The idea of living at one duty station for more than three years makes me feel antsy. So I’m feeling pretty good right now about being Army instead of Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps is considering a policy change that would allow Marines and their families to stay stationed at one base for long periods of time, according to this story. Known as “homesteading,” the move would give Marines the opportunity to stay in one location as long as the needs of the Corps were still met.
“I do think there are probably benefits to longer tours in some locations,” Gen. Jim Amos, Marine Corps commandant said in the story. “Not wholesale, but I think we can save some money with that.”
He clarified that Marines would still have to move after promotions or for the service’s many schools.
The obvious benefit of this policy to the Corps is cost savings. Moving is not cheap. Paying for all the stuff the movers break is also not cheap. Trotting families all around the globe just because that’s the way it’s always been done also doesn’t seem particularly wise.
But then neither does letting a base become so insular that servicemembers develop habits that are particular to that lone location and not service wide. Many tactics are taught in a standard way across any given service so that when units from two different places work together in a war setting there is no miscommunication. Staying at one base your entire career is a fast road towards institutionalization.
For the families the benefits to homesteading are also obvious. A little family stability, especially in the face of deployments, seems like a great plan. Who doesn’t want to see their kids grow-up in the same school? And who wouldn't like to have the same friends for a long time, instead of constantly having to drum up new ones?
But then there’s me: I like moving – love it, in fact. The new people, the new places, the chance to see parts of the country I’ve never seen before and experience a local culture with which I’m not familiar ... these are the things I love about military life. Please, oh please, don’t take them away from me.
What about you? Do you think the military should bed us all down in one place? Take our poll and check out the results below and leave a note in the comment section.