PCS is a constant part of your military career. Changing homes, schools, and friends isn’t easy, but a new beginning can be fun! Yes, moving can also be stressful; but to relieve some of the stress of PCS, find out what to look forward at your new location. Maybe that more temperate climate will finally let you enjoy a range of available outdoor activities all year round. Favorable housing prices in your new location can help you finally use your VA home loan benefits to buy the home of your dreams.
Here are the highlights of six top military base locations in the US, to help you anticipate a happy PCS for you and your military family.
Fayetteville, North Carolina
This is a central city for military services due to its proximity to Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. Boasting 175,000 residents, Fort Bragg is one of the largest, most prominent military complexes in the world. Fort Bragg is home of the elite special forces, 82d Airborne Division, and the Army's largest Support Command. Pope Air Force Base is another feature central to Fayetteville, located adjacent to Fort Bragg.
Fort Bragg is a base with many options for essentials and entertainment. Included on-base are schools, medical facilities, housing, churches, shopping malls, historic sites, and museums. No military base would be complete without athletic services, and Fort Bragg has its own pools, lakes, hunting fields, bowling lanes, and golf courses to keep your military family healthy and active.
Fort Bragg has a wide variety of housing options for single soldiers. Included are 109 Permanent party barracks that house 15,007 individual soldiers and 6 student barracks that house 109 soldiers. All non-married soldiers are required to live in barracks provided there is space, but there is also double, triple, and quadruple-soldier rooms for military roommates.
Housing on Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base is privatized and therefore prices and options will vary according to demand. Information can be found at the Fort Bragg Family Housing Website.
There is a strong military community in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which gears the off-base housing market toward military needs and accommodations.
The Naval Air Station in Jacksonville is a multi-mission Naval Air base spanning 3,400 acres along the St. John’s River. Naval Station Mayport, boasting the third largest concentration of fleet forces in the US as well as a major Navy base, is located less than ten miles from Jacksonville is the.
Jacksonville, FL is the thirteenth most populated city in the US, and as a result, has many highlights for the whole family. The constantly pleasant climate accommodates outdoor activities all year round. Your military family can visit historical sites of Fort Caroline and St. Augustine, the area’s sandy beaches, enjoy deep-sea fishing, and more.
The Balfour Beatty Community is the Naval Air Station’s premiere military family housing center, an expansive military community with four different neighborhoods and 533 houses to choose from. Balfour Beatty Community also has a branch on Naval Station Mayport, with three neighborhoods and 1,165 homes.
Jacksonville, FL is also a well known friendly city for military families preferring a civilian life-style, while staying within reach of military resources. The median sale price for a house in Jacksonville is $160,000.
Jacksonville, North Carolina
This city is home to the largest Marine force in the world – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River helicopter base. Stretching over 246 square miles of Camp Lejeune, there are over 400 miles of road and 6,500 buildings that house 133,568 Sailors, Marines, retirees and their military families.
On-base families at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River have full access to the fun of Jacksonville NC including The North Carolina Aquarium, Onslow County Museum, and Hammocks Beach State Park.
There are 4,348 housing units shared by Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River. Rather than privatization, these recently renovated properties are owned and maintained by Military Housing.
The proximity to Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station gives Jacksonville, NC a prominent military community. This gives a military homebuyer an advantage: living off base in your own home and still retaining a closeness to your military community.
San Antonio, Texas
This cultural hotspot in the American Southwest is home to one of the world's largest military consolidations. Located in San Antonio are many military complexes such as Brooks City-Base, Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Leon Springs Military Reservation, and Randolph Air Force Base.
San Antonio is home to many historical and entertainment sites, many located close to military complexes. Some highlights of San Antonio are The Marion Koogler-McNay Art Museum, the Alamo, the River Walk, SeaWorld, and Six Flags Fiesta. In fact, San Antonio is largely dominated by tourism and a strong military presence.
Dorms are available on Brooks Air Force Base for single soldiers, ranked E-1 through E-3. To accommodate military families, there are 170 family housing units also on Brooks Air Force Base. Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base all have their own family housing units that are operated and maintained by base facilities.
Tacoma is the location of the Fort Lewis branch of the United States Army, and McChord Air Force Base. Fort Lewis employs over 25,000 soldiers of I Corps, 2nd Brigade 2nd Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade 2rd Infantry Division, plus seven more units and civilian workers. McChord Air Force base also houses the 62nd Airlift Wing, 446th Airlift Wing, and the Western Air Defense Sector.
Tacoma, WA is a scenic city with gorgeous surroundings such as Mount Rainier and multiple state parks. Historical and artistic sites include the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum, and America's Car Museum. Outdoor sports, natural beauty, mild climate, and strong military presence are some of the many draws for relocating to Tacoma. Not to mention the lack of state income tax!
At Fort Lewis, single soldiers are required to live in the barracks. Twelve communities with over 3600 family housing units are set up for military families settling in the area.
McChord Air Force Base has nine renovated dorms for single soldiers and operates 983 housing units for military families.
Fort Riley, Kansas
Fort Riley expands across 100,671 acres of Northeast Kansas, and houses over 27,000 civilian and military workers of the US Army plus their families. Home to an Active Component/Reserve Component Division, Fort Riley is known also as the home of America's army.
Fort Riley boasts community services to support your military family, including recreational facilities, medical clinics, and dental centers.
For military families, there are more than 3,000 housing units to choose from. Fort Riley Family Housing is in transition from Picerne Military housing, with completion planned for the year 2016. Barracks for single soldiers at Fort Riley are renovated with modern amenities. And, as the "Home of America's Army" Fort Riley is a resourceful and beautiful community, for military families who choose to live off base.