Back to News Front

Why bases get a bad rap

Give posts the benefit of the doubt; here's why

According to, the worst military base to be stationed at is Fort Polk in Louisiana. Photo credit: U.S. Army

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

So you're headed to a new military post - or you're making a list of places you'd like to go, or rather, not to go. In that process, you're recalling things you've heard in the past. Maybe you're researching online to see what others have to say. And chances are, it's not exactly kittens and rainbows. The Internet is full of some seriously dark opinions about military bases; whether or not those opinions actually hold up, however, is another story.

The key is to look past the negativity and evaluate a base for what it really is. To get a better idea of what a spot has to offer, consider these common sources of ill-themed rumors. Whether or not there's any truth behind them.

First up: People talk badly online. Like it or not, Internet chatter is simply filled with complaints. There are positive vibes, too, but there's just something about remaining (somewhat) anonymous that lets folks share the worst of what they have to say. This goes for all subjects, not just military posts. Therefore, when someone goes to talk online, they're more likely to share bad experiences rather than the good.

Then again, it's human nature to hold onto times you were wronged versus when things went right. Not getting an ideal housing situation; having to wait in long lines at gates; not receiving effective parking at the commissary - all this and more is likely to come to the top of mind versus whenever something good took place.

Next, consider stress levels. Moving, deployments, rigorous training schedules - all of these aspects are a daily norm to the military family. They're also huge stressors, which can mean less time enjoyed in an area. Even if a post lived up to all of its expectations - and then some - if you associate it with all of the sleepless nights and stressful days, it's way less likely to hold fond memories.

Then there are aspects like government involvement; like red tape and logistics that have to be followed, even if they make things more difficult. No one likes being tedious, but it's one of military bases' highest priorities. Then there are strict budgets and rules for getting within boundaries, living on a base, or even owning pets. Older houses or a lack of facilities can also come into play.

Meanwhile, some posts have more rules than others (for instance, security levels). And the more difficult it is to get through these seemingly simple tasks, the lower amount of respect folks will hold for a location. Instead, they'll think about how difficult it was to live/visit/shop there.

Finally, personal opinions and preferences affect how one feels about a post. Should it be far from home - or very different from home, it will be much harder to accept. That can go from anything from size of town and its amenities, to the local culture and beyond.

There are many reasons that a military base might have a bad reputation. Anything from its facilities, rules, local personalities, as well as what took place to or around a person while they were stationed there can help to form a collective opinion. Reading these reviews online is also more likely to leave you with a slanted outlook.

Remember to give places the benefit of the doubt, and consider which of these factors might have been in play. And believe it or not, someone loves every single post somewhere. Take negatives with a grain of salt, and look for the positive, no matter what you hear.

comments powered by Disqus