Sarah's Top Things to Know About Coming to the United States Army War College

A Top 10 List
Things to Know About the USAWC
by  Sarah (with a little help from my friends)

10. Make Friends Quickly

You will need a local emergency contact for your kids immediately upon arriving at Carlisle Barracks. During the first or second week of class, there are spouse briefs that you will want to attend. If you have kids, this is quite challenging. Get a friend and swap off babysitting, or even better find a friend that has babysitting aged kids! There has been talk about the staff understanding this is a hindrance to those first briefings and there might just be a solution by the time your class arrives, but just in case, make friends quickly!
9. Download Google Translator on Your Phone

There are 73 international students here this year, about three in each seminar. Some of the spouses speak little to no English and Google Translator has become a great way to communicate. Enjoy these folks! They add so much to the seminar and to the experience here at the AWC.

8. Don't Miss the County Fair

When you get here, you will see advertisements for the County Fair. This is a can't miss! Area businesses will be here to advertise. It's a great time to see what is here locally and find a new hair dresser!

7. Youth Services is AWESOME!
This is another one for you, if you have kids. Youth Services and the Child Development Center are great here on post. Youth Services offers everything from Art Classes to Soccer and Basketball to Piano lessons to Field Trips for 6-12 graders to dodge ball on Friday nights in Root Hall gym. Don't miss out on dodge ball. It is so good that it can be used to bribe kids to do just about anything. YS also offers free tutoring in the afternoons, as well as an after school program. Take advantage of this. It's a great thing that is available.

              6. USAWC Wardrobe Basics

One of the first weeks you are here, there is a class called, “Dressed for Success”. Go. It's fun and informative, but deals with what you are expected to wear as a spouse. Before you come to AWC, look for sales and invest in a basic suit and lots of tops, including a cardigan or two, to mix and match. You will be glad you did! There are many functions where business dress is expected, especially at the very beginning of the year and the NYC trip, but I have worn that suit more than I expected I would. You will receive a name tag at the beginning of the year. Wear it to all gatherings and if you are not sure if you should wear it or not, stick it in your purse and see if others are wearing theirs. Oh, and remember...right is right and you won't ever forget which side to wear it on.

5. Carlisle Restaurants are YUMMY!

For a small town, Carlisle has a great selection of local restaurants. Don't miss the Pasta Bread at Carlisle Bakery or an ice cream cone at Leo's. You have to try the Hot-chee dog at the Hamilton, it's a local favorite that isn't even on the menu. Marcello's on Calvary Road has yummy pizza, Stromboli and pasta. Redd's on Hanover has great BBQ and you can't beat the selection of wings at the North Hanover Grill. You can find it all. Hanover Street and High Streets are great places to start.

4. Go to FLAGS

There are great classes that are offered to spouses here. One is FLAGS. FLAGS is a workshop that really dives into who you are and to work in groups and with groups. It uses self assessment tests and gave great insight into why we are the way we are. When time comes for the students to take electives, there are many courses that are open for spouses to audit. Take advantage of this! Carlisle Barracks was able to be “Virtual Members” to the AUSA conference and it was a wonderful thing to be a part of. Take part in the spouse project, be a part of a publication that reaches to all of the military communities.

            3. Don't Just Sit There, Do Something!
There are so many things to get involved with on Post. Spouses Club is a great way to meet other spouses of students as well as permanent party spouses. Go on a Touristas trip. Join a bowling league over at the Strike Zone. Go to the Tiki Bar and meet new friends. If you live on post, grab someone who doesn't and try one of Balfour Beatty's classes. The fitness facilities on post are great and they offer lots of classes...FREE! Check out the Chapel. Meet a friend and walk around the golf course. The pool is a great place to hang out if you get here before classes start. Take ballroom dancing lessons that are offered right here on post! (Contact Frank Hancock for info at Check out the Spouse Share Page, even before you come to see other things that are going on: Jump in. Make friends. You won't regret it.

2. Be a Tourist.

Like history? Gettysburg is 45 minutes away. Philadelphia and DC are 2 hours away. Like amusement parks? See Hershey! You can be there in under an hour. Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is about four hours away and free admission is offered to Military members and up to 3 dependents. Lancaster is a great place to see the Amish, eat great food and shop. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is within a 2 hour drive. There are so many things to do around here! Before you go anywhere, check with LTS (Leisure Travel Services). They have discount tickets to lots of different places and also offer trips including tickets and a bus ride to the Army-Navy Game.

1. Take Time to Relax

You will have great time to relax with your family and with your spouse. Weekends will be yours to do as you please and there are many 3 and 4 day weekends. Make a list of things you want to do and do them. Before you know it it will be spring and you will be looking toward graduation and packing and wonder where the year went to. Visit historic places, try new restaurants, take a bike ride, Carlisle is a fun place to spend a year.

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