Being in the military is lucrative for a number of reasons, you can get valuable job experience, you can travel to new places, and the pay and allowances are fairly good. But many people do not realize that there is a pretty good deal for Servicemembers in housing also. Any person serving on Active duty in the Armed Forces has BAQ, basic allowance for Quarters, or BAH, which is basic allowance for housing. These are the direct housing benefits for Servicemembers, and they can really help make a difference financially.
The type and size of the housing benefit varies and depends on several conditions. One of the first conditions is if there is military housing available. Military housing is housing that is on base, or on the military facility where you are stationed. Military housing has been updated and upgraded, the days of the old dilapidated Army or Military base housing has passed. Much of the housing for Servicemembers, both officers and enlisted is now modern, often new construction, and is very suitable for the needs of most Servicemembers and their dependants. Another element of housing is rank. As you rise in rank, the amount of housing benefits you are eligible for increases. This is both because of seniority and because often the longer you are in the military the larger family you will have.
The number of dependants you have is another issue that figures into determining the housing benefits you qualify for. If you have a larger family then you are eligible for an adjustment to help with housing costs. The Military has some very good reasons for having military housing on their bases. It is beneficial to the military for several reasons to do so. One, it allows their personnel both on duty and off duty to remain closer and connected, to remain more of a close-knit group of people. For another reason, it aids the military to keep its Servicemembers content and with high morale. Having the ability to live with your family, even on base housing helps boost morale, and keep the overall mission readiness and preparedness high.
There are other advantages to living on base. The military often has PX or base exchanges available on base, and living on base keeps a Servicemember close to available stores and Base Exchange locations. Sometimes this can be within walking distance. Other amenities such as entertainment, even bowling can sometimes be found on base. There are at times opportunities to live off base. When this happens, the Servicemember is compensated at a specific rate of money for housing, to help pay for housing even it its off base.