Let’s get through the basics. A soldier’s daily life is not that different from the life you lead now. You’ll still eat the food you normally eat. You’ll sleep in a regular bed. You’ll shop, worship, maintain and live your daily life pretty much as you do now. There are vets to take care of your pets, chapels and religious buildings, grocery stores, dry cleaners, etc. You name it, and it probably exists on or near your post, no matter where you are. Sure, the names of places have changed, but the game really hasn’t. In fact, a number of things actually might be better.

See, one advantage of Army daily life versus civilian life is the community that forms around your everyday life. It might surprise you to learn just how supportive, united and extensive Army families and communities are. Military life encourages families to support one another, and one of the most valuable assets a family can have when adjusting to change is the network of families that have undergone exactly the same thing. In fact, friends are easy to make in the military community, and an experienced family member, who was once new just like you, is always available to show you the ropes if you need assistance with your daily life in the Army.

Your home is the center of your family and arguably the most important influence on how you embrace your new life. So whether you live on the installation in military housing or off post, the Army tries to provide you with military housing to make you as comfortable as possible.

When it comes to post housing, the Army solicited and then incorporated the ideas of soldiers and their families concerning the construction and renovation of its Army housing communities. Some suggestions that were adopted included more closet space, ceiling fans, yard space and larger living areas. Each housing unit comes with a refrigerator and stove, and many come with a dishwasher, separate laundry room and garage. Some housing areas also include playgrounds for younger children and outdoor basketball courts, and they are built with sidewalks and plenty of street lights for the safety of residents.

Your family though, doesn’t always have members with just two legs, though, so the Army also has a pet-housing policy. In short, you probably can keep Fido or Mittens, but only if you live off post. Army regulations state that while pets outside of goldfish or small rodents aren’t allowed in the barracks, soldiers who live in off-base housing can have whatever pets their leases permit. However, keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a new recruit will be allowed to live off base upon first enlisting.