Army Announces End to Geographic Bachelors

The Army Ended the Program in 2016

Army solider walking in the desert
••• Raphye Alexius​ / Getty Images

In the past, if a married soldier decided not to relocate their family during an assignment, they could continue to draw a housing allowance to pay for housing for their dependents and reside in the barracks if sufficient space was available. This concept was known as the "geographic bachelor."

However, the Army announced an end to the geographic bachelor program for stateside Army installations and Army installations in Alaska and Hawaii. Married soldiers who are voluntarily separated from their families will no longer be authorized space in Army barracks.

The policy is a continued effort to provide quality housing for single soldiers, and to create a better tool in matching up the programming and requirements for unaccompanied personnel housing.

Holistic Barracks Strategy

Soldiers entitled to basic allowance for housing (BAH) at the “with dependent” rate, who are voluntarily separated from their family members, are no longer authorized assignment to permanent party barracks in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska. The policy does not apply to overseas locations.

This change came at a time when the Army was making numerous changes in the way it houses single soldiers via the Holistic Barracks Strategy approved by the secretary of the Army.

The housing change for geographic bachelors supported the strategy initiative ensuring housing entitlements for single soldiers could be met and all permanent unaccompanied personnel housing facility categories matched the identified permanent party housing requirements.

The Army authorized single staff sergeants to live off post and provided the Installation Management Agency with $250 million to repair the Army’s most deficient barracks under the Barracks Improvement Program.

Geographical bachelors in all rank categories transitioned to local community housing through attrition whether caused by permanent change of station orders, renovations being made through BIP, deployment, or for the convenience of the government as determined by the local command.

The local on-post Housing Services Office or the Community Housing Relocation and Referral Services assisted soldiers in securing affordable and safe off-post properties whether they chose to rent or purchase homes.

Other branches of the military may still allow geographic bachelor arrangements on a case-by-case basis. This information was current as of January 2019.