Sunday, April 18, 2010

Living On base verse Off base

You will receive a BAH, basic housing allowance. That dollar figure will be determined by base location, rank, year's of service, and whether the JAG has any dependents. With this allowance you can live off base and rent a house for less than your BAH and pocket the difference. Where as if you live on base the BAH goes directly to the housing office. So even though I live in roughly the same kind of home on base as the Major and Colonels do, whose BAH is likely $3000+ and our BAH is $1500+, the entire BAH is given to the housing people. Essentially if you live on base no matter rank, year's of service, etc. ALL of your BAH is forfeited.
As a JAG, Top Gun and I have never heard of you having to live on base when first starting out. If you stay in and you become a SJA (usually they're Colonels) then you are required to live on base.
The decision to live on or off base is completely up to you when first starting out. It'll depend on where you are stationed. We have chosen to live on base to start off so we could better get acclimated to the military lifestyle. I wouldn't have changed that decision. With that said, wherever we head next I plan on living off base b.c our BAH will be higher and we'll likely be able to afford a nice home and have some extra BAH left over.

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