Best Duty Stations
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Bopnminis - posted on 07/24/2014
I'm really late but just in case someone else is surfing to find out about bases I'm going to add my two cents.
I've been an Army Wife for 20 years and we are currently at our 9th duty station so I will list them with brief comments about each plus the year(s) we lived there because times change.
Fort Irwin (1994 but my bff lived there in 2010) - scorching hot, in the middle of nowhere, closest city is Barstow which I lived in for a couple of years. The crime in Barstow is ridiculous compared to its size and from what I've been told it's gotten even worse. (Mind you I grew up in Hollywood, CA so gang related crime is nothing new to me but the rate is Barstow is/was ridiculous).
Fort Bliss- Feb 1 1995 to Feb 1 1996 and all I can say is that the day I saw it in my rear view mirror was one of the best days of my life. It's scorching hot in the summer and if you move there in the winter then try to move on base because the element won't be out to see the full scope of who lives in your neighborhood until the sun comes out.
Fort Carson - 1996-1998 I loved it. The motto is "if you don't like the weather just wait 5 minutes and it will change - very true.
Honolulu - 1998-2001 -My husband was stationed at East range (WLC), we lived in AMR and although the housing was old I loved every minute of it. Just be prepared to do all of your grocery shopping at the commissary because local grocery stores are ridiculously expensive
Fort Bragg - 2001 - 2005 That's an iffy one for me. Be cautious of where you choose to live and pay attention to what schools your kids will have to go to. It's a big country town. My in-laws were close by and I enjoyed the country life outside of Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg
Baumholder, Germany 2005-2007 It's not as bad as people make it seem. Its pretty boring but it's located close enough to K-Town, Mannheim, Frankfort, France, Luxomburg, and Belgium that I really didn't mind.
Grafenwoehr (we lived in off base government housing in Kemnath (about 20k or 20 mins from base) 2007 - 2009 I absolutely loved it even though it was pretty boring. It was peaceful and I could let young children play outside without worry. the people were extremely friendly. The only part I didn't like was driving to and from base in the snow or the crazy Americans that loved passing on curves and putting others at risk.
Fort Drum / West Carthage (2009- 2012) I thought I was going to really hate it but turned out to be the exact opposite (maybe I'm just getting old). It was very peaceful but the job markets is bad and the cost of living is high. I wouldn't recommend living off base unless your sr enlisted or an officer because housing is just too expensive. I also don't necessarily recommend living off base in Watertown, but to each his/her own. My kids loved it. Lots of snow so invest in a snow blower but be sure to take advantage of the outdoor activities in the winter time. The most action you'll get in carthage is a car accident every now and then or maybe you'll see the volunteer firemen speeding off to do their job.
Kadena AFB, Okinawa (Torii Station) 2012 - present my husband is stationed on Torii but they do not have family housing so we live here on Kadena. There isn't really anything negative that I can say about this place except for the fact that I do not like being surrounded by so much water in a place where the ground is so unstable and Typhoons sweep through the ocean (and sometimes over the island) several times a year. The best part about Okinawa is that the crime rate is next to nil and firearms are not allowed (in the homes). They have to be kept by the authorities under lock and key.
Hopefully I have helped one of you who were wondering about your next duty station. However, the best advice I can give you when moving to a new post is to go there with an optimistic outlook. Do not base your opinion on someone else's experience because it is very likely that yours will be totally different.
Poncie - posted on 02/20/2010
Army...currently at Yongsan, Korea and love, love, LOVE it!! By far this has been our (kids and I) favorite place.
We have also been posted at Ft Hood, TX, Ft. Bliss, TX, Ft. Campbell, KY, Wattisham England, and Ft. Leavenworth, KS
We try and have a positive attitude anywhere we go and try to find something good about each place.
Shannon - posted on 11/26/2012
I can't believe there was only ONE post about Fort Bragg! And it was by someone who is FROM there. Very rare. Anyway, Fort Bragg is a toilet bowl. A absolute s^($-hole. My family and I were based there, thank GOD, for only one year. I spent most of that time crying. It is a filthy place. Crime is twice the national average. Fayetteville, the surrounding town is full of strip bars, tattoo shops and pawn shops. You mostly see gang looking people walking around with their pants around their knees.The local public schools look like a prison yard during rec time. 80% of the place is overgrown weed lots and boarded up buildings. The mall last year had a gang shootout in the food court. I was afraid most of the time.
I highly recommend living south of Fayetteville in Hope Mills, or in West Fayetteville, which is being built up and where the higher ranking military lives. The Jack Britt school district. The upside is that it's an hour and a half from Raleigh, and if you decide to, which is what we'll do if we ever get based there again, is live there and have your husband come home on weekends. THAT'S what it will come to for us. It is truely the scuzziest place I've ever seen other than East St. Louis, Ill, which is the most dangerous town in America according to Forbes Magazine.
Luckily my husband is AGR, so we don't typically get assigned to an army base, he just gets a command in a reserve unit, and every town in the US has one. We have gotten based in nice places.
April - posted on 01/25/2010
we came from Lakenheath RAF in England (awful) some of the landscape there is pretty, and London is about 70 miles away, but you only want to go so many times before you are over it. it is very very expensive to live there. you do get cola, but it doesn't make up for all the taxes (like a 17% sales tax) road tax on your car to pay every year and the "tv license" that you have to buy every year. it is mostly farmland around the base, so the roads are poor and very muddy all the time. the weather is awful, and while the summers aren't as long as they are here, there is no air conditioning. every now and then i would run into someone who liked it but not very often. we are stationed at Eglin AFB (close to Ft. Walton Beach FL.) and it is nice here, if you can deal with heat and humidity. i love the beach, and i grew up in Mobile, AL a coupla hours from here, so i like it. close to disney, sea world busch gardens (where we go every year for free) the housing is terrible here, however they are tearing it down like crazy (they haven't started rebuilding yet, but they are s'posed to) so, if you don't mind the heat, like the beach and want to live off base, you'll like it just fine here.
Michele - posted on 02/04/2013
HI, We've moved around to Army Bases for 20 years and I was a Navy Brat...
Best Places Army- CMTC Hohenfels, Germany, crazy cold winters, beautiful summers, so much to do and places to visit and great if you have kids!! Also FT Leavenworth was very nice, just VERY cold.
Ft Bragg, Ft Hood, Ft Rucker - all ok but Rucker was quietest so I liked it the most.
The Pentagon is stressful, but northern Virginia is nice. As a Navy Brat I lived in Naples, Italy which was very fun and chaotic, so harder for my parents and Pensacola, FL, with great beaches and not too big.
Currently at Macdill AFB, Tampa, which is a very nice Air Force Base and Tampa is pretty nice, very interesting mix of people and on the gulf/bay.
Kat - posted on 12/08/2012
We live in Columbia SC now, and are stationed at Ft Jackson. I don't mind it, but we have nothing to do with the base. We live off base and the children go to school off base as well. There is alot to do, but this is my first duty station inside the US. We love Vicenza and Livorno Italy and would go back immediately without hesitating. We never were stationed in Germany, even I m German, I prefer Italy.
User - posted on 11/27/2012
I'm glad you like Fort Bragg. If you have to be based there, it's good if you like it. But QUIET? I guess if by "quiet" you mean sonic booms all the time and what appear to be drug buys on the street corners, then yes, it's quiet.
Pearl - posted on 09/09/2012
Navy. My husband & I met in San Diego, CA & we loved it there! He was stationed in Coronado & the place was just wonderful plus we were near family & friends. We are now in Oahu, Hawaii with the Marine Corps. So far, it's not bad here especially with the additional COLA. People are really friendly. ;-) But we're leaving soon to another duty station which isn't still clear as of the present. That's why I'm interested in your inputs.... have any of you been to Detroit, MI? How is it there?
Candi - posted on 11/07/2010
In the coast guard we were in Ketchikan, Alaska: quite secluded. Not a lot going on, but the sights and hiking, fishing, were amazing. It was expensive, but jobs are plentiful especially during summer when the cruise ships come pouring in.
With the Army, we went to Germany:It was wonderful. Lots of opportunities to travel and see things you only see in pictures. The medical and dental lacked in people skills, and medical skills, but it wasn't too bad. The schools were ok in our area.
Fort Hood, TX: Hated it. Nothing to do within a good distance. Everything good was at least an hour away. The only good thing, my youngest daughter was born there. The pride people have in TX was disgusting. lol
We are now in Fort Eustis, VA: So much to do and never a boring moment. ALthough moving from a poorer economy to this tourist trap is quite a shock to the wallet. It is rather expensive here and we cannot afford to do a whole lot. The schools here aren't the best, but we are making the best of it.
Both my husband and I are from SC, so our next duty station will hopefully be on the east coast. This is the closest we have ever lived to our families and its great not having to see them everyday and get caught up in the family drama! lol
Patty - posted on 11/07/2010
I have been to Fort Huachuca, Az and loved it there. There was a lot of hiking and a lot of western history! The housing was wonderful and for the most part everyone on the post that I met was friendly and helpful.
We are now at Fort Knox, Ky and I hate it here! It has to be the worst place I have ever lived! No one is helpful at all. The housing is terrible. The medical care is horrible and that is hard when you have efmp status.
I look forward to moving somewhere else after my husbands deployment. Hopefully back to Arizona!
Nicole - posted on 11/06/2010
Been to two duty stations and loved them both. Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, TX was small and secluded which was great- but the downside was there wasn't much to do. We LOVE it here at Hurlburt Fields AFB in Fort Walton Beach, FL. We go to the beach all of the time and we are also able to enjoy all that Eglin AFB has to offer since it is right next to Hurlburt. There is also a great chance that we will be able to stay here his entire enlistment term because of my husband's job code :)
Elizabeth - posted on 11/06/2010
We just moved home to Texas from Oahu, HI. My husband is in the Army. It was wonderful there, but expensive!! He's a recruiter in Houston (our home town) for the next three years. Being home is always nice......while it lasts!
Melisa - posted on 11/05/2010
Army here. We started off in Ft. Riley (which is where we met and married), and is my home state. We then got stationed to Ft. Polk (lovingly termed "Ft. Puke" for a reason), and we had two special needs epileptic sons. So the army gave us a Compassionate reassignment to Schofield Barracks, Hi. Our time will be up here as soon as my husband is finished with his deployment in July. Very curious based on our EFMP Status as to where we get sent next.
Lori - posted on 02/19/2010
We're Army and have had 3 duty stations. First was Camp Red Cloud, Korea. DH loved it (it wasn't command sponsored, so I stayed in Cali) and we would have requested to be stationed in Korea (I visited several times and loved Yongsan), but we have two special needs kids and figured we'd better stay where we have the services! Next we were at Fort Drum, NY for two years. It is a beautiful area. I'm a little bummed we didn't explore as much as we could have- a lot to do nature wise, it was a nice area, but definitely COLD. If you aren't used to snow and freezing temps, might not be for you. We've been at Fort Huachuca, AZ for four and a half years and we like it. There is a ton to do, again, nature-wise and the temps to do it most of the year, too! If you like city life, it's probably not for you. Tucson is an hour and a half, Phoenix is three hours, about 9 hours to Vegas or L.A., depending on if you have kids and how you drive (it always takes us about 10-12 hours with 3 kids!). We heard horrible things about the schools here, but our oldest son started in the special needs preschool off post a year and a half ago and we love it. We had to move on post -oh, BIG bonus about Fort Huachuca, ALL brand new housing. When we moved here in 2005 most of it was really old, for lower enlisted (E-6 and below) it was all really crappy. Since then they have built a ton of new housing and they are tearing down all of the older housing and replacing it with new. We have some pretty neat features in our brand new four bedroom home. On post schools are supposed to be pretty nice but we haven't had any experience yet, our second son will start at the special needs preschool on post next month and our oldest will start kindergarten in the fall.
Andrea - posted on 02/07/2010
This has helped me as well. We are contemplating going active, and I am interested to know which bases are best for our family. Especially for my kids!! I have read about Ft. Lee in Virginia. From what I've seen on the website, it looks like a really nice base. I love the rain, so Ft. Lewis would be my first fav!
Tamara - posted on 01/25/2010
Husband is Army.
He has been to korea, Fort Hood, TX, Colorado Springs.
Together We have been to Hawaii. love it.
Fort Leavenworth, KS. Love it too. very small post. Very family oriented. The people here are great. The schools here on post are I think are 2nd in the state.( Love the schools).
I'm looking forward to our next duty station Fort Jackson, SC.
Carrie - posted on 01/23/2010
My husband is Army. He has been stationed in Germany, Fort Huachua (AZ), Recruiting (near Ft. Jackson, SC), Schofield Barracks (HI) and now Ft Hood (TX). The only ones I have been stationed at were SC and HI.
I from the Columbia area so I like Ft Jackson eventhough there isn't a whole lot of medical services on post. In fact they are not seeing Actived duty dependents at the hospital anymore. You have to go to a doctor off post. Which is fine with me because I was able to get doctors closer to home. I am living with my parents at the moment because my husband is deploying soon.
Hawaii- I loved it for about a year. Then my husband's unit was gettig terrible and he was stressed and we started hating it. We had our son there, and had no problems. There wasn't a whole lot to do after we had him because it was hard to take him to some places. It is also expensive.
My husband loved Germany and would love to go back. As far as Ft. Huachua: he didn't care for it, but apparently the area has grown since he was there. He also doesn't like Fort Hood. It may be because he is there without us.
Tiffany - posted on 01/23/2010
I have been an Army wife now an Air Force wife (same marriage).
Places I have been- Army- Fort Clayton Panama, Mannheim Germany, Ft Stewart Ga. Air Force- Beale AFB, CA, Grand Forks, ND and Spangdahlem Germany.
Best place Beale AFB CA. I loved it there for many different reasons; I was 12 hours from family...sounds like a long ways but that was the closest I had been to family in many many years. Great people there also, loved the chapel service and was actively involved. Surrounding areas to visit; San Fransico, LA, Sacarmento, Vegas, etc....
Worst place- Fort Stewart Ga. Small town, too many people, no jobs, nothing to do, weather (summer) was too humid and too hot to go outside.TOOO MUCH DRAMA!!! and I didn't live on post. LOL
I am a military brat (ARMY) so I have also been to Fort Meade Maryland, Columbia SC, Ft Sill, OK and Ft Richardson AK.
Amelia - posted on 01/23/2010
We've been to 4 places so far (Navy)...
San Diego: LOVED it! My husband wasn't around for most of it but I kept busy with school and friends. The weather was AMAZING! LOOOOVED being there. So much to do!!!
Sigonella, Italy: We loved it the first 6 months but then got bored & were ready to come back to the states. But of course, we had to stay anothe 2 1/2 years and eventually enjoyed ourselves. The friendships that you make while overseas are more like family. Or at least our friends were like that to and for us. We tried to stay there but they wouldn't let us so we sadly left. It does take some driving to get to places but well worth it because the island is gorgeous.
Bethesda, MD: My husband was stationed at Bethesda but we lived in Germantown, MD. I honestly enjoyed it a lot. With the exception of the cold weather, it was a perfect place for us. Washington was about 30 mins. away and there was plenty for us to do in the area.
Jacksonville, FL: Eh... a little boring! We have been here for almost a year and only now am I finding things to do. Not very exciting place... lots to do with little ones & some great schools around but we are counting down 'til we can head to our next station... hopefully somewhere in Europe!
Mandy - posted on 01/23/2010
My husband and I are on our second duty station in Fort Lewis, WA, but two months after we got there, he deployed, so I came back home to Fort Bragg, NC while he's gone. Fort Bragg is okay, but it's very busy all the time. To a newcomer, it may seem like there's a lot to do in the surrounding area, but I've lived here most of my life, and I'm ready for a change!
Robbin - posted on 01/23/2010
Oops! Forgot to add why! LOL!! Japan was just an all around great experience, Germany so far is the same. We love the opportunity to try new things and cultures! I did not like Ft. Benning for many, many, many reasons! The humidity (I'm from the west coast), too many bugs, people were rude. I was the service member and people addressed my DH, used to drive me crazy!
Pensacola NAS, Florida - Beaches, shopping and sunshine. What more can I say. "Nice NEX too. Didn't live in base housing so I can't say. The do have an ER though, and new addition to the medical facility. (Eglin AFB is about 45 minutes for an Air Force alternative in the same area, and they have a great BX.)"
To Donna: I agree Pensacola is great! Just an added note on housing - another good duty station to buy a house if possible - affordable and resellable or rentable!
Best duty station for the Army is Ft Wainwright Alaska - close to Fairbanks so you have decent shopping, restaurants, and some fun bars - but still Alaska which everyone should experience if they get chance. COLA is nice too!
Best duty station Navy is Jacksonville FL - beautiful beaches, good schools and a great place to dip your feet into the housing market affordable but fairly stable.
Worst duty station in the world - my Army Colonel Uncle would say the Pentegon, but as a Navy wife I vote for Norfolk VA - They hate us there but the whole economy is dependent upon the Navy presence - prices are raised with each pay raise and the schools aren't that great and they're rude and mean to military folks. I HATED EVERY BLEEPING MINUTE OF IT!
We have had many, Army, Air Force and Navy stations, my personal favorites are:
Eielson AFB, Alaska - It is hard to get used to the cold and the lack of shopping malls, but it is a phenomenal location. I am a southern girls, but I got used to the cold. The midnight sun, northern lights, high noon moon, amazing wildlife and just overall WOW makes this a top local for the nature person or photographer. Awesome base housing. Housing is large and a lot of it on a lake. Great place for a family. School on base. Drawback is no ER, have to go to Wainwright. (Fort Wainwright is about 12 miles from Eielson for an Army alternative in the area.)
Pensacola NAS, Florida - Beaches, shopping and sunshine. What more can I say. Nice NEX too. Didn't live in base housing so I can't say. The do have an ER though, and new addition to the medical facility. (Eglin AFB is about 45 minutes for an Air Force alternative in the same area, and they have a great BX.)
Minot AFB, ND - Another isolated type base, with limited shopping, but a great base for the nature type, and a great family base. Housing is pretty good for an older style, they may have new since I have been there. I could ride my bike to the medical facility from housing.
Other decent bases in my opinion are Fort Rucker, Alabama, (if you don't mind the southern lifestyle) Davis Monthon AFB, AZ (if you don't mind the sun) and Sheppard AFB, TX (if you don't mind driving the loop to go anywhere).
Bases I do not like are Columbus AFB, MS, (no good shopping, no good services, and crummy location and school district) Fort Riley, KS (I was there back in the early 90's may have changed, but I was in, so I may be biased) and Barksdale AFB, LA (way too much crime for as little "city" feel as it has)
That is no where near all our bases, but my tops and bottoms.
Just my opinion.
Christine - posted on 01/21/2010
Don't come to Guam, wish I could say somewhere good to go but it's our first duty station. It's great money (COLA) but there isn't much to do with younger kids. The MWR doesn't offer much to children of married. Everything here is for Single or Geo bachleors.Good luck!! :)
Rebecca Edwards - posted on 01/21/2010
We are staitoned in Minot North Dakota, Wonderful place to raise a family. Love the base and the surrounding area. We were stationed at Vandenberg AFB Ca., Loved the base , absolutely loved the traveling, but hated the school systems. With 4 kids in school, that is the most important feature of a duty assignment.
Jillian - posted on 01/21/2010
my husband is ARMY and so far we have only been stationed in Ft.Lewis WA. don't know as much about on post because we live in tacoma, but it is a pretty military friendly area, i really like the climate here, but then im not the one doing PT at 5:30 in the rain! sometime this year we will be going to Ft. Bragg NC, not sure how i will like it there!
I actually really loved Ft. Sill. I didn't like Oklahoma so much, and Lawton (town right outside the gates) was a little skeezy (we sometimes called Sill "FOB Ft. Sill"), but Sill itself was great. Pretty small, but there was basically everything we needed. The people were SO nice and it's super family-friendly. Plus, it has a lot of big trees and really beautiful historic buildings, which I loved. We're at Campbell now and it's a lot bigger, but I really like it. It feels more like a city, whereas Sill felt kind of like a college campus.
Julia - posted on 01/20/2010
I have been to 3 different ones as a Soldier and one as a wife. Camp Humphreys, Korea, Fort Huachuca, AZ and Schofield Barracks, HI and now as a wife at Fort Jackson, SC.
Camp Humphreys was nice, the unit was great and I miss that unit a ton! The town loved the army and it was actually a really good duty station.
Fort Huachuca was beautiful!!! It was in the middle of no where but it made up for in in history! Tombstone is a 20 minute drive, I actually grew up watching westerns with my daddy and was able to call him during the re-enactment of the Gunfight at the OK Corral!!! it was awesome. Yeah and I drank at Big Nose Kate's as well as got to eat at Daisy Mae's which is now a steakhouse but one of the countries oldest brothels!!
Schofield Barracks, HI...I loved the island. The unit was a WHOLE different story. I would love to go back there as a wife just not as a Soldier. Also Tripler I had no issues with, both of my daughters were born there and my oldest was not breathing. Never had ANY issues...I have a thriving monster of a 3 yr old right now ALIVE if it weren't for the doctors at Tripler.
And now I am at Fort Jackson, SC. I love the surrounding area, I haven't been to post much (we live off post because the housing was built when I was 9 and I wasn't going to live in those 6 plexes, I prefer my single family home off post) We have actually talked about living here after he retires and hopefully he will extend here as long as possible so we don't have to move again. We have been lucky with our duty stations and really don't want to risk it again.
My preferences is warm or mild weather...I hate the cold. So if they offer him Drum, Alaska, or Lewis he is dropping a retirement packet early! Hell it is Jan 20th and it is a nice 70 degrees today!!!! I love it here.
Good or bad you have to make the best of where ever you are. Look for the good and not be pessimistic or you will be miserable for the 3 or so years that you are there.
Anj - posted on 01/20/2010
We are Navy and best place is San Diego, (although school system is to be desired), but it is a kid and family place to live with MANY things to do---Never bored! :) People are great.
WORST is...Hawaii. Special/medical services are limited. If u are EFMP, NEVER come here! Things to do are limited for families. After all, small island, can only go to the beach for so long so many amount of times and then BORING!!!!
Again, it is all what you may prefer. Also, military not as friendly in Hawaii compared to San Diego military and other states I have resided.
Oh! AND Trippler Army Hospital is HORRIBLE!!! I have a few friends here that have been through hell !!! 1 friend---hell with a pregnancy situation, another friend hell through an arm surgery situation...I meet patients while waiting for an appointment how they have suffered due to incompetent care. I hope and pray my family stays healthy...thats all I have to say!
Ashley - posted on 01/19/2010
We love the Army post Fort Campbell KY and the adjoining town Clarksville TN. It feels like home. Its perfect for us and I dont want to move. Although there isnt much chance of it.. once you get stationed here at Campbell its very hard to get away!
Angela - posted on 01/19/2010
my hubby is in the army. i think the worst post ive been to was fort irwin, ca. your living in the middle of the desert and the next town is 43 miles away. and one of my favorite posts is fort drum, ny. because its pretty big and there are a lot of things you can do on post.
Leigh - posted on 01/19/2010
depends on what branch of the service your family is in? THe type of climate you all prefer etc.. My hubby is in the Navy and we love NAS Jax (jacksonville fl). We also were in Brunswick Maine twice, thank goodness that base is closed and we are back home in FL! We are both floridians,,so I think it mainly depends on very personal preferences! good luck
Kanedric - posted on 01/19/2010
This is a good subject, I haven't been to a duty station yet,but I will be going with my husband to his next duty station in June not sure as of where yet,and and I wondering what they are like myself.I can't wait to read the responses.
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