community address. Reach the HSO at or phone, 717.245-4959/4823/4951 (DSN is 242).

  2. Special needs families – job-hunting – volunteering – loan closet -- more

    Visit Army Community Services at 632 Wright Avenue, for the newcomers briefing, required for all, offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday during the in-processing weeks. Valuable information about the local community, services for families with special needs, spouse employment, volunteer opportunities and financial planning will be provided.

    Additionally, ACS houses a lending closet that offers everything needed for 30-day temporary living, e.g., cots, kitchen kits, microwaves, tables, chairs, etc. For more information, call 717.245.HELP.

  3. Badge – Books – Mail Access

    • Security Badge: The Security Office will issue your security badge that you’ll need to access Root Hall, the academic building, and Collins Hall, the Centralized In-Processing location. Bring your ID and walk in to the Security Office, Root Hall, Room SB17 8-11:30 a.m. or 1-3:30 p.m.
    • Books: Pick up your student book issue during the week of Aug. 3 at the Army Heritage & Education Center: Monday - Tuesday -Thursday: 1 to 4 pm; and, Tuesday-Friday: 9 am to noon.
    • Your student mailbox will be issued in Root Hall's room B119.

  4. Motorcycles – WeaponsRecreational Vehicles

    • Register motorcycles and weapons at the Emergency Services Building, 400 Forbes Avenue
    • RVs, boats, and utility trailers cannot be parked on post for more than 48 hours at a time for loading and unloading. A secure, fenced, 24-hour-accessible RV lot is situated across from the Claremont Visitors gate. Call ahead to 717.245.3319 for rental fees and to learn which items cannot be accepted in the RV lot.

  5. Household goods.  Visit the Transportation Office in Room 227 of Anne Ely Hall, 46 Ashburn Drive

  6. ARMY Pay – Medical – Dental

    • Military Pay, Room 233, Anne Ely Hall, 46 Ashburn Drive
    • Carlisle Barracks Dental Clinic, 450 Gibner Road, walk-in with your dental records.
    • In-process at the Dunham Army Medical Clinic for pre-screening prior to CIP, e.g., PHA and blood draw; and to request medical records from your losing organization.

All Students may choose from training sessions on tech applications for graduate studies. Optional training will be scheduled on afternoons, Monday – Thursday, 3-6 August.

All Reserve Component officers, all Services, in the Class of 2016 are invited to participate in the RC Orientation, 21-24 April 2015, which will introduce incoming students to RC advisors, academic overview, expectations, administration and a tour of post homes. To learn more, contact COL F. Scott Main (Reserve officers) at 717.245.3543 or COL Ed Siegfried (National Guard) at 717.245.4514.

Marine Corps orientation will include General Officer-level briefings on current Marine Corps operations and future employment concepts, tentatively scheduled for 29 July. See Marine Corps Senior Service Representative Col. Tim Frantz for further information, or call 717.245.4862.

Civilian students should stop and meet Associate Dean Julie Manta in Root Hall Room A220 and plan on the two-day Civilian Student Orientation, scheduled on Aug. 4-5. The orientation introduces civilian professionals of the student body to the USAWC professional military education, provides strategic overview of core courses and military Services, and offers topics selected to enhance civilian students’ professional development and interaction with military counterparts, e.g., senior leader communication, public speaking and the communicative arts program.

Centralized In-processing:

At Centralized In-Processing appointment (scheduled during the period 3-6 August), you’ll complete the USAWC and installation in-processing at Collins Hall in Room 1029, 650 Wright Avenue.

What to expect:

Plan for CIP to take up to 3 hours, dependent upon how much of the Online In-Processing you have completed.

Arrive with your security badge, ID (CAC) card, military medical and dental records (if not already turned in to Dunham) and any additional supporting documentation that will ease your in-processing timeline, e.g., Foreign Language Proficiency Pay (FLPP) orders and testing scores (DA Form 330).

Be prepared to be photographed for your Bio Book photo. Military students should arrive with the appropriate service uniform (Class A/ equivalent) and, for civilian students, in coat and tie/ business attire.

Spouses may get Bio Book photos taken during Centralized In-Processing. If unavailable during CIP, spouses may walk in at any time during Zero Week at the Photo Lab in Root Hall, Room A05, 122 Forbes Avenue. No appointment needed; call 717.245.3406 for questions.

Family Activities before USAWC classes start in Zero Week

Army Heritage & Education Center schedules several history-centric events at its easy-access site, marked by the historic weapons and buildings on the Army Heritage Trail. Inside, find the Soldiers Experience exhibit and more --

  • July 15 evening lecture at 7:15 p.m. author Jim DeFelice talks about 'American Sniper'
  • July 27-31 Soldier Experience Living History Adventure Camp, for youth, call 717.258-1102 for details
  • August 6 lecture at 7:15 p.m. about "Brothers at war: The unending conflict in Korea"
  • August 8 Mysteries in Military History: Bring an item and get help to identify its past; preserve a personal historic artifacts, or start the military part of family geneology.
  • Aug 10 – 14 a second offering of the Soldier Experience Living History Camp

Youth Services sponsors two Welcome Jams – one for high school teens and for middle school students – an Elementary Ice Cream Social and the popular K-12 Kids Day. These are open to all incoming student families regardless of where you live or where you’ll go to school. For more information call 717-245-4638.

  • High School Welcome Jam: informal, fun, and free for High School Teens in grades 9-12, scheduled for Tuesday, July 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the McConnell Youth Center. Find old friends and meet new ones through ice-breakers, group games, dancing, and food.
  • Welcome Jam for Middle School students in grades 6-8: scheduled for Wed., July 29 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the McConnell Youth Center: free with ice-breakers, group games, dancing, food.
  • Elementary Ice Cream Social is the way for children in K-5th grade to enjoy their own 'ice' breaker: scheduled for Thursday, July 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Kids Day, Aug. 21, 2-5:30 p.m. for youth of the Carlisle Barracks community, K-12th grade: a special open house with games, food, and introduction to Youth Services programs.

Chapel Vacation Bible School takes place on post at the Memorial Chapel for pre-K to 6th grade, August 3-7. Register July 15 – Aug. 3 at 717.245.4330. Volunteers welcome (7th grade - adult).

School District Insights

  • Aug. 5-6 New freshman at Carlisle High School are invited to "HERD 100" -- a 2-day orientation at the high school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • August 6 School Districts Orientation: 2-4 p.m. in Bliss Hall, Root Hall. School District orientations in Bliss Hall give opportunity for USAWC students and student spouses to meet with senior representatives of Carlisle Area School District, Cumberland Valley School District, Mechanicsburg School District, and Saint Patrick’s (K-8) School for in-depth discussion of your questions.
  • See Families for more information on Schools and the School Liaison Office. See Teens for a focused look at the high schooler’s experience.

Downtown Welcome to Students & Families: Friday, Aug. 7, 6-9 p.m. Restaurant walk, food tastings, family activities; find a map at the Downtown Carlisle Assoc. tent on the square at Hanover & High.

Zero Week: week of 10 August 2015 (student & family events)

Zero week will serve as an orientation to the seminar, to resources available for during the coming year, and to the community. Many events are designed for both student and family.

Your faculty team will schedule a Seminar Ice-breaker, typically between Sunday and Wednesday of Zero Week, as an informal meet-and-greet for student families.

Seminar groups will first meet in seminar on Monday of Zero Week before joining the full student body for leadership and curriculum briefings in Bliss Hall. Mandatory training will be scheduled for Information Technology and Blackboard-specific training, according to a by-seminar schedule.

Wednesday, Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is the County Fair: your incredible one-stop information fair to learn about on-post recreation; registration for fitness classes, youth sports, Scouts, trips; AND downtown churches, restaurants, arts, retailers, community-based non-profits, 'deals' and more. In a very informal yet organized setting, students and spouses and kids will enjoy the extraordinary outlay of all that is available to you this year.

Thursday, 13 Aug is Leader Resiliency Day featuring national experts with insights for you and your spouse about healthy life styles for strategic leaders.

Friday, Aug 14 is scheduled for significant events to mark the beginning of the academic year. Convocation, at 8 a.m. in Bliss Hall, is the formal start to the Class of 2016 year. Opening Ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14 is an inspiring event for the whole family that features the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the Army Drill Team, and the Army Band in a ceremony that reflects the significance of the student year at the Army's center for strategic thought. And, immediately following is the Welcome Family Picnic and 'boatyard wars' icebreaker event, at the swimming pool/picnic site, for students and families. Beach wear encouraged at opening ceremony and the family picnic.

What to expect:

'Carlisle Casual' uniform (men in slacks, sport shirt and/or sweater; women in skirts or slacks with top or casual dress). Spouses welcome at these Zero Week events - all family members encouraged at the Welcome Picnic Zero week events on post in Root Hall academic building or Bliss Hall auditorium

Zero week will serve as an orientation to the seminar, the resources available for you during the coming year, and the community.

Week One, week of 17 August:

USAWC classes begin with Course One, Introduction to Strategic Landpower

What to expect:

Typical day is morning classes, afternoon reading & preparation; 'Carlisle Casual' uniform (men in slacks, sport shirt and/or sweater; women in skirts or slacks with top or casual dress)

Students will have online access to weekly schedules that include academic event, date, time, location and uniform. Uniform will change throughout the year.

Week Two, week of 24 August:

USAWC Class schedules become routine: Typical week is 4 days in seminar and 1 Reading/Writing/Research day; this week RWR day is Aug. 26.

Strategic Leadership Course begins Aug. 28.

Classes (K-12) start this week for most area school districts.

Week Three, week of 31 August:

Families adjust to the USAWC academic philosophy. For every 3 contact hours in seminar, expect 9 hours reading & preparing. RWR day this week is Friday, Sep. 4.

Softball begins: team-building seminar-based softball games scheduled in September welcome friends and family, at Thorpe Field between Root Hall and Young Hall family residences.

Week Four, week of 7 September:

Labor Day Holiday observed, Sep 7 – Theory of War and Strategy Course begins Sep 9. – and, the Special Programs Brief on Sept. 9 will introduce unique academic courses and activities, e.g., special electives like the Eisenhower Speaking program, the National Security Policy Program, and the Advanced Strategic Art Program, among others (see ACADEMIC for more info)

The post-wide Fall Yard Sale is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sep. 19.