<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=5C8hi1agq800qI" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">

    Living on Base as a New Military Spouse

    Adjusting to life as a new military spouse involves navigating the challenges of marriage while also adapting to a unique military lifestyle. Add living on base to that, and you get another layer of excitement on this journey. 

    Here are a few things to expect if you live on base as a new military spouse.



    1) Exposure to Military Work Life 

    Living on base offers a crash course on military life. Very quickly, you will learn that driving at 25 mph (or less!) is your new norm, that you pull over if the National Anthem is playing, and that alarming sounds are benign and usually mean that service members are hard at work.

    Take the Blue Angels, for example. You’d expect that seeing them fly overhead every day would be a privilege, but when we lived in military housing at NAS Pensacola in 2015, it felt more startling than exciting and rattled our whole house. The good news is that artillery sounds and noisy field exercises become second nature over time.

    2) Immersion into the Military Spouse Community

    Living on base places you in the heart of the community. You live close to your spouse’s work, the commissary, exchange, gym, and organizations where you may be interested in volunteering or working. The close-knit atmosphere fosters connections with neighbors, akin to living in a small town where friendships are easily formed through everyday interactions.

    In many on-base neighborhoods, the community is waiting for you when you step outside. Making friends can be easily done just by taking a walk every day or sitting on your front porch. Think of life on base as similar to a small town in the '60s, when kids roamed unsupervised from sun up to sun down, and people smiled and waved at each other—a toned-down Truman Show, if you will. 

    families gathering for food around picnic tablePhoto from Canva

    3) Budget-Friendly Housing

    Many military families, especially recently, aim to live on base to preserve their finances. While living under your Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) is an excellent way to save a little money each month as you begin your marriage, the rising cost of living and housing prices are making that increasingly more difficult.

    Instead, living on base has quickly become the budget-friendly option for military families in many areas. It ensures that while you might not spend below your BAH, you certainly won’t spend over it. 

    4) Builder-Grade Quality Homes

    You’ve likely heard the negative comments surrounding living on base. Lack of privacy might be one reason, and the other is housing conditions. Although concerns about housing quality exist, proactive maintenance measures can mitigate potential issues.

    And let’s not underrate the 24/7 maintenance feature. As a new military spouse away from home, having someone to call and handle all the little things that go wrong with your house when your spouse is away is a lifesaver. 

    military housing at Seymoure Johnson AFB NC

    Military housing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Photo by Air Force Airman Shawna L. Keyes for defense.gov

    5) Separation from “Normal” Life

    You may feel detached from the civilian life you once had. As convenient as it is, living where you shop, exercise, and socialize gives you few reasons to leave the base. You may have to make more effort to maintain friendships with people outside the gate. If you have a job, it’s much easier to maintain your identity, but you’ll soon realize that many conversations lead back to military life.

    When it comes to bridging the gap with civilians, you’ll find that unless they’re somehow attached to the military community, they don’t understand our way of life. That doesn’t mean that you won’t make wonderful civilian friends over the course of your spouse’s career; it just means that you might have to work a little harder to create that initial bond.

    6) Heightened Self-Awareness

    You'll run into service members of every pay grade and realize that, while there is formality associated with the military hierarchy, we’re all just military spouses living this unique life regardless of what rank our spouses wear. However, it is wise to be mindful of neighbors, as the home down the street might just be your spouse’s boss. 

    Being a part of your military community while living on base takes little effort. And when you’re a new military spouse, it’s a great way to be fully immersed. But regardless of where you live, you’ll certainly have the opportunity to make wonderful memories. You'll make friends, learn new things about your new community, and likely travel a lot.

    When it comes to living on base, expect to learn a lot, have little privacy, and make the most of every situation!

    Stay updated with more information for your military life. Subscribe to our blog below!

    New call-to-action

    Living on base as a new military spouse-1


    Danielle Keech


    Danielle Keech

    Danielle Keech is a writer and content creator for MilitaryByOwner Advertising. She writes on military life topics, highlights clients’ open houses on social media, and manages the Military PCS Facebook group. She especially enjoys covering financial topics and helping military families exercise financial responsibility and plan for the future. Danielle has been a Marine Corps spouse for ten years (and counting!) and is a momma to four littles and one fur baby. She and her pilot spouse have lived in Virginia, Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii, and, most recently, Okinawa, Japan. And yes, you guessed it, Hawaii is her favorite duty station to date! Find MilitaryByOwner's Millitary PCS group here.

    Popular Posts