In addition to intangible benefits, such as serving your country, joining the military also offers tangible benefits such as education, medical and dental care, 30 days of paid vacation, travel discounts, and more. Are you thinking of joining the army and want to learn more about army bases?
It’s useful to know all about the army bases if you’re thinking of a military career. Joining the U.S. Army can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we’ll teach you everything there is to know about army bases, from their history and purpose, right up to what it’s like living in one today.
Discover everything you need to know about army base life and learn about the role they play around the world and why they’re so important.
U.S. Military History Around the World
The United States military has been involved in conflicts around the world since the American Revolution in 1775.
During this period, the US maintained a presence in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. In the 20th century and beyond, US forces engaged in numerous wars and military campaigns in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.
More recently, US troops occupied Iraq after overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 and are currently engaged in fighting against Islamic State militants in Syria. At present, there are over 200,000 active service members stationed across more than 170 countries worldwide.
Where in the World Is the U.S. Military?
The United States military is present across 170 countries and territories around the world. This includes bases in traditional allies and partner nations such as Japan, South Korea, Germany, and France.
In addition, US forces are deployed in hotspots such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. US troops are also stationed throughout the Middle East and at strategic sites in South America and Africa.
Role of the U.S Military Around the World
US military bases around the world play a critical role in maintaining global security and stability. They serve as hubs for training and operations, providing a secure environment for troop movement and access to resources.
Additionally, they can provide quick responses to crises or humanitarian needs. They also act as an important diplomatic presence in many nations, promoting understanding and cooperation between the United States and host countries.
On-base housing is available to military personnel and their family members. Depending on rank and marital status, the type of housing will differ.
The types of houses available vary by location but typically include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and apartments.
Soldiers who opt to live off base are eligible for the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) which helps cover the majority of their cost of living expenses.
It is important to consult with your local, military installation housing office upon arrival at a new duty station. They will determine your eligibility for on-base or off-base housing, as well as the types of homes and amenities that are offered.
Barracks are living spaces in buildings that generally house junior, non-married enlisted Soldiers.
This type of housing is typically in the form of a college dormitory setup and features private bedrooms, a common area with shared bathrooms and kitchen amenities. After completing Basic Training, many Soldiers reside in barracks while they receive additional training or until they are assigned to their permanent duty station.
On-base apartments are available in some locations to enlisted Soldiers and commissioned Officers who fulfill certain requirements.
These apartment units are larger than barracks and typically feature modern amenities, similar to what you would find in a typical civilian apartment. In contrast to living off base, these apartments offer close access to the Army community and extra support from the installation.
Deluxe townhouses may be available to military families, depending on the location. These are typically larger and more luxurious spaces that include modern amenities, larger closets, and comfortable living spaces for smaller families.
These homes provide a comfortable base in transition periods, such as between permanent duty stations or when completing a short-term training program.
For Soldiers with larger families, the Army provides spacious three- to four-bedroom homes with multiple bathrooms, full kitchens, and amenities.
These homes feature extra living space indoors and outdoors, providing plenty of room for the whole family.
Benefits of Army Life
Living on a military base offers much more than just housing. It provides convenience and savings through discounts, as well as a safe and supportive community for Soldiers and their families.
On base, you’ll find many opportunities to live, work, and have fun all in one place.
Army bases contain all the same amenities you’d expect to find in a town. This includes fire stations, police stations, hospitals, banks, and schools. All of these are geared towards ensuring the safety and well-being of your community.
Recreation and Entertainment
Whether you’re looking to get active in a fitness center, pool, or park, or just looking for some fun with sports leagues, theaters, and restaurants, there’s plenty of recreation.
With a variety of activities available to all ages and interests, living on base offers endless opportunities for entertainment.
Army bases offer a variety of resources to help service members and their families with adjusting to Army life or transitioning back to civilian life.
These include financial, legal, and relocation assistance, as well as counseling programs, volunteering opportunities, and military teen programs.
The U.S. Army recognizes the importance of childcare for our Soldiers and their families, which is why childcare centers are available on base.
These daycare centers are generally open Monday through Friday during typical working hours, and some bases even offer in-home and off-base options for those who need them.
Options to Live Around the World
Being a Soldier offers the chance to experience living on a base across the United States, or even in another part of the world.
It’s an amazing opportunity to explore different places and cultures while getting to be part of the military.
Relocating can have a range of impacts on both you and your family. The Army has put in place programs and services to make the transition as easy as possible. They provide all the necessary resources to help manage the move with ease.
Relocation Readiness Program (RRP)
The Relocation Readiness Program (RRP) is a great resource for Soldiers experiencing relocation. It provides support with pre- and post-move briefings, and orientations which may include tours or details about what to expect. It also provides counseling services to help manage the transition.
When ordered to a new location outside the Continental United States (CONUS), your travel costs will be covered by the Army.
For moves within CONUS, you’ll be provided with a set amount to help cover various expenses such as gas, movers, hotels, and more.
Can I Do a U.S. Military Base Tour?
Yes, you can!
If you wish to visit U.S. military bases to observe their daily activities, you need to follow certain steps for advanced planning as some events are open to the public.
Arranging Your Tour
You’ll first need to determine the type of visit you would like to make. Depending on your purpose, various options are available for a military base visit. You’ll then have to contact the Installation Visitor Control Center (VCC) ahead of time and obtain the necessary paperwork to gain access to the military installation.
Before visiting, gather all the documents you need to bring with you for visiting the base. This might include proof of vehicle registration, photo identification, and relevant passes or permits.
It’s a good idea to arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled visit. Your documents will be processed at the VCC. There might also be other checkpoints before entering the base itself.
Once inside, familiarize yourself with all safety regulations and notices before exploring any areas. You will be told of areas that are not open to the general public. You will also be informed of not engaging with any personnel who are on duty.
Best and Worst Army Bases
Like anything in life, now everything is equal. Here we look at the best and worst army bases as told by new recruits.
The duty stations that received the top five requests are:
- Fort Richardson and Fort Wainwright in Alaska
- Fort Carson, Colorado
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky
- Fort Hood, Texas
- Europe: Vincenzo, Italy, and Germany
The duty stations that were requested the least were:
- Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, tied
- Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Lee, Virginia; and Fort Sam Houston, Texas, tied
- Fort Huachuca, Arizona
- Fort Detrick, Maryland
- Fort Rucker, Alabama
Have You Learned All About the Army Bases?
As you’ve just read, the U.S. Army has a variety of bases located around the world. They offer Soldiers an opportunity to explore different places and cultures while serving their country. From pre-move briefings to moving overseas, or accommodating your family, there are so many benefits.
If you’re thinking of joining the Army, learn all about the army bases and speak to a recruiter today. Whether you’re looking to find your nearest military base or find out more information about army life, check out our other informative articles.