If you love staying inside, these 4 duty stations are for you

Jessica Evans Avatar
Twentynine Palms looking east on Highway 62. (Public domain)

If the military hasn’t taken away the fun of camping and nature and you’re one of those rare unicorns who still likes sleeping on the cold, hard ground, then you might be on the lookout for a duty station that offers you a chance to get outside and smell the fresh air. And if you’re one of those people, then you may want to avoid these 4 duty stations:

1. Fort Polk, Louisiana

Located in Leesville, Louisiana, Fort Polk has a reputation for its miserable climate. The heat and humidity can feel unbearable, so trying to enjoy anything outside is basically pointless. Plus, the bugs and critters of this swampy region make outdoor activities even more challenging. If you find yourself stationed here, you may have to put your outdoorsy side on hold. Instead, you’ll have to make do with some of the other “fun” things to do in Swampsville. Be sure to check out the post’s museum and various monuments dedicated to service members who have gone above and beyond. At least MWR tries its best to make the post entertaining.

Photo courtesy of armybases.org

2. Fort Irwin, California

Insufferable sand that gets into everything. Scorching heat in the day that makes you wish for shade and ice. Brisk night temperatures that have you wanting a woobie, stat. If this sounds like hell, that’s because it was designed that way. Fort Irwin is located in the middle of the desert in southern California. For much of the year, outdoor activities can be dangerous because of the extreme heat. Plus, it is a pretty barren region, so there’s not much to see outside anyway. One thing’s for sure: an assignment at Fort Irwin could knock your enthusiasm for the outdoors down a few notches. The National Training Center has a reputation for a reason. At least you’ll get it out of the way?

Aerial view of the Fort Irwin Military Reservation central base area in the Mojave Desert, located in San Bernardino County, California.

3. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The only Marine Corps Base on this list, Twentynine Palms is another southern California hellscape. Its Mohave Desert location means for too much of the year, temperatures around 120 degrees Fahrenheit are the norm. Rugged lovers of the outdoors might try to look for a silver-living, but likely they’ll only find rattlesnakes and sand in their mouths. To find the beautiful outdoor activities California is known for, you’ll have to drive a few hours.

Photograph taken by Glenn Francis. (Wikipedia)

4. Fort Bliss

Carrying on with the theme of hot and unforgiving landscapes brings us to Texas. El Paso, Texas, is where Fort Bliss calls home. It is located right on the Mexican border and has a horrible reputation for being one of the least safe places to live in the country. The safety issues alone could make even the most adamant of nature lovers shy away from outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, that’s not all. The region has a hot desert climate and is prone to sandstorms—not ideal for spending time outside. Might we suggest you use your time to explore the rest of the state of Texas. It’s massive and there might just be some fun to be had in Austin.

You never really get to choose where the military sends you. And most of the time, people will say to make the best of it and bloom where you’re planted. Harder to bloom in a desert, but it definitely can be done.

Aerial view of El Paso with Fort Bliss’s Armstrong Polo Field in the center. The Pershing Dam flood-control project floods the field when there is storm runoff. (Public domain)

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