Fort Leonard Wood Basic Training

A guide to the base and everything that goes on there for new families.

Many a family has found their way to this website, reading through the tears, missing their soldiers, looking for information, connection and anything and everything that can be found out about their soldiers new journey, so don’t worry, you’re in good company.

My own daughter attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood. Given my education and experience in the travel industry, I spent some time researching travel in the area, checking out Vacation houses near Ft. Leonard Wood, gathering opinions of other army family members, searching out unit Facebook pages, scowering the internet for her mailing address, and eventually, I created this page. In fact, I even blogged about my daughters time in the Army. I've recently created the step by step guide to Graduation at Ft. Leonard Wood. It’s pretty rough yet, so let me know what you think.

Ft. Leonard Wood Army BaseFt Leonard Wood Missouri

Whether you’re an army mom or an army wife, a husband or a father, one of the most gratifying moments of your soldier’s career will be that first visit with them following basic training. Generally this is on family day, or for some, it might actually be graduation.

Other occasions for visits include Christmas Leave which is largely referred to as Holiday Block Leave, and Veterans Day time off. Soldiers in both Basic Training (BCT) and in AIT are granted Christmas leave as well as paid time off (PTO) for Veterans Day.

As exciting as visiting your soldier will be, getting there can be a daunting task. There are so many things that you have to think about, flights, Fort Leonard Wood hotels, rental cars or taxis; and that’s just the transportation aspect of the visit. There are also the items that you have to have with you to get onto to base, like a licensed driver and auto insurance if you’re driving to the base.

Let’s break it down a little bit and get it figured out.

First, Fort Leonard Wood is a TRADOC installation. That means it’s an Army posts that executes Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.

Where is Fort Leonard Wood Military Base?

Fort Leonard Wood is located right in the middle of Missouri Ozarks. The military base is about 90 miles east of Springfield, Missouri, and just about 140 miles west of St. Louis Mo. on Interstate 44. 

Closest Airport to Fort Leonard Wood Military Base

The first thing I found myself trying to figure out when it came time to booking my own trip to Fort Leonard Wood for the first time was which of the airports is the closest. I’d never before found myself flying into an airport base.

There are 4 airports each located within a 2 to a 2 and a ½ hour drive of Fort Leonard Wood. There are shuttles available; we’ll talk about vehicular options a little later in the article.

Landing Directly on the Fort Leonard Wood Military Base

There’s a small commuter airline that is available for those that would like to arrive directly onto the base by air. Tickets on these planes have to be purchased via To book your flight, choose STL as your departure city, and TBN as your arrival city. (My daughters boyfriend flew cape air, he said the plane was virtually empty, and he definitely recommends this service.. and .. I receive no commission or advertising money for sharing that tidbit with you :D. )

Airports near Fort Leonard Wood Army Base

Most people flying into Missouri to visit Ft. Leonard Wood fly into St. Louis Airport. There is however a small airport located right on the base.

  • Branson (BKG)
  • Springfield (SGF)
  • St. Louis (STL)
  • Waynesville (TBN)

Arriving at Fort Leonard Wood – The Gate

When you arrive at the army base to visit your soldier, be it for graduation, family day, or any other event there are a few things you’ll need to have ready:

  1. The driver must have a valid driver’s license.
  2. Valid vehicle registration.
  3. Identification for all passengers over the age of 16.
  4. Proof of Car Insurance
  5. Rental Paperwork for Rented Vehicle’s.

The driver of each car hands the guard all the Id’s of everyone in the car. It is a fast process. If you leave and return to the base, you repeat the process, every time you go in the gate you have to show id.

If you’ve rented transportation, then the rental paperwork serves as your proof of insurance and vehicle registration. If you’re in a taxi, you’ll just need valid identification for all passengers. It’s possible that you won’t have to show any or all of the items available, however, have them out and ready when you arrive at the gate, this is after all no time for a mishap.

Taking a bus or train to Fort Leonard Wood Military Base

Taking Amtrak to FLW

Amtrak service is available in Missouri; however, the closest train depot is about 131 miles from Fort Leonard Wood. It is perhaps possible to take Amtrak in conjunction with Greyhound to get to the army base.

Taking Greyhound to FLW

There is a Greyhound stop in St. Roberts Missouri which borders the military base. The bus station is located at 718 Missouri Ave in St Robert Missouri.

Taxi Service near Fort Leonard Wood Military Base

Once you arrive at Fort Leonard Wood, you’re probably either going to rent a car, or need a taxi service to get you onto and around the base. Taxi service is available from Waynesville as well as from the St. Robert area to all locations at Fort Leonard Wood.

Fort Leonard Wood Taxi Companies

  • Post Cab Co. – 573-336-0111
  • Yellow Cab – 573-336-5777
  • City Cab Company – 573-336-3831

However you get to Fort Leonard Wood, we hope you and your soldier have a fabulous visit! Enjoy your time together!

Whether you’re an army mom or an army wife, a husband or a father, one of the most gratifying moments of your soldier’s career will be that first visit with them following basic training. Generally this is on family day, or for some, it might actually be graduation.