Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling is a product of the Base Realignment and Closure of 2005. Since the Department of Defense acquired the land in 1917, it has been home to the Army, Navy, ...
Getting an assignment to the nation’s capital can be a frightening experience; especially for those who have never been to Washington, DC. In the first place, except for the Marine Barracks, Bolling AFB, or the Washington Naval Station, most of the military assignments that say ‘Washington, DC,’ the Pentagon for instance, are actually in either Virginia or Maryland.
The first thing an individual who has been assigned to Washington, either PCS or TDY, needs to do is obtain housing information. Contacting someone at the unit or base to which you’re being assigned is helpful.
Most people assigned to Washington live in one of the suburbs of Northern Virginia; Prince Georges County, Maryland; or Montgomery County, Maryland, requiring a commute to work.
With the exception of the Pentagon and the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, most bases aren’t conveniently located for public transportation. Off-base housing is in most cases acceptable and, with the housing allowance, affordable. Some people being assigned to the area on PCS orders buy a house and then sell it upon reassignment.
Schools in the DC area are relatively good, but varied. Maryland schools, particularly those in Montgomery County, rank highest in the nation, and schools in suburban northern Virginia also rank high nationally. Charter and private schools in the District of Columbia range from excellent to fair, and some public schools get decent rankings.
While the job market has contracted in Washington, as it has in the rest of the country, there remain a number of opportunities for spouse employment with private companies, non-governmental organizations, and government contractors.
A major urban area, whose main industry is government, Washington is a place that excites. But, it still retains a certain small town charm and for all the Greco-Roman façade of the monuments and government buildings, has a lot of unique and charming neighborhoods.