military wife to find a base

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
military wife to find a base
9
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 5:53pm

Well my husband decided to go into military. He has to go into a 9 week training program first. but after the training me and our son are going to get to live on base with him. I was looking for a good base that nice and kid friendly we have a 1 year old. It is so overwhelming to find one so far and to get to know how these things work. I'm 19 and never have done any research of this sort until last night. I am hoping to find a good one in the U.S. Also if anyone has the time to write me telling me some good bases and what their like and how the whole moving process goes after training. I'm so nervous and hope to get some responses. I don't want to pick a bad base and be really upset for the next 4 years. I absolutely know nothing bout this matter. Or how it goes please help me

Bianca Russell
Bianca Mommy of Bryce
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2008
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 6:23pm

Which branch of the military has your husband gone into? (Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard?)

Each branch has different training procedures and different policies for when families join them, and different bases to be stationed at.

If you can tell us which branch he went into and which job he signed up for, we can probably help you out a little more.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2005
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 8:07pm

Unfortunately, you don't get to really pick the base he's stationed at. He can put in a "wish list" for bases, but that's no guarantee. The military will send him where he is needed most.

We've lived at 2 different bases so far. I absolutely hated Fort Hood (the only thing I got out of our 5 years there was 2 of my kids and one of the best friends I've ever had) and really like (but not love) Lewis-McChord. But then, I know people that love Hood, just like I know people that hate Lewis-McChord. It's all a matter of personal taste.

As far as moving, it can be done a couple different ways. You can do a DITY move and be reimbursed up to a certain amount (having never done a DITY move, I couldn't tell you what the requirements are for this). You can have the military move your household goods for you, and you just have to get to where he's stationed. I've also heard of doing a partial DITY, where you move some of your stuff yourself and have the military move the rest. I'm not sure about the procedure for that, though.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 8:50pm

I just hope for the best. We don't have much stuff anyway so the move wont be that hard.I am wondering how long after training will me and my son get to move with him is it right after training or what? Also the 2nd training they said we could live close how does that work???? Will they put us in hotel room through 2nd training? Or should we just wait till base.Im just really nervous i don't want to get stuck in a bad place i want the best for me,my son and husband. I'm so nervous bout this whole thing being without him for 9 weeks straight will be horrible we are so close. Can you explain to me what is all on a base as far as schools and stores and can you leave base to go shopping or what? Sorry for so many questions him so terrified tho. I don't have license yet him going to try to get them when he goes for 9 week training tho.


Bianca Mommy of Bryce
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2005
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 9:20pm

I am wondering how long after training will me and my son get to move with him is it right after training or what?



Generally, it's once he gets to his first duty station.



Also the 2nd training they said we could live close how does that work????



I do believe for the most part, the military won't pay for you live close to him for AIT, unless it's one of the really long ones (I want to say 6 months or more? I'm not 100% positive on that, though). Of course, you can move there on your own dime, but then you have the struggle of finding a short term lease.



Will they put us in hotel room through 2nd training? Or should we just wait till base.



As far as I know, they won't pay for a hotel. Any cost of living will be out of your own pocket. Personally, I think in most cases, it's better to just wait until he gets his first duty station.



Can you explain to me what is all on a base as far as schools and stores and can you leave base to go shopping or what?



This varies from base to base. Some are good, some are not so good. Most will have at least a PX and commissary...I know Ft Hood has 2 of each. Yes, you can go off base to go shopping; they can't make you use the commissary. I've noticed that the commissary usually doesn't have what I want, or they have what I want but are out of stock, especially around payday, so I usually go to stores off base.



Feel free to ask anything else...I'm sure between all of us, we'll be able to give you all kinds of opinions about various bases and answer any questions you might come up with.



One final piece of advice: since this is a public board, you should remove your last name from your posts. That's just one more piece of information that can be used to pinpoint who you are (not to mention your husband, his eventual company, etc).




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2007
Thu, 07-22-2010 - 9:42pm

This is all from the Army perspective since that's what my DH is but it's similar in all branches, I'm assuming.

So, the first part of training he will be doing is basic combat training. After that he will go to training to learn his actual job. Usually, families do not move to be with the military member during any of that training. After he is done with all of his training, he will be sent to his first duty station. This is usually when the families join. He will get time off after his second training in order to come and get your stuff. The government will send movers to pack up your household goods and ship them to his duty station. You will then drive to your duty station and they will put you in temporary lodging until you find a place to live.

Once you get to your duty station, you can either choose to live on post/base or you can live off post/base. If you live on post/base your husband will go to the housing office on and fill out an application. There may be a wait list before you can get into a house but they will tell you how long that is and they will contact you when a house is available for you. If you live off post/base, you will be given a housing allowance based on your husband's rank and the zip code. You will then use that money to pay for rent or your mortgage if you buy a house.

The best thing to do when picking a place is to google the name of the post/base and read up about what it offers and the area surrounding it. Is there a particular area in the country you'd like to live? Do you want to be close to where you are now? Do you want to be somewhere where it is warm all the time? Every single person has a different opinion about every base/post so it's really hard to say, "hey this place is awesome, go there" because you might HATE everything I love about that place, you know? You just have to figure out what's most important to you and your family and try to find the duty station that best matches up with that. Again, there is no guarantee you'll get the place you want but it's worth being well informed and trying to get what you want.

As for what's on post/base, there is the PX/BX (stands for Post Exchange or Base Exchange) which is kind of like a Walmart/Target. The commissary is the grocery store. There are gas stations, post offices, movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms. Each post/base will have different amenities. The bigger the post/base, the more that will be offered. Once you know what duty station you are going to, just google the name of it and their homepage should come up and you can find out everything that is offered there.

You will eventually get a military ID that you will need to take good care of because you need it to get onto post/base and also you will need it to access most things on post/base (for example, when I go to the commissary, I have to show my military ID before I pay so they know I am allowed to shop there).

You will also be enrolled in Tricare, which is the military health care system. You and your child will be assigned a doctor to see. Most likely you will be seen on post/base at their medical facility but sometimes you will see a civilian doctor.

Those are the most important things to know, I think. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask away. It is sort of overwhelming being thrown into the whole military world so don't be afraid to speak up if you need help.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
Fri, 07-23-2010 - 10:38pm

He is goin into army. And ive looked at some bases for army wishlist. We like south carolina,kentucky,Alaska. So far they are some good ones.I just hope training dont take a long time i do know the first training lasts 9weeks. That will be hard already. I hope the 2nd training aint so long.Also i have a couple more questions is the homes furnished? Also while he is in training ill be learning more bout driveing and tryin to get my licensed is the bases far from daycare,gyms, and hospitals or does that just depend on which base you pick. Im really excited bout the career choice he is making. Also i want to thank everyone for helping me with these questions. If yall can think of anymore things to tell me so ill be aware go head n post them thanks again

Bianca
Bianca Mommy of Bryce
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2008
Fri, 07-23-2010 - 11:37pm

My husband is in the Army, we are stationed at Ft. Rucker, AL.

As for your questions:

The 2nd part of his training (it's called AIT) is determined by what job he's going into. The first 9 weeks is just a basic course that every soldier goes through. The 2nd part is where they learn the actual specifics of how to do their job. You will only be allowed to move to AIT with him if it is longer than 6 months. Otherwise, you will be allowed to visit him at certain times but you will have to pay for all of your travel and lodging expenses yourself.

As for the bases, that is also going to somewhat be determined by his job, especially if it's something really specific. For instance, if he's doing some type of aviation support (radios, body work, etc.), he'll only be able to get stationed at bases that have aviation. So you'll need to find out what job he's going into and which bases have that type of unit before you nail down your wish list.

The houses on post are not furnished. They usually come with a washer/dryer and kitchen appliances. You are responsible for everything else, like couches, beds, etc. Sometimes you can find rentals off post that are furnished but they are usually pretty expensive.

Most of the posts have gyms and daycare facilities on post. Sometimes you have to go on a waiting list to get a spot at the daycare facilities for your child, but the rates there are pretty low compared to other daycare expenses. The gyms on post are usually free to use, but most of the time the fitness classes cost money.

As for hospitals, most posts have their own hospital, but not all of them are full hospitals. For instance, our clinic here does not have an emergency room or any night/weekend care, nor do they handle maternity. For anything that you need that they don't have at that hospital, they will give you a referral to see someone off post. You usually also have to go off post for vision and dental. You'll be able to get a list of providers that will take your insurance from Tricare once you get enrolled.

As for your concerns about good neighborhoods for your child and everything else...living on base is usually pretty secure. No one can get in or out without an ID check at the gate, and most places have primary and elementary schools right on post. As for living off post, every base has its good and bad neighborhoods around it. You just have to figure out where they are at and stay away from the bad ones.

For the most part, when people don't like bases it's either because they didn't like the weather in that geographic area, they had an experience with a bad command at their unit, or the surrounding area didn't have the things that they liked for shopping/entertainment/etc. There are occasionally different reasons but for every person you talk to that hates one base, you'll find another that loved it. It's just a matter of how you decide to look at your situation and what types of things are important to you.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2010
Sat, 07-24-2010 - 12:08am
He is thinking bout an officer job. Also i do want to live on base.
Bianca Mommy of Bryce
Bianca Mommy of Bryce
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-22-2008
Sat, 07-24-2010 - 9:16am

Well ok, an officer job is not specific enough to help you out more. Is he planning on enlisting first and then putting in a packet for officer or is he going to go straight in as an officer? To be a commissioned officer you normally have to have a certain amount of college credit under your belt, warrant officer it just depends but it usually helps.

If he goes in as enlisted and wants to become an officer later, he'll have another job until then. If he goes straight in as an officer, then his training will depend on which type of officer he becomes and what branch he is an officer in (aviation, infantry, medical, artillery, adjutant general, etc.)

If you can give us a little more info we'll be able to help you more. Until then, the only info I can guarantee is that he'll go to 9 weeks of basic training and some unknown form of training after that.

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