The Very Best Places You Could Get Stationed As a Military Family


The Very Best Places You Could Get Stationed As a Military Family

The Very Best Places You Could Get Stationed As a Military Family

If you ask people what their favorite duty station has been you are going to get a lot of different responses. There are certain duty stations that people love and certain duty stations that people hate. Although it is true that you can bloom where you are stationed no matter where you are, some areas will be easier to have a good experience at than others.

So where are these locations? Should your spouse try to get stationed there too? Are there any cons of these coveted duty stations?

Where are the very best places you can get stationed as a military family?


What could be better than being stationed in Europe? Germany is one of the best! From the festivals to the mountains to the little villages, there is so much to love. If you want a duty station where you will grow you as a person and that will let you experience cultures and history you would never have otherwise, Germany can be your ideal duty station. We spent 4 years there and made so many memories during that time.

The hardest part of Germany is being away from your family and living so far from home. Visiting home on a regular basis is really not going to be an option for you and traveling everywhere when you have young children can be a challenge. That being said, if you get the opportunity to go to Germany, go. Being stationed there is an experience like no other and the military community is strong when you are stationed overseas.


Hawaii had to make this list. What could be better than living on an island? One that you would normally have to spend a lot of money for to come visit? One where you could go to the beach every day (maybe,) give your kids surfing lessons and take day trips to some of the most beautiful places in the US.  Hawaii can be a wonderful experience for your family. I have only been there as a tourist but I know there is a lot to do and a lot of great things to see.

I have heard that island fever is real and can hit quite hard. The schools are not rated very high and everything is very expensive. The good thing is that you do get COLA when you are stationed there and there is a great military community to be a part of.  I think Hawaii is probably what you make of it.

San Diego

Warm weather, lots to do, Disneyland an hour away? Oh, how I wish we could have been stationed in San Diego. Almost everyone I know who has been stationed there has loved it. You are right by the beach but still on the mainland. You can visit home a little easier than if you were in Hawaii and there really is a ton to do just a short car ride away.

San Diego is in California which can be a different experience for those who are not from the West Coast. Southern California has its own culture for sure but you never have to worry about the city shutting down for snow and they have In-and-Out.


If you are a fan of the outdoors you are going to love Colorado. From hiking to skiing to exploring, Colorado has everything you might want in a duty station if you love being outdoors. And the mountains! I love seeing all the photos I see posted from friends who are stationed there. Their views are breathtaking. A lot of people want to be stationed in Colorado so if orders come up, take advantage of them and enjoy your time there. You might not be the biggest fan if you don’t like cold weather but I have heard that the snow there is beautiful, even if it starts in September.


Honorable Mentions

I also know these places can be great as well!

Okinawa, Japan
Virginia/DC area
South Korea
Ft. Lewis
Ft. Campbell
Ft. Bragg
Ft. Hood

No matter where you might end up, you should be able to find a few positives and enjoy your time there. In some cases, that can be really hard and it might not even have to do with where you are. You could be very close to your family and even the beaches of Hawaii can’t take away your homesickness. You could have had the best experience at a post in Texas and after moving to Germany just can’t find your footing, at least not for a while. Your Grandma could be sick and you were really hoping for a post in Missouri, an hour from home but the Navy sent you to San Diego instead.

At the end of the day, finding that perfect duty station might not be possible but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the best of where you are. Get out and explore, get to know the local culture and remember, orders will come, you will move somewhere else and you will miss the time you spent during the years you were there. Wherever that might be.

If you are curious about a particular duty station, check out my list of posts I have covered on my blog!

Where would you love to be stationed next? What would you add to this list?

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21 thoughts on “The Very Best Places You Could Get Stationed As a Military Family”

  1. We’re on our second tour in Hawaii and I just love it. I don’t get island fever and I don’t think I ever could get sick of the beaches, but homesickness does hit hard when you can’t just jump in the car and be home. In Hawaii, if you love to get outside, hike, or even just go to the beach, you will be just fine! I think every duty station is what you make it, though, like you say, and living in Hawaii has enabled family and friends to come stay with us for real quality time together. Those trips have made for the very best memories.

  2. One of my friends was at Hawaii for 3 years and HATED it. She said it was always like $75 when they went to eat at Chili’s and COLA doesn’t help out enough with the cost of living there. I’ve heard the same about Northern VA/DC, the cost of living is so high. I’m definitely biased towards Campbell (and Knox!) because I’m from KY.

    • Hawaii isn’t terrible expensive on the army side at least idk how much the other branches make, but coming from NYC where the cost of living is obviously a lot higher than NY I’m okay with the prices here. When I first arrived on island some of the people I work with were trying to scare me into living on post, but honestly that is the worst thing you can do if you have the ability to live off post. The BAH and the COLA are an added bonus to your pockets. Living off post in a relatively affordable place you can pocket upwards of $1000 every month once your bills are paid. So moneywise its definitely not bad. If you are living on post that’s a different story. Housing is privatized and they make sure to take all or most of your BAH which will drastically drop the amount of stuff you can do.

  3. I agree with San Diego. I would have loved to be stationed in Colorado! I think any foreign country is a good experience. We were on mainland Japan. Virginia would have been nice.

  4. This is a great post! I’m sure we’ll be PCSing soon. We actually had order to Germany but it didn’t work out because of my son’s needs and EFMP. So hopefully we get somewhere equally as awesome!

    • This is the first I’ve seen in all my reading about EFMP affecting station. We are looking at joining but have a daughter with down syndrome and I am curious how that may change our options.

  5. Hawaii is definitely what you make of it. I had island fever after being here for a year and a half, but after a quick trip back home to the mainland, I was so happy to be back on my little island! There is an insane amount of people that hate it here, but I definitely think they haven’t taken the time to get out and explore or try new things.

  6. I couldnt agree ant more with this list! I grew up in Hawaii and would love to go back. We just got back from a 3 yr tour in Germany and it was the BEST experience. We’re not in Colorado (we’ve been very lucky with duty stations) and so far love it here!

  7. We’re up for PCS and we would love Colorado, Maine, or Alaska. We get a little more potential in where we can go because he is AGR so Reserve Centers are more plentiful than bases. I really just want to experience somewhere other than the East Coast.

  8. We’re at Lewis now, and I’m not crazy about it. Been here for 4 years and we’ve done a lot of outdoors things, hiked, camped, but there’s not much else to do. We’re headed to Bragg in the spring and I can’t wait to be back on the east coast

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