Thousands Head Home for Fort Jackson Victory Block Leave
As the holiday season approaches, Fort Jackson is gearing up for a heartwarming reunion as thousands of trainees and soldiers embark on their well-deserved two-week Victory Block Leave. This annual tradition allows military personnel to take a break from rigorous training and reconnect with their loved ones.
The departure process, orchestrated by Fort Jackson transportation planners and travel offices, has been meticulously planned for months to ensure a smooth transition for over 7,000 trainees and soldiers. Various modes of transportation, including commercial airlines, buses, trains, and private vehicles, will be utilized to accommodate the soldiers heading home.
Graduating on Thursday, Dec. 14, many soldiers will travel with their families in privately owned vehicles, marking the beginning of this joyous holiday exodus. The main wave of departures will occur late Sunday night, continuing throughout Dec. 18 and 19, with commercial buses shuttling soldiers to key locations such as Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and the Columbia Amtrak station.
To oversee the movement and ensure a smooth process, Fort Jackson cadre members will be present, guiding trainees, ensuring proper behavior, and facilitating the boarding of transportation. Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson Commander, extended warm wishes to the families in a heartfelt letter, emphasizing the importance of a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
“We ask for your help in ensuring that your soldier returns to Fort Jackson ready to continue training,” said Brig. Gen. Kelly. “Thank you for your support and commitment to our Army and our nation.”
For those trainees who opt to stay on base during Christmas, the holdover unit has a range of festive activities planned between Dec. 20 and 30. Fort Jackson’s Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation has collaborated with local community partners in Columbia and Lexington to offer diverse events, ensuring that every soldier can experience the holiday spirit, whether at home or on base.
As Fort Jackson soldiers disperse to celebrate with their families, the community looks forward to welcoming them back, ready to continue their training and service to the nation.