Moving to Hawaii with your family can be a little bit intimidating and inconvenient to think about. Most military families find it a challenge to be familiar with the ways of life in the islands. However, this is not a situation where you have the choice.   

We know the struggles so we list here the frequently asked questions so if you find yourself caught in the situation. You would find out that living in Hawaii can be a fun experience rather than a challenging one.   

Is it Free?  

Housing for the military in the islands depends on three important factors: dependents, marital status, and rank. The members who have a family can either choose to live on base or off base and will be provided with a monthly basic allowance for their housing expenses (BAH). Hawaii BAH is currently mandated by the DOD to denominate 90% for the housing bills and 5% for personal pocket use. If you are without a family, you live on base until you reach a certain rank in order to choose to stay on base or live off base.   

Are civilians allowed to live on base?  

If you are a military member dependent, you are allowed to live on base. However, allowing civilians to live on base with the members and their dependents, although possible, is not something very common to happen. It is because if the space allocated is spacious enough to accommodate all military members and their dependents, the housing company may and can spare the extra spaces and houses for the civilians who want to live on base. But again, this is something not common to happen.   

Are civilians allowed to enter the military base?  

Civilians may be allowed to go inside the military base provided that they present and carry with them their identification card that is valid and legal like a driver’s license or passport. Moreover, you will need to be escorted by a military member. If having an escort can be too much for you, you can stay in the visitor center.   

Does a member get BAH if she/he lives on base?  

The basic allowance for housing is provided to all military members who live off base and on base. In fact, they have the luxury to choose if whether to live on base or off base. BAH amount varies depending on rank, a number of dependents, and location. Some off-base locations may be more expensive than the on-base areas.   

BAH in Hawaii  

If you have experienced living off base before, you would see that Hawaii does not differentiate itself from other off base areas. What makes Hawaii different, perhaps, is the luxurious scenery that you can have in the islands. Hawaii is rich in different recreational activities, from sports to sightseeing. If you are fond of nature, then the place can be a relaxing place to live in.   

Additionally, living off base in Hawaii oftentimes lasts up to three years. Take note that housing is temporary and you need to move to another area again. Make most of your experience in a place that is considered to be a tourist spot.