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I am a geographical bachelor but my duty station will not allow me to live in the barracks, What can I do?in separate locations,

I am a married Soldier whose spouse/dependents do not reside with me. I am currently stationed at Fort Drum but my spouse and children live in NYC. At my previous duty station geographic bachelor living arrangements were available. At my current station they are only available for SSG and above. I have spoken with the garrison CSM and he stated I must find my own place to live. According to regulations BAH is solely for my dependents and without my BAH I am unable to afford a place to live by myself. What are my options? Is there anyway to change my BAH rate to the NYC rate?

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Since you are a voluntary geographical bachelor, you are not entitled to reside in military housing, barracks or bachelor housing.  That is established in the Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR).   If the you desire to live in the barracks, you may have the option to voluntarily give up BAH, and live in the barracks.  I know this puts a financial hit on your  family income, but you can’t legal have both.

Think of it like this:  A Soldier lives in family housing with his dependents (not drawing BAH).  His dependents move out for whatever reason.  Now, he wants to remain in housing, but start drawing BAH to support his dependents.  It is not legal.  Basically the same standard applies to your situation.

You are not required to pay all of your BAH to his dependents in NYC.  AR 608-99 governs support of dependents who are not living with the Soldier.  By this regulation, depending on his rank, (see attached) you have to pay the amount in the BAH RC/T with dependent rate column for your rank to your dependents.  You get to keep the remainder of of your BAH.  This applies as long as there is not a court order establishing an amount of support or a signed agreement between the Soldier and their spouse on an amount of support.  Either of these two circumstances takes precedence over the chart amount, whether it be higher or lower than the chart amount.

It boils down to the family has elected to live apart and have put themselves into this position.

Your options include:

a) Move your family to live with you (consolidate households).

b) Voluntarily give up BAH and be able to move into the barracks (this option does not relieve the Soldier of the requirements to provide support  to his dependents IAW AR 608-99.)

c) Him and his wife sign an agreement that he pays her X amount of money in support and he keeps the remainder of his BAH.

d) He rents a room off of another person or gets a couple roommates.

If there is family tension that is the cause for the family living apart then I would encourage you to see JAG before making any decision.

I hope this helps.

Did you find this information useful? I would appreciate your feedback!


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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • timmyothi clogston


    can you please site the regulation for this policy im going through the same thing, but the other way around..

    • Eck


      Joint Federal Travel Regulation (JFTR).

      • Anonymous


        JFTR / JTR was combined into only the JTR.

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