Fort Sill History

Fort Sill was founded by Maj. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan in 1869, and its original purpose was to protect Texas settlers from raids by Native American tribes. In the frontier days, the Native American tribes were nomadic, but they soon died out with the buffalo on the plains. There is still a strong Native American cultural connection to the land that Ft. Sill occupies.The nomadic tribes settled and soon Ft. Sill evolved into the Army School of Musketry, which was fed with Army Infantry and Cavalry Soldiers. Eventually, the Infantry and Cavalry left Ft. Sill and were replaced with the Army School of Fires, home of the Field Artillery branch, in 1911. The Field Artillery is affectionately known as the “King of Battle”.

In modern times, Ft. Sill is still home to the King of Battle, and has grown exponentially with the introduction of the Air Defense Artillery and Electronic Warfare branches. These three branches have combined to form the Fires Center of Excellence (FCOE). The FCOE is dedicated to training and developing Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen as leaders in order to meet the demands of full-spectrum operations, across interagency, intergovernmental and multinational, as well as joint operating environments.

Fort Sill Soldiers

The FCOE is responsible for the training of Soldiers from Private (PVT) all the way to Sergeant First Class (SFC) on the enlisted side, and from Second Lieutenant (2LT) to Captain (CPT) on the officer side. Some of the schools that are at Ft. Sill are:

  • Field Artillery School (Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training [AIT])
  • Basic Officer Leaders’ Course (BOLC)
  • Captain’s Career Course (CCC)
  • Air Defense Artillery School
  • Fort Sill Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy

Ft. Sill, which occupies over 94,000 acres of land in Lawton, OK, has a huge economic impact on the surrounding areas, close to $2 billion annually. There are approximately 60,000 family members that live on post or in the surrounding areas, and approximately 24,000 retirees as well. Ft. Sill has provided civilian jobs for over 7,000 people.

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