With the holiday season fast approaching, it will soon be time to welcome family and friends over for happy celebrations, good food, great times. But how does hosting guests work when you live on base?
Living behind the gates of a military installation has its pros and cons. And not everybody will agree on what falls into which category. And the holidays raise another question about what the ups and downs of living on base are. How do you handle family and friends coming to visit?
Getting Them In
Sorting this out varies from installation to installation, so find out the policy at yours if people are coming. In many places, any guests over the age of 12 simply need some form of picture ID. If they are driving their own vehicle on post, they may need to obtain a pass at the base visitor center. Depending on your post’s policies, a military ID holder may need to be present when the pass is issued. Other places require an issued pass for every individual over the age of 12 whether they drive their personal vehicle or come in with a military ID holder. It’s best to know what stipulations apply to your post, and any guests you’re hosting, ahead of time.
Civilians Staying on Post
In most on-base private housing communities, your guests are welcome to stay for up to 30 days with no additional paperwork or notification. It’s worth checking your neighborhood’s handbook, especially in regards to extra vehicle parking if your guests need it. In places that require notification before you have long-term guests, you must typically provide a list of their names and the dates they will be staying with you.
Background Checks & Firearms
While this point won’t apply to everyone, it is worth knowing that some installations require basic background checks for guests. Some, for example, will not issue a pass to anyone with a felony conviction. If your family or guests enjoy hunting or have a concealed carry permit, warn them that most installations have extremely stringent restrictions on personal firearms. Letting your guests know the policies ahead of time can prevent a headache at the gate.
Hosting guests is one of the most wonderful parts of the holidays. Especially if you’re posted far enough from your family and friends that this time of year is the only time you regularly see them. A little effort to make sure everyone is prepared and knows expectations goes a long way towards a smooth visit!