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Being a single soldier in the Army

You curious what it’s like in the United States Army as a soldier that is not married? Well, stick around because this video is for you. What’s up, friends? I’m US Army veteran Christopher chaos. In this video, I’m explaining what the lifestyle is like for a single soldier in the United States Army because it is a little bit different compared to those soldiers that are married in the United States Army. First, it’s probably best just to understand what the definition of a single soldier is. A single soldier in the United States Army means they’re not married. Now, they could have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, maybe even a fiance, but they’re still a single soldier unless they’re actually married. And that single soldier lifestyle mainly just applies to enlisted soldiers from the rank of a private to a sergeant and those soldiers that also don’t have any kids. Now, maybe in the instance of a soldier that has a child and they are still with the mother or father or even not with the mother or father, but yet still has some custody arrangement in which that child may stay the night with them, those individuals basically have the same lifestyle as a married soldier, as well as a soldier that is maybe a warrant officer, an officer, or even an enlisted soldier that is a staff sergeant or above.

Those people in that category, even if they are single and not married, they still have essentially the lifestyle of a married soldier. That’s going to be a video coming up. If you’re watching this right when it came out, that video will come up next week. If this has been a little while since this video came out, check my channel because it may already be up. If so, I’ll probably put a card up here and maybe a link down in the description. Let’s assume that you’re joining the army, you are not married and you’re coming straight in as a private in E1. Currently, the pay of an E1 is $1,500 a month, but you get paid twice a month, so it essentially breaks down to $750 every pay period from the first and the 15th. That’s still before taxes, so it’s still probably less than $750. And you might be thinking, I can’t survive off of $750. I can’t make rent, I can’t pay utilities, I can’t pay for food. And that’s where it differs for single soldiers because you don’t have rent to pay, you don’t have utilities to pay. If you’re eating in a chow hall, you don’t have to pay for any food, and you also don’t have to pay for medical.

Now, I’m going to break some of those things down a little bit more, but it’s going to be very heavy on barracks life because really that is one of the main things that makes up a single soldier’s lifestyle is the fact that they are living in the barracks. Let’s start there. Let’s start off with what it’s like to live in the barracks. The barracks are essentially like college dorms that a unit has control over. It’s going to be a large building with a large parking lot out in front of the building or back of the building. Sometimes there are some occasions where they have overhead parking for you to park your vehicle underneath. But in most cases I’ve seen it’s just a large open parking lot with no overhead cover. Now, the building will have usually multiple floors, maybe two floors, maybe four floors, maybe five floors. Who knows? It just depends on the size of the barracks at that particular unit because there’s not really a standard set blueprint for these barracks. Sometimes you have older barracks, sometimes you have newer barracks. But I will give you a description of what the more common barracks are like nowadays.

The current barracks are usually multiple floors. Maybe they have one floor for a particular platoon. Maybe they have it sectioned off where this floor is all females. It may vary based on how the unit wants to organize that. But most barracks nowadays have doors that are inside the building, not like an outside door like an old motel or anything like that. But you may still run across some barracks that are like that style. But the more modern style, the more current ones, the newer barracks are usually you have to go inside of a building, pass a desk, and maybe take some stairs or an elevator to whatever floor that you live on. You then go down the hallways with multiple doors on the left and right, and then whichever room number is yours, you would go through that door that you have access to. Once you go through that first door, the common layout is this common area type of thing that’s got maybe a kitchen on the right hand side, maybe the left hand side, and then the opposite side will have a bathroom, maybe sometimes a sink on the outside of the bathroom.

That way, one roommate can be brushing their teeth while the other one’s taking a shower. And yes, it’s a roommate as commonly an E1 to an E4, a private to a specialist, will usually have a roommate. Sergeant, corporals, and maybe in some cases, a specialist will usually have their own room. But first, I’ll talk about those rooms where you usually have two people inside of a room. So with that common area, like I said, you have the bathroom, you have the kitchen. Inside the kitchen, they’ll usually have either a medium sized fridge, maybe a full sized fridge, maybe a stove with a cooktop, or maybe even an oven in some cases. Some cupboards, you’re going to have to supply your own dishware. I think even some have dishwashers. If not, then you just have to do it the old fashioned way and do it in the sink. Then the bathrooms are pretty basic. Just really have the sink probably on the outside of the bathroom with a toilet and then one of those shower tub combos. Then inside that common area, one person has access to one of the rooms and the other soldier will have access to the other room.

Inside the individual rooms, we should be like a twin or a full size bed. You also have probably like a entertainment center type of thing to put a TV on or a TV inside of. Also a desk and maybe even a three drawer chest to put some clothes inside of. Typically, you always have a closet that’s fairly large. Usually like a walk in closet, you have plenty of room for your military clothing, your civilian clothing, as well as your private army gear. The room does usually come with linens, some sheets and blankets, but they’re usually not very good. It’s usually advised just when you get a chance, pick up your own because it’ll probably be like some crummy wool blanket, possibly, or some weird looking blanket that you don’t know where it’s been. And for these barracks rooms, you’re not paying any utility. You’re not having to pay for electricity, you’re not having to pay for water or anything like that. Now for the NCO rooms, the sergeant rooms, the corporate rooms, and even sometimes specialists will get hooked up with one of these rooms if they have the room in the barracks and there’s not a lot of sergeants living in the barracks.

These rooms will be pretty much the same layout. I’ve seen times where it’s just a single room inside there. So you have the kitchen, the bathroom, and then a single room. But often I’ve seen it where it’s still the same two room layout, but that NCO, that sergeant, that corporate, whoever gets both of the rooms. So maybe they turn one into a living room. Maybe they turn the other one into a bedroom, or they just use one for storage or whatever. But those individuals don’t have a roommate, they have their own room. Now in the barracks, they do typically have a laundry room somewhere. So it’ll be either on that same floor that you’re on, maybe a different floor, maybe they have multiple on multiple floors. Now, you don’t have to pay to use these laundry machines. You will have to pay for your own detergent, fabric softener, all that fun stuff. But it’s not like a laundry mat where you have to put some quarters in a washing machine and use it then. It’s going to be just regular old washing machines or regular old dryers, and you’re just putting your clothes in it with your own fabric softener, your own detergent, and washing your own clothes.

And that building will also be a mail room. So it might be something similar to a PO Box type of format where you have multiple little boxes and you have a key to open them, maybe a combination to open up that box. So you can receive mail at the barracks. You’ll be assigned a number. It’ll probably be some building number with your box number, and that’s how your address will be for if people want to send you mail. If you receive packages that’s too big for the box, then usually they have somewhere as a mail room that someone is assigned to, probably during the weekday, during business hours to pick up packages from. And then you can also send mail usually out of there too, or a lot of times there’s a post office on post that you can just simply just drop an envelope in or send a package out from. There is a guest policy in the barracks. Typically, if it is someone that is not assigned to those barracks, then they have to check in at the CQ desk. The CQ desk is something that’s manned by usually NCO and a couple of other soldiers 24 hours a day.

So that individual have to check in there, probably present some ID to show they’re of age because you’re not allowed to bring anyone in under the age of 18 unless it’s a family member. And then they usually have some curfew type of thing that they’re only allowed to be in the barracks for so long. Each barrack is going to have their own different regulations. The typical time I’ve usually seen is if the following day is not a work day, then midnight is usually cut off and the guests have to be out by then. And then if the following day is maybe a holiday or a weekend, then maybe two o’clock in the morning, your guests have to be out. So you’re not going to have anybody spend the night. If you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, or anything like that, they’re not going to be able to spend the night with you. They’re not going to be able to live with you in the barracks. Nothing like that. It is the CQ’s job to keep track of that stuff, kick you out. There’s a lot of times where you can probably easily sneak someone into the barracks because a lot of times you don’t have control over every entrance and exit into the building, but that’s the wrong way of doing it.

Just do it the right way. They do usually have random checks in the barracks. Maybe your leadership checks on you in the morning to make sure that you’re doing well in the barracks. You’re not living a really dirty life in the barracks. They’re not supposed to do that too much because then it interferes their privacy and they still want single soldiers to have some private life in the barracks. Then they also have these things called health and welfare inspections where they’re going to inspect everything in your room to just do these inspections to maybe look for something to make sure you don’t have any illegal items inside there like drugs or just make sure that you’re not hiding someone inside the barracks, I guess either. And if you ever hear anybody saying they’re doing a GI party in the barracks, that’s not as awesome as it sounds. That means they are going to be cleaning the hell out of the barracks. That could be easily just from just doing a really good scrub down on everything inside of the barracks to also maybe dragging everything out of your room, cleaning the entire room as if it was empty and then putting all your stuff back, which sucks because you have to pull out the bed, the dresser, your TV, everything and clean it.

So GI party, they’re not as awesome as it sounds. It’s something really bad. Now, there are some cases where leadership does allow soldiers to live off base if they are single. That is simply going to come out of your pocket, though. If you’re a private, you probably can’t afford that. Maybe if you’re living with a boyfriend or girlfriend and they’re paying for the rent, sure, maybe. But if you are expected to pay rent and you’re just a private, you might not be able to afford that in most areas. So a lot of times this is something like maybe a specialist might be given permission to go live off base, or even a sergeant might be given permission to go live off base, even though they’re single and they’re just going to simply have to pay out of pocket. Whereas married soldiers, which I’ll explain in the married video, they get paid a little extra for living off post. Next, let’s talk about the meal situation. So if you want food for inside your barracks, you got to buy that on your own. But you do have an option to go to the chow hall for free.

Single soldiers are given what is called a meal card, and they utilize that to just prove that they’re a single soldier and they are not on separate rations like married soldiers are. They can use that meal card presented at the defect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and their breakfast, lunch and dinner is free. A lot of soldiers don’t want to eat every single day in the Chow hall. It is open weekdays, it is open on weekends and even holidays. Sometimes they have limited holiday access where they may shut down some defect and only have certain other ones open. But soldiers do have access seven days a week to that free food inside the Chow hall. Like I said, most soldiers don’t eat there all the time. Sometimes they’ll mix it up. Maybe they’ll have breakfast there, lunch somewhere else, and then maybe dinner in the Chow hall or whatever they might want to do. So if you wanted to, you could just never pay for food and just always eat in the Chow hall if you wanted. Now, another big difference from married soldiers to single soldiers is when a single soldier gets sent somewhere, say PCS to another duty station, whether it be somewhere else in the United States or maybe to Germany or Korea or maybe even Hawaii.

If that single soldier has, say, maybe a boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancée, they can’t bring that individual with them to their next duty station. That is something that is only available to married soldiers because then otherwise, you just have to do a long distance relationship and some people aren’t cool with that, I guess. On that related note, if you are a soldier that is single and you are moving to another location, they will move all of your stuff for you. That also goes for if you’re going to your very first duty station. You get done with basic training, AIT, you go home for a little bit, you can arrange for the movers from the army to come and move your stuff to your first duty station. But single soldiers are going to be somewhat limited on that compared to a married soldier. Because single soldiers are living in the barracks, they only have TVs, they have their personal items, maybe a stereo, maybe a PlayStation, whatever computers, stuff like that. Whereas married soldiers are going to have couches and beds and all sorts of things that they have to move. So married soldiers are allotted a lot more items, a lot more weight to be able to have moved for them.

Whereas a single soldier, that amount is a little bit limited because they are single. So along with that, if you are a soldier and you go through basic and AIT, and from your home that you were living in before you joined the army, you want to ship a couch and a bed and all sorts of other furniture, you’re probably not going to be able to do that. You’re probably going to have to stick with some bare minimum stuff because you’re living in the barracks. So that is essentially the breakdown for the most part of the lifestyle of a single soldier. There’s probably several things that I’ve left out. And for those of you viewers that are currently in the army or even my veteran friends, leave some comments down below as to what you feel are big differences between being a single soldier and a married soldier. And if any of you out there that are not yet in the military or maybe planning on joining at some point in time and you have some questions, make sure to leave them down in the comments and I’ll try to get to them, or some of my active duty or veteran friends will be able to try to answer them for you as well.

If you want an awesome chaos t shirt, you just go to christoper chaos. Com store. There is a link down in the description below. I also have a Patron that I’m going to try out and we’ll give this thing a whirl. And the link is down below and also on my main channel. So if you want to see the perks that are involved with my Patron and you want to subscribe to one, awesome. Next week I will have a video on how the lifestyle is different for married soldiers, so be sure to check that out. If you like this video, though, hit that thumbs up button. Over here, I’ve got a couple of recommended ones that are perfect for you. I can feel it. If you’re not yet subscribed to this channel and you want more content like this, make sure to hit that subscribe button. Thank you so much for watching. I’m Christopher KS and I will see you next time. See you.

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