Patrick Lobejko, U.S. Navy Veteran
Gaeta, Italy. It was the best base because it’s not a base at all. I had the fortune to be stationed on the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) homeported there. That I had the chance to live in town among the Italian people made it a fantastic duty assignment.
Dave Kisor, U.S. Navy Veteran
Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, is the worst. You get sprayed with agricultural poisons between the operations and mainside parts of the base, and even with a seven-mile dead zone around the base, there must be a noise complaint phone line. Lemoore will never be livable.
Captain Fred Furtek, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired)
Having spent three years there (1969–71), the worst was Naval Station Adak, Alaska. Adak had constant precipitation, winds, temperatures below minus 60 degrees, earthquakes, an active volcano, and largely unpaved roads. Navy Exchange shopping only—no restaurants, fresh fruit, vegetables, or milk, and no live television.
Major Bob Cypher, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
Hands down, the worst is Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California, in the middle of the Mojave Desert. It’s remote and has just a tiny Marine Corps presence. The best is Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. We’ll probably close it and move everybody to Twentynine Palms, California.
Robert Deschak, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
The best was Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. “Welcome” jeepneys on the flight line, “Burn Your Own Steak Night” at the bachelor officers' quarters, Cubi Specials at the Plaque Bar. . . . If you had been there, you wouldn’t have asked—if you were never there, you won’t believe how it was.
James Friderici, U.S. Coast Guard Veteran
The worst Coast Guard station was Scotch Cap Light Station on Unimak Island, Alaska, on the outer stretch of the Aleutian Islands. It was isolated duty on the east side of Unimak Pass with supplies from a buoy tender.
The U.S. Naval Activity and USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) in Gaeta, Italy. U.S. Navy (Brianna K. Green)
Commander Adam D. Guthrie, U.S. Navy
The best was Navy Supply Corps School Athens, Georgia. As a newly commissioned ensign, I was in a college town with a nice paycheck for a six-month stint. Lieutenants spent two-three years there as instructors. More officers met future spouses at this station than any other of which I am aware. It was closed in the mid 2000s.
Mark Brogdon, U.S. Navy Veteran
Subic Bay Naval Base, Republic of the Philippines, was the best—hands down! Beautiful mountains, friendly people, good food, enlisted-friendly cost of living, and San Miguel beer!
Commander Larry A. Grant, U.S. Navy (Retired)
As a surface navy guy with tours in San Diego, Monterey, Newport, Seattle, Charleston, and Gaeta, Italy, I am not sure the Navy has any bad naval stations. The worst locations always seem to have been shipyards.
Commander Jerry Hannon, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired), Golden Life Member
The admin complex of Naval Security Group Activity Winter Harbor, Maine, was one of the most beautiful locations you could imagine, located within the Schoodic Section of Acadia National Park. Officers and enlisted working at the operations site in Corea, but living in the BOQ/BEQ, drove along forests and rocky tidal ponds as well as the boulder-laden ocean front to reach the two main ops buildings.
Midshipman Third Class Webster Lowe, U.S. Naval Academy
Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean is the best Navy base in the strategic sense, as its location near the antipode of the United States dramatically flattens the loss-of-strength gradient and enables power projection throughout the U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility.
Captain Ray Brown, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is the best. Yes, I know the misery of East Coast refresher training three times and many port calls during drug patrols. It has a safe harbor, fuel piers, telephones for both official and personal business, an airstrip for bringing supplies and personnel, and a softball field.
Lieutenant Brian Mills, U.S. Coast Guard
The best or worst duty station, depending on the day, is sailing our nation’s only heavy icebreaker, the USCGC Polar Star (WAGB-10), on her annual cycle of a five-month Antarctic deployment, followed by four months away from homeport in dry dock to keep the nearly 50-year-old cutter operational.
Ron Linville, U.S. Navy Veteran
Unless there have been a lot of changes, the worst must be Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. First, it isn’t near any salt water. Second, they have terrible barbers.