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.
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.
I also know these places can be great as well!
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!