Housing at Quantico?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by smith95, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    If I make it to the Basic School, can I live on base or near base in a house, if I am single with no dependants? Or do I have to live in barracks? Is it free to get an on-base house, or do I get a housing allowance?

    Basically, I’d like to live on base, but would rather have a house than barracks. Is this an option? Or would I have to rent a house off base?

    Also, if I get selected for the infantry officer course, that’s still at Quantico, correct? Could I still live in (or keep my) on or off base house then?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    One of the facts of life in the military - schoolhouse commands almost always have an easily-searchable welcome aboard package/manual/instruction. Look under Check-In.

    https://www.trngcmd.marines.mil/Portals/207/Docs/TBS/Welcome_Aboard_PP.pdf

    In the military, generally, if you are in military housing, you do not get Basic Housing Allowance (BAH), which is meant to offset the cost of civilian housing and varies by zip code for cost reasons. Quite often, being in a training pipeline may require living on-base - this varies by Service and schoolhouse. Buried somewhere in regulations are the guidelines for what is considered “adequate housing for a single officer,” square footage, roommates or not, bathroom set-up, and it makes a difference if it’s considered TAD (temporary duty) or PCS (permanent change of station). This stuff is all pre-determined and not worth investing energy in thinking about. New Marine officers report to TBS, do what they are told, work their butts off even on weekends (remedial land nav for all!) as generations before them have been turned into devil dogs.

    I will leave it to those with more direct knowledge to provide additional insights on how the pay, housing and IOC works.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Someone more recent than me can chime in, but as far as I know if you are single with no dependents you live at TBS in the BOQ. The same goes for the IOC course. IOC you are rarely home. It actually makes life much easier as there are many early mornings and late nights. About 15 years ago some students got to live out in town when they renovated one of the barracks. @kinnem I believe your DS lived on base and those were the regs for him too?
     
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  4. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    Thanks for the reply - I read the link, and it is still a little unclear. It seems that I would most likely live in barracks, but is it possible to have on base housing, even if it doesn’t come out of BAH and I have to pay for it myself? The link didn’t talk about whether or not that was possible to get on campus housing, just that it was most likely that I would live in barracks.

    Thanks!
     
  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    OP: IOC is definitely in Quantico. The advice above is spot on. Frankly, you don't want to live off base at TBS or IOC. You will have long days, an irregular schedule and a lot of partner exercises. It takes a lot of time to transit from Off base" to the assembly area in Quantico. I would focus your energy on another subject and resign yourself to living on base in the student quarters.
     
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  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I doubt you will be eligible for on base housing outside of the BOQ at TBS. I know on base has changed since it was privatized, but I still don’t think you will be able to get a house. Page 7 of the link Capt MJ posted addresses this. Expect to live in the BOQ and have 1-2 room mates per that guide. They try to house you within your platoon and add in someone who lives off base. They store their field gear, weapon and will hang out in the rooms during the day when there is free time or studying, but they don’t stay there. They are respectful of the fact that you live there and try to leave as much of the room to you and your room mates who do live there. The arrangement isn’t that bad. We all did it and survived. I am an introvert by nature so I used to escape for dinner by myself or get a hotel Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning to escape and recharge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  7. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I live very close to Quantico and I would say don't go off base unless you are forced to do so, I.E. no room at the inn (Qs). Quantico is right off of 95 and rte 1.
    1. Rush hr bumper to bumper traffic starts by 6 a.m. for the Beltway bandits.
    ~ My DH leaves no later than 5:50 so he is at the commuter (SLUG) line in Dumfries by 6, because if he is later than 6:15 they have no spots left. This lot is only about 5 miles from Quantico
    ~~ People that live in Stafford or Fredericksburg commute to not only Quantico, but to Ft. Belvoir, the Pentagon, etc, so you will be caught in the traffic. Trust me, if you are not from this area, you cannot fathom the traffic.
    2. I was a realtor for many yrs. No offense, but if you want to be very close to Quantico and stay within your BAH as an O1, you will need to find a short term lease. Some of those are not in the best places, or they are very old.
    3. Tied into #2. Even if you get a true house on post/base those come unfurnished, same with most rentals. If it is not a pcs, where you get to ship household goods, than what will you do? Rent furniture? More money out of your pocket.
     
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  8. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    @smith95
    If I may ask, and you’re willing to answer, are you in a commissioning program now? Or just starting the process of thinking about applying or actively applying?

    That would help us tweak answers to your knowledge level.

    Regulations spell out what type of govt housing is offered to a military member, with type of orders (PCS vs. TAD), dependency status, rank, etc., playing a role. There is no choosing to pay for it out of your money. The military has its own administrative bureaucracy with specific regulations covering entitlements and benefits. Living cheek by jowl with others in common spaces is often a part of military life. If you have aspirations of being an infantry officer, that is life in the field.

    The good news is, once clear of the schoolhouse pipeline, single JOs have a lot more control over where they live.

    Like Hoops, I am an introvert and need my solo re-charge time. If that’s what is driving this line of questioning, you will figure it out. We all do.

    I know that part of TBS is building that famed esprit de corps, soaking that culture into new Marines, forging a cohesive unit - and by living, working, succeeding-failing, studying, struggling, sweating, relaxing together, the foundation is laid.

    It’s not about you, it’s about the team. Many military decisions are rooted in utilitarianism, “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few.” The leadership of new Marine training has decided single Marine officers will live in the dedicated TBS barracks. There may be some deliberate wiggle room written into the welcome instruction, but that would be for some extraordinary exception.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
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  9. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I am going to through a different twist into this, from the introvert aspect, since my DS is one.

    1. The military is large, but like the AF, the Marines are small in numbers. It becomes even smaller when you go into your specialty career field.
    ~ You will meet up with them again and again over your career. My DH is a retired AF O5, and still to this day as a Beltway bandit he runs into people that he met as an O1 when he was in training. They joke and recall those days living in the Qs. Time does a funny thing to your memory.
    2. You are going to be at school. I don't know what the school is like, but if it is like UPT for the AF, I suspect there is a lot of studying going on for training. Easier to knock on the roommates door in your class to ask a question or study together, than getting in your car to drive to their Q since you live off base.
    ~ Again, I live in NoVA, near Quantico, I drive down a specific road slowly on the weekends because many times you guys/gals just pop out of the woods unexpectant (Bullet says you are doing Land Nav).
    3. Bad news, you will be deployed and have to live in very close quarters. This will get you use to the idea of okay I will have this lifestyle, but in a much gentler way.
    ~ Bullet and my DS have had to live in tents in no man's land that hold 6-8 people for months at a time. A much more stressful situation than being at Quantico with the ability to get in your car on Sat. driving 35 mins to Jiffy Lube Live to see Brad Paisley in concert by myself just to get away from them.

    No offense, but Quantico's location allows you so much freedom if you are an introvert compared to my DS that went to UPT at Laughlin (aka He!! Rio) because there is so much to do around the area just to escape. Go South on 95 and 40 mins you are at Kings Dominion (amusement park). Go 15 miles north and you are at Potomac Mills (shopping/restaurants). Go 45 mins and you are at Manassas Battlefield. Go out the back gate and you can hop on the VRE or Amtrak to get into DC within 45 mins. I could go on and on.

    If I were you, I would live in the barracks, build friendships and relationships.

    There is one more reason that nobody has talked about. NETWORKING. As I stated before the military is very small, whether you to decide to do 4 or 5 yrs and leave, those relationships created can assist you after you leave the military.
     
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  10. smith95

    smith95 Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the answers guys - that’s very helpful.

    I am in the process of my application.

    I was asking partly because of introversion, partly to reclaim a small piece of personal time outside of Marine training time.

    Also, if family come to visit, such as my brother or sister, can they stay with me? There’s also a hotel on base, isn’t there?
     
  11. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I would not think of the on base hotel like a Holiday Inn for multiple reasons. Typically a base hotel is usually for military members (active and retired). Yes, you can book them a room, but because they are family and not dependents, they are at the bottom of the rung when it comes to guaranteeing a room.

    IOWS, you don't just reserve a room for a week 6 months out and get it guaranteed for their arrival. Priority goes to military members, and there is an order of priority. 1st on the list is AD on orders. When you PCS in and out you as an AD member are guaranteed X amt of nights. The hotel cannot see 6 mos out how many will be PCSing that week. The next is AD that might be on vacation. Then you have retirees. At the bottom is you renting a room for your family. At least that is how I remember how it worked.

    The on post hotels are not the size of a Holiday Inn. Maybe 100 rooms. Now add into the fact of the PCS issues, plus Quantico being a school, they can book out very quickly for those that have a higher level of priority than your siblings.

    Honestly within 10 minutes drive from the gate you will find a ton of hotels. Quantico is not in B F Egypt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  12. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    My understanding matches yours. Married LTs or those with dependents were allowed to live off base, otherwise you were in the barracks at TBS. If you can get a double it's pretty nice since the rooms were designed to be doubles. DS was in a triple and one of the guys was some slob from the academy. Go figure.
     
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  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    I think there is a hotel on base but I do not know what it takes to get a room. I'm confident they are booked for some time in advance and have limited space. Your visitors cannot stay with you although they can come up to your room after appropriate sign ins, etc. There are plenty of hotels nearby in Stafford and Fredricksburg. We like the Fairfield Inn in Stafford on Rt. 1. It was very nice, clean, reasonably priced, free breakfast, and they took pets. Our fur baby usually travels with us. There are plenty of others around.

    The Parents Day and Graduation ceremony are pretty nice and I'd recommend your parents attend if possible. OCS Parents Day graduation is pretty cool too. The Marine Corps Museum is a great place to visit and can help keep your guests entertained while you are busy elsewhere. One can easily spend a day + in there.
     
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  14. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Agree 100%
     
  15. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Inns of the Corps Quantico has 144 rooms and suites of various configurations. Their website explains your place in the priority. TBS students with no dependents will not get a unit on base or get BAH for off base housing. I won't laugh though for you asking. If OP would like a dwelling away from Camp Barrett, I have a house two doors down from my place that is for rent. I live just through the forest from TBS. You can land nav to class or the field every day. But, you have to pay rent and utilities from your pocket. The barracks you will be in at TBS are now mostly new. School house rules apply such as Thursday field day and maintaining your room and your gear in your assigned room regardless of where you put head to pillow. There are several hotels and restaurants at I-95 exit 152-B.
     
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  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    The Inns at Quantico are on main side by the club and pool. Out of summer season it’s easier to get a room as less PCS folks coming and going. You can always try to get a room there but as mentioned it is hit and miss on availability and where you fall in priority. There are tons of hotels out the back gate by TBS. Thr BOQ rooms at TBS are more dorm rooms than anything. You are all officers and should be able to manage the shared space. Not really somewhere you want to host a guest. You will want to get away from TBS when you can. You usually know your schedule ahead enough in advance to schedule things unless you have some remedial things like land nav that tend to happen on Saturday mornings.
     
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  17. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    Is that why I see on some Sat a.m's only a few pop out of the woods on Aden Road. I just always thought that because there were not many compared to the other times, they were either the leader of the pack or the stragglers.
     
  18. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Usually it’s land nav remedial. Land nav can take a little longer for some to grasp and others it just they get a rough card that week and end up in remedial. But there could be folks out there doing other training, as some training ops go thru the weekend, but you would probably see them in larger groups. Land nav is usually 4-8 hour courses depending on the size of the training area. You get a map and a list of 4-8 plots to make and then start the course. You walk around for that time finding red ammo cans on sticks in the woods. You aren’t supposed to talk and you usually can find the marks without sprinting around. You have a drop dead time and usually they give some hard boundaries (roads) to stay within. But Lts get confused and turned around and end up in Devil docs backyard. I used to enjoy land nav because it wasn’t that hard, there are really instructors that day and you are left alone for 8 hours as talking isn’t allowed. Only bad part is on weekends when they open up huntring and a hunter goes to an area they aren’t supposed to and you hear that rifle crack way too close!
     
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  19. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Hoops: I couldn't have said it better myself. My Quantico experiences were many years before yours but what you just described could have been decades ago. Land Nav is definitely a course with a lot of folks getting remedials (or practicing) on the weekends. This is way off-topic but allow me one comment: We have had a few posts about Land Navigation at TBS lately and one thing that hasn't been mentioned is how the experience differs depending on the time of year. Land Nav in the Winter is a heck of lot different than land nav in the summer/ fall in Quantico! Anyway... sorry for the diversion.
     
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  20. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    So true Grunt! My final land nav test was in December. It was so much easier to see that red box when the foliage is all gone!
     
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