There are a number of benefits available for military Servicemembers and their families, but none is financially greater than the housing options that are available. The benefits of housing in the military are a benefit that is restricted to military Servicemembers and their dependants only. The military basic allowance for quarters or BAQ is a benefit that can have several different forms;
Base Housing- There is housing available on base for military Servicemembers on base, in military houses or duplex housing that is owned outright by the military. This type of housing is segregated many times, enlisted houses and apartments are in one area, and housing for commissioned officers is in another area. It is a great benefit to have, but there are sometimes rules that are in place that make base housing at times trying. Rules for daily living can include a curfew (especially for dependants under 18 years of age) in order to make sure that there are not disturbances to their neighbors. Advantages in on base housing include being close to their duty station, often Servicemembers can walk to work from their base housing. It also is a benefit to have their spouses and Servicemember dependants can live with both their parents.
On base housing is an advantage as there is often facilities and shopping right at the family fingertips, such as PX or commissary shopping, base movie theaters, base bowling alleys, and other such facilities.
Off Base Housing- Sometimes by necessity or choice, Servicemembers can live off base with their families. Off Base housing allows the Servicemember to have some privacy from base regulations. It also gives a Servicemember some separation, when they go home to their home located Off Base they can leave their uniform, duty and work behind and almost escape for a short time, their home becomes their own private sanctuary, in a way that is not possible in base housing.
Singles Housing- Often single Servicemembers can live on base, or in many cases they are required to live on base, in Barracks housing. This can be cramped, and without a lot of flexibility but there are also benefits as it is entirely free, as much of the other on base and off based married housing is.