First Lady's visit open to the public

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama

FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - A portion of Michelle Obama's visit to Columbia Thursday will be open to the public.

The First Lady will be the guest speaker for 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment's graduation Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on Hilton Field at Fort Jackson. The graduation ceremony is open to the public.

Prior to the ceremony, she will spend the morning taking part in a series of events that highlight the intersection of Let's Move! and military readiness.

The First Lady will participate in a briefing led by Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, U.S. Army, Deputy Commanding General for Initial Military Training, about the consequences of childhood obesity, poor childhood nutrition and lack of physical exercise for the military, and learn about the Army's programs to address these issues.

Mrs. Obama will also tour the base and visit Fort Jackson's "Go for Green" dining program, which encourages healthy eating.

To attend the graduation ceremony, guests should use Gate 4, Percival/Boyden Arbor Road (Exit #15 on I-77).  All adults are required to present photo identification cards when entering Fort Jackson.  Drivers of vehicles without Department of Defense decals are required to provide a driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Motorcycle riders must also conform to Department of Defense regulations to enter post.  Requirements include: wear of a DOT approved helmet, full-fingered gloves, over the ankle boots, long-sleeved shirt/jacket and reflective vest or clothing.

After entering the gate, follow directions to Hilton Field and parking instructions given by traffic control personnel.

Guests should plan to arrive as early as 9:30 a.m., but not later than noon. All are encouraged to arrive by 11 a.m., if possible. Maximum use of carpooling is also encouraged. Food and drink concessions will be available at Hilton Field starting at 9:00 a.m. Bleacher and main grandstand seating are available.

Security scans will take place at the graduation site. Large bags, backpacks, pets, grills, alcoholic beverages, firearms and coolers will not be allowed on the field or in the seating area.

The graduation ceremony is outdoors so dress appropriately, and plan on a lengthy walk from the parking area to the bleachers. Handicapped parking will be available. The temperature at the time of the ceremony is anticipated to be in the mid-40s.

Because of the expected heavy traffic on Thursday, visitors to Fort Jackson who do not have pressing business should make alternate plans.

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