Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. --
Everyone knows the rules when it comes to the barracks. If you don’t have any dependents, such as a spouse or a child, you’re crashing at the bachelor enlisted quarters.
Having lived in the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Barracks aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River for almost a year now, I’m familiar with how life on an air station works.
You will commonly hear Marines complain about the barracks everywhere you go, but in my opinion the barracks is one of the best places to live.
Barracks life is a consistent roof over your head and a bed to sleep in. It is one of the perks of joining the Marine Corps that is often taken for granted. With promises of college tuition and a paycheck on the 1st and the 15th of the month, living in the barracks is one of the benefits that may get overlooked.
Yes, barracks life gets repetitive. There are only so many “Walking Dead” reruns you can watch in the TV lounge before someone says, “I’m bored.” But here is the hidden beauty of living in the barracks. Everyone is bored. There is no greater motivating force than boredom, and you would be surprised what a group of Marines could come up with given 48 hours.
“Birds of a feather flock together.” I am not 100 percent sure I really understood this until I joined the Marine Corps. Everyone is going through the same issues you are. I don’t think there a better ice breaker than complaining about something you have in common with someone else.
Where I am going with all of this is that living in the barracks groups you with Marines that you normally wouldn’t interact with on a daily basis.
I have met some close friends who work in other sections whom I would have never met had I not lived in the barracks.
Also, with the barracks located on base, Marines also have the opportunity to visit the brand new multi-million dollar fitness center, as well as make a short trip to the Marine Corps Exchange or the Commissary to stock the full-sized fridge that each room in the barracks is furnished with, saving them the trouble of wasting gas to go off base.
The barracks are convenient.
“The barracks I live in is close to the chow hall where I work,” said Lance Cpl. Aaron Sampson, food service specialist. “Overall the barracks is the place to be for Marines trying to save money, or if they want to be surrounded by their fellow Marines.”
Even if a Marine isn’t interested in visiting the fitness center, it doesn’t take much to walk outside where one can usually see a group of Marines playing football or soccer on the brand new turf field on base.
So yes, Marines will usually find a reason to complain, but with the convenience of a consistent roof over their heads, centralized location of the barracks, and plethora of activities provided on base, living in bachelor enlisted quarters shouldn’t be one of those things.