Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth

Moving Toolkit

About Fort Leavenworth

If you’ve ever been stationed at Fort Leavenworth or have begun to tell people that it will be your next duty station, you’ve heard all of the jokes: “What’d you do?” “How long are you going to be in for?” “Oh, you’re going to be ‘stationed’ there.” People just can’t help it. After all, Fort Leavenworth may be most famous worldwide for being the home of the U.S. military’s maximum-security prison. Yet there is so much more to Fort Leavenworth. It is affectionately known as the “Intellectual Center of the Army,” and it houses some of the most prestigious Army schools, including the Command and General Staff College (CGSC). CGSC is the current iteration of the School of Application for Cavalry and Infantry, established by General William T. Sherman in 1881, the first of its kind. Fort Leavenworth also supports U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command by housing the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center. The Foreign Military Studies Office also calls the post home.


Fort Leavenworth was named for Colonel Henry Leavenworth, who established the fort in 1827. It is the oldest active post west of Washington, D.C., and the oldest permanent settlement in Kansas. It was the base for the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment (commonly known as the Buffalo Soldiers), which was formed in 1866. The post enjoys an amiable relationship with the town that has grown up around it. Given the post’s location close to Kansas City, big-city amenities are available within 45 minutes of the installation.


Fort Leavenworth boasts its own “school district,” comprised of an elementary and middle school, both of which are consistently rated some of the best schools In the state. There is no high school on post, but students can be bussed to Leavenworth High School, which is home to the country’s first JROTC unit.

If you like history, Fort Leavenworth will make you happy. When driving around post, you can still see buildings that have been standing almost since the inception of the fort. Of particular note are the Fort Leavenworth Stables, which still houses horses, and the Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park. Its location on the west bank of the Missouri River provides some stunning views. Stop by the USDB Sales Store near the stables for a unique souvenir of your time here. The shop sells textile, metal, and woodworking home goods crafted by the military prisoners who call Fort Leavenworth home. Fort Leavenworth and the surrounding communities have a lower cost of living than the national average. In general, deployments, while stationed at Fort Leavenworth, are less likely, and the Army likes to say it’s one of their best “family-friendly” posts. Whether you’re stationed here for one year or four, Fort Leavenworth

About Leavenworth

Leavenworth is a charming Kansas town that grew up along the west bank of the Missouri River, about 25 miles northwest of Kansas City. Incorporated in 1859 as the first city in the Kansas Territory, Leavenworth has played a vital role in American history since its establishment in 1827. First, Leavenworth was a key supply base for western expansion and settlement. Then it was a destination for African American refugees in and around Kansas just before and during the Civil War.

The city has been home to many notable historical figures, including Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Charles Henry Langston, an African American leader originally from Boston who worked tirelessly to secure suffrage and legal rights for all. Today, museums, trails, and historic buildings pay tribute to these men and their place in American history. Leavenworth is also home to the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, which houses four antique carousels, including a hand-carved wooden carousel dating from 1913. Families can still ride all of these carousels for a reasonable fee.

Deleware Ave. off base

Leavenworth enjoys a humid continental climate consisting of hot, humid summers and cold, drier winters. Average temperatures are 25°F in the winter and 90°F in the summer. As with any climate like this, spring brings awe-inspiring thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes, though Leavenworth has historically been lucky with tornado activity. Leavenworth is home to the University of Saint Mary—a four-year, private Catholic college—and a Kansas City Community College satellite campus. In addition to being a college town, Leavenworth’s biggest employer is the U.S. military. It enjoys a lower-than-average cost of living.

Leavenworth is proud of its military history. Two Medal of Honor recipients calls the city home. Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park pays tribute to one of its most famous units. It is also home to the country’s first Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), based at Leavenworth High School. In addition, some of the Army’s most prestigious schools are located at Fort Leavenworth.

Of course, what most people associate with Leavenworth is that it is home to four detention centers and prisons, including the military’s maximum-security prison. A fifth prison is located in nearby Lansing, Kansas. For all of its prisons, Leavenworth inhabitants enjoy a lower-than-average crime rate, and most residents say that they hardly notice the prisons in the course of everyday life. Instead, they enjoy catching glimpses of the herd of bison that call the city home; visiting some of the historic, nearby towns, such as Olathe, at Christmastime; or heading into Kansas City to take advantage of big-city amenities.

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Nearby Neighborhoods

Key Contacts

Housing Services Office
600 Thomas Avenue
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
PH: (913) 684-3052
(913) 684-5673

Frontier Heritage Communities
220 Hancock Avenue
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
PH: (913) 347-8157

School Support Services
600 Thomas Avenue
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
PH: (913) 684-1655

Most installation services will be available Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. As always, call first to confirm hours and availability of services.

Helpful hint: Contact these offices early in the week during the morning time frame.

Base Housing

Cannons Along the River on Base

Almost everyone will tell you that if you ever plan to live on post, this is the place to do it. The post offers many housing options if you are here for school (one to two years) or for a regular assignment. It’s safe and has a 1950s small-town feel, with children playing outside, community bonfires, and many great playgrounds. Add in a healthy dose of family-friendly activities, and many say living on Fort Leavenworth is the best experience of their military careers. The post has an elementary school, a middle school, and a very active homeschool co-op. Although navigating the on-post housing system can be tricky, everything else falls into place once you’ve secured housing.

Frontier Heritage Communities manage on-post housing. There are several neighborhoods with a range of 3-, 4-, and 5-bedroom floor plans and a mix of duplex and single-family homes. Amenities on post include a fitness center, bowling alley, parks, and more.

Off-Base Housing


The “First City in Kansas” is rich in charm and history. With a population of around 35,000, it boasts historic homes—priced well below expectation—and its high school offers many college-level courses. In 2008, an underground city was discovered running below the historic downtown area. With Leavenworth’s proximity to post, it is easy to take advantage of all the family-friendly activities. Plus, it’s only 45 minutes to Kansas City.

Big Plus

  • Living in Leavenworth means a short commute to the installation.
  • This area includes reasonably priced historic homes.
  • Downtown Leavenworth has many boutique shops and restaurants

Things to Consider

  • The roads are icy in the winter.
  • Traffic backs up during rush hour.
  • There are several grocery stores in town, but you may need to travel to Kansas City for more shopping options.


Lansing has been consistently named “one of the safest and quietest cities in the U.S.” Located approximately 10 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Lansing offers small-town charm (population is around 12,000) and stellar schools. Its brand-new high school boasts state-of-the-art technology and the highest graduation rate in the state. Lansing has abundant housing options, whether you want to buy or rent. Military families who make Lansing home tend to recommend looking at the Rock Creek and Wyndham Hills subdivisions. Plus, being only 30 minutes from Kansas City means you can enjoy the amenities of a big city without all of the inconveniences.

Big Plus

  • Families with children appreciate the great schools and family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Commuting from Lansing to the installation is easy.
  • Its small-town charm appeals to many looking for a quieter place to live.

Things to Consider

  • The commute time to the installation is roughly 20 minutes.
  • Roads are icy in winter.
  • Housing goes quickly, so working with an experienced real estate agent is of tremendous value in this market.

Platte City

Platte City is a small town (population of 4,700) located about 10 minutes from downtown Kansas City. It enjoys a low crime rate, excellent schools, family-friendly subdivisions with great HOAs, and affordable housing. Commute time to post is 20-25 minutes, depending on weather and traffic conditions. Its proximity to Kansas City makes it highly desirable for those wanting to experience big-city living. Popular subdivisions include Seven Bridges, Running Horse, and
Timber Park. The nearby Zona Rosa area is situated just inside the Kansas City border and offers luxury condo-style living near downtown and the airport.

Big Plus

  • Proximity to Kansas City provides entertainment, shops, and restaurant options.
  • Platte City is within 10 minutes of the Kansas City International Airport
  • Platte City includes many affordable housing options, complete with HOA amenities.

Things to Consider

  • The commute to Fort Leavenworth is 20-25 minutes.
  • Housing costs are slightly higher than in other areas.
  • Platte City has a rural feel, and you must drive into Kansas City for most amenities.

7 Reasons You Should Consider Buying a Home


To encourage homeownership, the IRS has provided many tax breaks for owning a home. Credits may be available for specific home improvements, such as using clean energy or for qualified first-time home buyers. The way most homeowners see those advantages is through income tax itemization and deductions like mortgage interest and real estate taxes.


Owning your own house is one of the safest bets on stabilizing your monthly home costs. There’s no worry of rent getting increased significantly after each year of living in someone else’s home. Additionally, when you answer to yourself, there is no worry of landlord changes or unexpected lease termination.


Generally speaking, house hacking is a smart strategy that involves renting out a portion of your primary residence as a means of generating income to offset your own living expenses. Think turning your finished basement or mother-in-law quarters into an AirBnB! Or consider purchasing a multi-unit duplex or triplex: live on one side and rent out the other! If your home making money while you’re living in it doesn’t sound like your thing, there’s always renting it out after you PCS as an income generating investment property.

4. Increased Privacy

Generally speaking, house hacking is a smart strategy that involves renting out a portion of your primary residence as a means of generating income to offset your own living expenses. Think turning your finished basement or mother-in-law quarters into an AirBnB! Or consider purchasing a multi-unit duplex or triplex: live on one side and rent out the other! If your home making money while you’re living in it doesn’t sound like your thing, there’s always renting it out after you PCS as an income generating investment property.

5. Pets Are Welcome!

For those who choose to rent instead of buying, it can be extremely difficult to find rentals who allow for your
four-legged, furry friends. Landlords often require hefty pet deposits or place heavy restrictions on the number of pets and breeds they allow—if they will even allow pets. When considering quality of life, including beloved pets and the indoor and outdoor space available to them matters. Having the flexibility to include ALL members of your family as a homeowner is priceless!

6. Pride of Ownership

One of the greatest benefits of owning your own home is the pride of ownership that comes along with it. Not only are homeowners more inclined to take good care of their investment with routine maintenance and cleaning, but also they are free to make design choices ranging from hanging artwork on the walls, to paint colors, to customization of closets, electronics, and more. As military families who relocate frequently, having your home reflect who you really are feels important.

7. Safe and Stable Long Term Investment + Forced Savings

Owning a home has historically been one of the safest, lowest risk financial investments that tends to have long-term stability and success. As your home value appreciates and your mortgage balance decreases, what’s left is growing equity with an eventual paid off home. Making a monthly house payment is akin to setting aside a specific amount each month into a savings account—it’s a little difficult to access in the moment, but over time it can build into something significant in the form of equity.




Your PCS is underway!

The home buying and moving transition process has begun. Now what? If it feels like there are a million things to do, don’t fret because you don’t have to do them all yourself. During the relocation process, there are many service providers that can assist you in making your move a smooth one.

Consider these five resources to help you in the process


Sure, the military offers transportation and relocation services, but many service members decide to coordinate the transfer of household goods themselves. Not only can you often earn money on the difference between moving costs and weight allowances, but you can be assured that you have more control over your belongings. Services that moving companies offer can range from delivery of boxes and pods for the “you-pack” model all the way to full-service logistics companies that will do all of the packing, loading, driving, and unpacking for you.


Whether you need to store your household goods for a few weeks until you close on your home or you decide that you have more stuff than square footage, storage companies abound. Sizes, conditions, and contracts vary widely so be sure to do your homework before you commit. Particularly in climates with extreme cold, heat, or humidity, it is important to consider using only climate-controlled storage to ensure the protection of your furniture and temporarily unused items.


It is not uncommon for there to be a short gap of time during a military move between when you arrive at your new duty station and your new home being available to inhabit. No longer are hotels the only option for sticking out a few days or weeks during the wait. Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) and Airbnb are great options to make you feel more at home while you wait for your home. In fact, why not take advantage of seeing your new city through the eyes of a tourist? Find a location near new local attractions and dining and enjoy a few days of getting to know the lay of the land.


Once you get settled in at your new home, it’s important that you alert agencies that will make sure your current and up-to-date address is on file. The United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are two of the most important and by doing so, any important mail or documents in your name should be forwarded or sent along to your new address. It’s also a good idea to notify banks, credit card companies, and other debt collectors of a change of address. These days nearly all of these transactions can be handled online.


No matter how much you purge, toss, organize, minimize, or donate before you pack up the moving truck, it never fails that after you get unpacked on the other side there seems to be more stuff to declutter. Discard and donate services can help with this. Many are a phone call away and will happily come to your residence for a pickup. Others are structured where you simply drop off at a store. A lot of these services are charitable organizations and will offer you documentation for your own taxes based on your donation. It’s a win-win: you downsize by donating, and someone else benefits from your use of your items.