Why You Should Live In Military Housing At Least Once

Why You Should Live In Military Housing At Least Once

When we went in to talk to a recruiter back in 2005, one of the things he told us that has always stuck with me was the advice to live in Military housing at least once. Being so new to the Military I really didn’t know what to expect. Our first duty station together was in Germany and it only made sense to live on post there.

We arrived in March of 2006 (can’t believe that was almost ten years ago) and moved into Army housing. They put us on the 3rd floor of a stairwell apartment in an older building that was very European. We got lucky because our unit had been redone recently and we had our own washer and dryer in our bathroom. For the units that didn’t, they had to do their wash in the basement. Our apartment was small and was on the 3rd floor but it seemed perfect to us at the time. At least, until we had another baby.

One of my first memories of Military housing was hearing two wives talk with each other across the road. It was loud and I couldn’t believe they were doing that. There were also a lot of parties late into the night and a lot of noise. I was not new to apartment living but Military housing was so different then anything else I had experienced.

There are good things about living in Military housing and bad things about living in Military housing. There are many benefits that I missed after we lived off post. There are other things I was glad to leave behind. Overall, I think the recruiter’s advice was right on. It is a good idea to live on post at least once. Why?


To be surrounded by the Military Community

When you live in Military housing, you will be surrounded by other Military families. Your kids will go to school with our Military kids. You will be more likely to shop at the PX and Commissary on a regular basis. You will get a good feeling for the Military community. This will stay with you for the rest of your time as a Military Spouse and that is a good thing. It will allow you to feel a part of everything even if you decide to live off post in the future.

To meet other Military families on a daily basis

Because you will be on post you will always be meeting new Military families. If you see a moving truck in your neighborhood, you don’t have to wonder if they are Military or not. It is easier for you to attend events on post and there you will continue to meet other people. If you are in need of more Military friends, living on post is the way to go. You will always be meeting people associated with the Military.

To know how a Military post works

One thing you will learn after living on a Military post is how it works. You will hear Reveille and Retreat in the morning and evening and will know what to do when you hear it. Your kids will know what to do. After living off post, I realized we are not usually on post when that happens and I miss hearing it. You will get used to watching the service members run around post during PT or going for a lunch break. You will get used to all of this during your time in Military housing and it will be nice to look back on that time with good memories.

To make life a little easier during deployments

Deployments are usually easier if you live on post vs off. This isn’t always the case of course but there is something to be said about living around people whose spouse is also deployed or who have been through it before. When we were in Schweinfurt, our first duty station, almost everyone there had their husband deployed at the same time. This mean we had more people to walk through the deployment with. It was something our whole community went through together. My deployments when we have lived off post were different and I just didn’t feel as connected to others going through the same thing.

If you are not sure if you should live on post or not, think about the benefits and how doing so can help you understand the Military and Military life in general. Some people do have really good experiences off post as well. It really depends on what you are comfortable with and what you want to experience as well as where you are stationed.

In the end, I would tell you to live in Military housing if you get the chance. If you hate it, you never have to do it again but at least, you will have had that experience.


Have you ever lived in Military housing? Did you like it? Hate it?


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3 thoughts on “Why You Should Live In Military Housing At Least Once”

  1. We’ve never lived on base. Ok we’ve only been married 2 years, one month lol. Our next home, we will live off base too.
    All this stuff sounds so awesome. Especially connecting with others! It’s hard to make friends when you’re old like me lol.

  2. Hubby has lived in military housing growing up. To him he felt like he was living at work. He didn’t like that feeling one bit. We (since married) have never lived in military housing and we don’t plan on it. At this point for the house size (bedrooms, square foot) post could offer us we could get the same out in town for a fraction of the cost of our BAH. On post we lose all our BAH. In Louisiana they offered us a 2 bedroom 900sf apartment for full BAH. Off post we got a 4 bedroom, 1800sf house that was under our BAH meaning we only paid about $10 out of pocket for utilities. The rest came from BAH. On post in the housing they wanted to offer us many people paid $50+ out of pocket for the same unit they offered us. So as long as it makes sense financially to live off post we will. This includes commute time/gas factored in.

    I do completely understand the benefits of living on post that you mention though.

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