I have never been a fan of military housing, especially in the continental United States. Military housing started out as decent idea, given that many military bases didn’t have large communities around them when they were built. Now its an old concept that needs to die.
I lived in base housing a few times, and each time was a pain. First, you have to register to get housing, and your housing choices are completely based on your rank. I was selected for a higher rank once and had to send in my selection paperwork to the housing office so I could get into a bit nicer house. Granted, being a higher rank gets you more pay and thus you can afford more house, but why is my square footage based on my rank? I have a large family, but people of the same rank as me with no kids got the same size house. I mean, if we’re going to provide equitable housing, maybe it should be based on the number of people occupying it?
Once you get selected for housing, then you have to fill out paperwork. The housing offices love to make you sign away your rights to sue them. That’s how we get the mold, bugs and genuine issues that any other landlord would have to solve or face an ugly civil lawsuit. Then they want you to register all your guns, and man do they get angry if you happen to own more than a few. When I asked the lady for two more sheets to fill out, she looked at me and questioned why I owned so many weapons. My first thought was “None of your damn business,” but I replied in a more nice fashion.
Why is it a big deal that a military member owns a bunch of guns? I’m normally paid to have weapons in a combat zone. Why every single military housing office turns up its nose at me when I have weapons is just weird.
Then once you’re in, you often get treated like a second class citizen. Want to walk into the local exchange in a tank top and shorts to purchase something? Don’t try it, military police will tell you about a dress code. Have an issue with water, or bugs, or mold? Take a number and get in line. Don’t expect the housing office to fix it any time soon either.
BTW, WiFi isn’t free either…listen to Congresswoman Kiggans at the 3:40 mark.
Don’t worry though, the base commander’s house and all the flag and general officer’s homes will be picture perfect. That way, when you make a complaint that gets routed to them, they will look at their beautiful row of homes and go “Gee, I don’t see any problems with housing.”
The military needs to get out of the business of housing. It’s far cheaper and more predictable to simply pay the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for all members once they are out of basic training. I could be persuaded to keep housing near big school houses where it would be hard to find housing quickly when you’re going to school, and perhaps at overseas locations where you may need to house people on base for protection. The military is already distracted enough that it can’t execute its wartime missions well, so it shouldn’t be trying to play landlord when it needs to focus on beating China in the next war.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.