4 thoughts on ““Dorm Rat”: The Military’s Bias against Singles with No Kids. Guest Post by Dale Nyhus

  • March 23, 2019 at 11:07 am

    This barely scratches the surface of military (single) living. Take this example to the Navy. (30 years of service as a single by the way) Same two folks – the single member on assignment to ship will get a “rack” bed coffin locker (a bed that lifts up and storage underneath)plus a 3 ft high by 1 ft wide for hanging clothes – that’s it. No place for a car to park or bike to store, etc. The married member gets either housing allowance or base housing AND that same coffin locker/bed set up. For officers it is a little better – a single officer will share a room with up to 5 other persons (rank depends) and have a 1/2 size wall locker (fold your pants on a hanger ht), 3 drawers and a small fold out desk. But again – no external storage for HHGs, etc. unless you pay out of pocket. And FOOD – well single on ship – no food allowances for enlisted and officers will get the same allowance for meals as married however they must pay their MESS Bill which is usually 100-150.00 over that allowance amount. Each service has a “min” square foot per person – and the numbers are all different.

  • March 23, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Part 2. Privacy – there is very little as a single in military. The Mail. 18 mths ago I was assigned to a military facility in Bahrain. Families/Married members were assigned an onbase (USPS) box where they could receive and retrieve mail 24/7. As a single pers i was not “entitled” to a mailbox (base instruction language) and my mail went to the command and was distributed at their convenience to our departmental box. Then another rep would sort the departmental mail and put it on your desk or in your departmental cubbie (if you didn’t have desk). The process allowed multiple folks to screen your mail/pkgs and provide commentary. “Oh, you got 2 Amazon packages — must have been a boring weekend watch”. “Oh can i have the xyz catalog ?” (or the catalogs and magazines would disappear before you were able to retrieve). Finally mailcall – was at the discretion of the admin officer. Reads – if they are busy or short handed you will NOT get mail picked up and distributed – no 24/7 access.

    • March 23, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks for weighing in with these two comments. What you describe is appalling. I did not know about those examples.

      • March 23, 2019 at 4:12 pm

        I have 30+ years worth. From Jan 2010 to Feb 2012 I stood the duty (on call, must be within 30 mins drive) on every holiday, long weekend and safety day. If the safety day Friday and federal holiday fell on Monday — I had duty for 96 hrs (7a Friday to 7a Tuesday) because command had unwritten policy of not giving people with families duty on holidays. This is not about service to our country. I serve proudly and (mostly) silently. But the last 10 yrs or so have opened my eyes to the inequities.


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