Can My Girlfriend Live on a Military Base with Me?

by | Military Finance | 1 comment

Wondering if your girlfriend can live with you on a military base? It’s a common question for many service members exploring the complexities of military life. Understanding the rules and regulations about base housing can help you make informed decisions about your relationship and living arrangements.

Military bases have specific guidelines about who can reside on base, and these rules often depend on your marital status. While married couples generally have more straightforward access to base housing, the situation can be more complicated for unmarried partners. Knowing what to expect can save you time and stress as you plan your future together.

Understanding Military Base Housing Policies

Military base housing policies affect whether your girlfriend can live with you on base. Living on base can provide convenience and a sense of community.

Eligibility Requirements for Base Housing

Base housing eligibility often depends on marital status. Married service members get priority for on-base housing, reflecting a family-friendly environment. Unmarried partners, like a girlfriend, typically can’t live on base. She may visit but needs permission and proper documentation. The housing availability, mission requirements, and rank influence eligibility.

Differences Between On-Base and Off-Base Living

On-base living offers convenience, safety, and community support. Essential facilities like medical centers, schools, and grocery stores are often nearby. It fosters camaraderie among military families.

Off-base living provides more privacy and independence. It allows you and your girlfriend to create a personal space without strict regulations. But, off-base living involves commuting and dealing with varying rental prices, which depend on the local housing market.

Can My Girlfriend Live with Me on a Military Base?

Living arrangements on a military base can be complex, especially for unmarried couples. Understanding the regulations and potential exceptions is essential for making informed decisions.

Regulations About Unmarried Partners

Unmarried partners, including girlfriends, generally can’t live on a military base. Military policies prioritize married service members and their families when allocating on-base housing. Single service members typically reside in barracks or single-occupancy accommodations, which don’t allow non-military residents.

Key regulations include:

  • Priority: Married couples and families come first for housing allocation.
  • Accommodation Type: Barracks or single quarters for unmarried service members.
  • Visitor Restrictions: Limited to short-term visits, not extended stays.

These regulations ensure housing resources cater primarily to families, maintaining order and security on the base.

Typical Exceptions and Special Circumstances

But, exceptions and special circumstances might allow for flexibility.

Typical exceptions include:

  • Deployment: Temporary leave, training deployments, or unique missions sometimes permit extended visits by a significant other.
  • Overseas Assignments: In certain locations, cohabitation rules may be relaxed, depending on housing availability and local policies.
  • Command Discretion: Occasionally, commanding officers may grant exceptions based on specific situations.

Even in these scenarios, permission is temporary, subjected to strict oversight, and must adhere to detailed protocols.

Understanding these potential avenues can help you navigate the complexities of base housing policies and plan accordingly.

Alternative Housing Options for Military Couples

You need to consider various housing options if you’re in a relationship with a service member, especially when base housing isn’t an option. Military couples often find alternative solutions to accommodate their unique lifestyles.

Off-Base Living Considerations

Off-base living allows more flexibility and privacy. Couples can rent or buy homes in nearby communities. Research to find areas close to the base with good safety records and amenities. Consider daily commute times and transportation costs. In many cases, securing off-base housing requires a detailed budget to ensure it aligns with the service member’s Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). BAH rates vary based on rank, location, and dependency status, so it’s crucial to use these figures when planning.

Utilizing Military Benefits for Housing

Military couples can leverage various benefits to help with housing costs. The VA Loan, exclusive to military members and veterans, offers favorable mortgage terms without a down payment. Some bases provide housing offices that assist in finding suitable off-base housing, offering resources, listings, and tenant rights information. Also, many utility companies in military-heavy areas might offer discounts or incentives. Remember to explore all available benefits to maximize your housing options.

For off-base housing, always assess the local resources and support systems available for military families. These can include military spouse networks, support groups, and local businesses that offer military discounts.

Legal Implications and Future Planning

Military base housing policies can be complex. You need to grasp these legal implications to ensure smooth future planning. Housing considerations for unmarried partners involve understanding regulations and evaluating long-term impacts.

Importance of Understanding Military Law

Military law impacts your cohabitation options. Unmarried partners generally aren’t allowed to live on base with service members. Exceptions might occur but are rare. Know the regulations of your specific branch. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governs all branches. Violating cohabitation rules could result in disciplinary actions.

Steps to Legal Cohabitation

Living together on a military base necessitates marriage or obtaining special permission. Evaluate your relationship’s future. Consider marriage if you’re serious about cohabitating. Marriage simplifies the process. Submit your marriage certificate to your command. Request base housing after approval. Explore off-base housing if marriage isn’t currently an option. Use resources like the housing office and BAH to find suitable accommodation.


Exploring the complexities of military base housing policies can be challenging, especially for unmarried couples. It’s crucial to understand that on-base housing generally prioritizes married service members, and cohabitation without marriage often requires special permissions. Violating these policies can lead to disciplinary actions under the UCMJ.

If on-base living isn’t an option, off-base housing offers a viable alternative. Use resources like the housing office and your BAH to find suitable accommodations. By planning ahead and understanding the regulations, you can make informed decisions that support both your relationship and your military career.


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