Throughout the Corps, Marines have done whatever it takes to get out of the barracks, but is barracks-life really all that bad?
Whatever your opinion, you can expect to see more non-commissioned officers living in bachelor enlisted quarters Corps-wide, due to budget cuts throughout the Department of Defense.
Per Marine Administrative Message 429/11 a freeze has been placed on all pending and future requests for basic allowance for housing for all sergeants and below without dependents, at installations where barracks are available.
Luckily, single Marines currently receiving BAH own right, will not be affected by the change.
BAH “own right” is an allowance available to single Marines at the commander’s discretion on a case-by-case basis. As the Corps increased its end strength to 202,000 active-duty Marines, commanders approved more single Marines for the allowance, to make room in existing quarters for the influx of junior personnel. This option will no longer be considered.
With newly constructed barracks throughout the Corps, there is much more space in the on-base digs than ever before.
Barracks have been constructed or remodeled to resemble a dorm room as opposed to the traditional white wall, tile floor, single window, two-person room Marines have grown to know and love. New rooms are carpeted with walk in closets and some even come with their very own lazy boy recliner. The number of Marines per room is dependent on the individual barracks however; the attempt is made to ensure NCO’s receive their own rooms.
Living in the barracks allows Marines to connect with people they share commonalities with, giving them a sense of community and by having the NCO’s living there it provided structure and guidance for young Marines; most of whom have never lived alone before. Being close to base amenities is also an advantage. On most Marine Corps installations, the barracks are within walking distance of the exchange and recreational areas such as the gym and bowling alley.
Overall the cost of living on base is much cheaper than living out in town. But, living off base appeals to Marines as they don’t have to deal with the stress of field days, curfews, loud roommates and trying to sneak in late-night visitors – not that anyone would or has ever done so.