FirstSpear TV

Anyone Use Wooden Barracks?

Over the course of my career, I used the old wooden-style barracks as both barracks as well as work space. For example, there were numerous occasions where they were used for exercises and as transient billeting. When 3rd Group first reactivated in 1990, we used the Old Division Area barracks on Bragg as our unit buildings until the compound on New Smoke Bomb Hill was completed.

What about you?

66 Responses to “Anyone Use Wooden Barracks?”

  1. Billiam says:

    Oh god. PLDC/WLC was still over there using the wood ones when I went through. When they stood up 4/3 SFG I think they were over there for a little while too, before they moved them over behind South Post PX.

  2. Kevin Rooney says:

    Receiving barracks, Parris Island 1980.

  3. Waki says:

    18X program ran SOPC after 9-11 for a number of years, just down from what became 4/3 sfg…. across from pike field. Good memories, at least early on, it was a great place to learn and concentrate on the heavy rucking/land nav that was the bread and butter of the course (anyone enjoy the nearby ‘tank trail’ before it was cleaned up and rocked. You don’t need fancy buildings and such to train…. sad, to see them start to go…

    • Mark M. says:

      I remember that, we used to run with SFC Terry and his chocolate lab up and down those trails in the morning before 12 hours of land nav. I still remember running around pike field until somebody quit. “Lord have MRSA!”

      • Tank says:

        Were you there for SFC Burton and his signature exercise, the Burton Heart Breaker? That was when the gig pits were still there and performing the SOPC zipper at 1 am on the parade field was a nightly event. Selection seemed like reprieve from SOPC antics.

        • Mark M. says:

          Yup! I remember that, and Pac week. I had the same reaction to SFAS you did. Best summer ever.

      • MapajorDa says:

        Terry, his dog, and the morning runs on the tank trail…Constant warnings of “Mind your footing”.

        07/05. Dirty Sanchez rides again.

  4. Tom says:

    Stayed in those many, many times over the years at Camp Roberts CA.

  5. jbgleason says:

    LoL. Spent many weeks in the WWII barracks at Ft. Huachuca during Selection process. They held off on posting the Condemned notice placards because we were in them. Good times.

  6. Chris K. says:

    Butner Road, I think they still exist.

  7. SGT Rock says:

    Ft. Benning, Ft. Ord, Ft. Shafter, Camp Smith, Ft. Lewis, Camp Roberts, Ft. Hunter Liggett…

  8. Jon, OPT says:

    Polk, Bragg, Wainwright

  9. jbgleason says:

    Possibly my favorite single post in the history of SSD. Who woulda thunk it?

  10. paul says:

    Bragg, Indian Gap, and probably others

  11. B31A says:

    Infantry AIT Harmony Church,Ft.Benning ,GA – 1987

    • patrulje says:

      Harmony Church – OSUT 84, LRSLC 92

      • 32sbct says:

        Harmony Chruch, Fort Benning – OSUT 1985, every time I went to Fort Indiantown Gap, Fort Pickett, or A.P. Hill in the 80’s and 90’s. Mobilizing and demobilizing at Fort Bragg for OIF II in 2004.

  12. AGL Bob says:

    Basic at Ft. Jackson in ’69. The barracks weren’t bad but the heaters were the pits.

  13. rotorhd says:

    Lived in them in he 90’s
    (old North or South?) Fort Lewis WA
    Fort Chaffee AR

    Saw them at;
    Fort Rucker AL
    Many other places.

  14. AbnMedOps says:

    CAP Cadet Encampment, Ft. Lewis, 1976
    ROTC Advanced Camp, Ft. Lewis, 1986
    10th Group, office space and ISOFAC, Ft. Devens, 1993-95
    55th Med Group, office space, Ft. Bragg (COSCOM area), 1995-98
    Various TDY’s and mobilizations, everywhere.

    I still have a big pile of bricks salvaged from chimneys of Ft. Bragg WWII barracks demolished in 98 – one day I will build a brick patio or something!

  15. Diddler says:

    Keeping it gangster at Old Division for parts of SFQC. I look back on the bleakness of it raining inside with the fondest of memories.

  16. Harry says:

    What’s amazing is that any of those barracks lasted as long as they did/have.
    They just don’t make em like that any more.

  17. Ray Forest says:

    Bragg CMA, Beginning and ending of JRTC rotations, Harmony Church at the old SMA Academy. Using the front ladders was much cooler than using the stairs. Hanging out after hours on the “balcony” was pimp.

  18. Mark M. says:

    I might have lived in that same building at Old Division. We got moved out of one where we could only use the second floor because the bottom floor was supposedly condemned.

  19. Mountainsniper31 says:

    I’ve seen the movie Stripes a bunch of times. Does that count?

    Oh, and Harmony Church.

  20. Gavin says:

    In the 90s, we would sometimes use the buildings in the Old Division area off Butner Road for destructive training (breaching walls, roofs, etc). We could use the building until if was pretty much used up, and then the fire department would set it on fire and put it out, then torch it again.

    10 years later we were housing mobilized reservists in the same area, in whatever buildings remained…serviceable? Habitable? Hell, the buildings that offered some protection against the elements, anyway.

    The cycle of life…

  21. Grumpy says:

    Q-course at Bragg. Also, team room at Ft. Devens.

    • SSD says:

      With few exceptions, it seems like everything was in those buildings at Devens.

      • AbnMedOps says:

        Some of those old Ft. Devens team room buildings had German graphitti in the latrines, from the days when Ft. Devens was a POW camp for politically anti-Nazi EPW’s.

  22. Attack 7 says:

    Cold War Big MIL – 4/E/4-36th INF, 2nd Infantry Training Brigade, Harmony Church Ft. Benning GA 1987! Right above the gym that had the Ranger School pool (if you old heads remember breaking the ice for the CWST)! I’ll drive by there next week during the MCoE Conf, it’s my 29th Anniversary this weekend!

  23. Maskirovka says:

    Aaah Splinter City… Jackson, Lewis, Meade, Hood, Cp Roberts…

  24. jeff e. says:

    Ft. Polk 1975
    Camp Drum 1976
    FT Benning 1983
    FT Bragg 1989

  25. Ryan says:

    Fort Custer in Battle Creek Michigan still has them. Most of them are renovated; we did stay in the unrenovated ones at one point and it wasn’t pretty.

  26. Mac says:

    Most “unique” one I stayed in was at Ft. Knox. It was the one the crew from “Stripes” either stayed in or used in the movie. There was a support beam right by my rack that had the entire cast & crew’s signatures on it. Pretty neat.

    • JKifer says:

      been in those too, you know they close them down awhile back due to all of the asbestos in em…

      • Jester says:

        Last time I saw those was around ’06. They were closed then, but I don’t think they had been closed for long.

        I stayed in the 5th group buildings at Ft. Campbell not long after that. They weren’t wooden, but they weren’t much better. The ready rooms looked like the visitors center from a 1970s prison movie.

  27. Bill says:

    Yup, and also Quonset huts and wooden squad shacks. We actually had real fire watch in the squad shacks because it was heated by an oil stove in the center. If the stove went out you woke up to a layer of frost on everything.

  28. Hodge175 says:

    Yes, I started my military career in Harmony Church in 1988, now that I continue to serve a member of the PAARNG Stryker units we stay in those barracks almost every drill weekend at the “Gap.”

    They have come a long way since I first started staying in them, they all have been completely remodeled inside. To include metal roofs, drywall throughout and new storm windows. They actually have 120 throughout the building, which if anybody has ever stayed in these types of building it was always a task to find 120 outlets.

    The bedding could be better, but its also not the end of the world and Joe destroys anything you give him.

  29. Kev says:

    Fort Ord

  30. Sam says:

    I stayed in old barracks like that at Ft. Pickett, Ft. Polk, and in Old Division at Bragg during mob.

  31. PETE says:

    Fort Lewis.
    Figured I stayed in the same barracks my Grandfather used in the 40’s and my Dad in 60’s when they were there.

  32. Wardog 1-7 says:

    Let’s see, Fort Chaffee, for training in ’96, Bragg for PLDC in ’00, and countless times at Polk on rotation, not to mention Splinter Village at Benning when coming down for schools.

  33. maresdesign says:

    Yup. I knew these well. They used to call them “7 minute” barracks since they would burn to the ground that fast if they caught fire.

  34. 32sbct says:

    Most of those old WW II barracks had a T before the building number, as in T-1520. I was told that the “T” was for temporary building. One thing is for sure, the U.S. taxpayer got their money’s worth out of those buildings. I had also read that the Soldiers themselves built the barracks when they arrived at the various training bases. That would make sense since the Army expanded to 91 divisions in WW 2. It always amazes me what the Army (and the nation) accomplished in WW II. Raising and training 91 divisions while fighting a war on multiple fronts.

  35. Ric Graves says:

    Lived in them at POLK and GORDON, what I remember most was the 3AM fire watch. Trying to get the next watch up was a joke.

  36. JD says:

    Stayed in them from time to time at Bragg, Lewis, Devens, and Meade… were classrooms at Huachuca…

  37. Rodent says:

    Live in one now!
    When North Fort Hood built new barracks for TXARNG, they sold off some of the old wood buildings. An enterprising fellow bought one, moved it to a hilltop overlooking the Leon River, and installed his family in 1973. We bought the place in 1997. I tore up every piece of carpet upon moving in, and I walk on those fine 1943 walnut floors every day.

  38. Buckaroomedic says:

    Old Division with Civil Affairs MOB in ’06. The only thing keeping our building together was the termites holding hands!

    At the same time the Air Force CA guys were getting “substandard accommodation” pay and all of us soldiers getting mad about it. Good times, good times.

  39. Edward says:

    Harmony Church at Ft. Benning 1987 and Ft. Devens, MA various times 1987-1993.

  40. Aaron says:

    For only being rated for a life of five years they certainly lasted a long time.

  41. Eric B says:

    Oh yeah. Lackland way back in the forgotten corner, Ft. Lewis, and not wood, but old Quonsets at Camp Upshur in Quantico

  42. Toby Melville says:

    North Fort, Ft. Lewis. Many days there on the flat range or working the fish bowl. Oh, don’t forget Club Moo!

  43. VictorVector says:

    Oh, yeah – Ft Leonard Wood, back in the day. But those were a luxury resort compared to one of our deployment sites in Germany, where the sporadically occupied wooden barracks were infested with rodents. One of my buddies brought a blow gun, and shot dozens of mice, and hung the carcasses from a clothesline right outside the door.

  44. EGS says:

    Tank Hill, Ft Jackson, 1991
    Currently working on the TSE side of Bragg in one.

  45. Matt says:

    First taste of military life in 1976, ROTC weekend at Ft Indiantown Gap, PA…someone was tasked to shovel coal into the furnace.

    A convoy RON stop in “substandard” barracks at Edgewood Arsenal, MD, 1988…we were too tired to notice.

    JRTC at Ft Polk 1996…stayed 3 days in “substandard” barracks, one of the toilets was ripped out and thrown in the center of the bay. There was a big wire spool in there that the guys used for a card table.

    North Ft Lewis for an exercise in 2003, very well kept (using “USAR goggles”) wooden barracks, including company mess halls.

    Back to Ft Indiantown Gap for a range weekend in 2005. Full circle! (but furnace was oil fired, not coal)!

  46. Chris says:

    Ft. Bragg, Dec. ’02 to Jan. ’03 as my reserve unit was doing train-ups for deployment.

  47. Tom says:

    This picture brings back memories of annual visits to Ft Bragg I made with my scout troop. We used to spend the night in the old wooden barracks.