6 Ways You Know You’re Probably on a Military Base

See this week’s tea review now or read it at the end of the post.

Now that I’m finally official over here in Italy, I thought maybe I’d share some of the things I’ve experienced when it comes to being on base and how it differs from… outside off base. I think most of my friends (and maybe readers) have never been on a military base before, and those of you who have, feel free to share anything I missed and stories you have.

Also, before any of my non-Navy friends chew my head off… I know it’s called a post for some of you. Please, just roll with me this once. Thanks! 😛

1. You needed your ID to get on base.

Despite the fact that our tax dollars fund the government which funds the military, military bases are secure installations. That means they don’t allow your Average Joe and Jane to just waltz in.

If you are a military member or dependent, you’ll show your military issued ID to get through any gate that serves as an entrance. Civilians, or those with no military affiliation, need to be sponsored by a military member or dependent before being allowed to enter.

This goes for everyone. No ID, no entry, no exception.

2. Everything stops twice a day.

Literally, everything stops at 0800 and sunset when you’re on base. This time is reserved for something called “colors.” Colors is when the flag is raised and lowered each day.

To signify colors is happening, you’ll hear the Star Spangled Banner playing. Cars stop driving and people stop walking while it’s playing. Once it is finished, normal activity resumes.

“Why?” you ask. It’s a simple answer. Respect.

3. You’ll have to drive slow and stop at stop signs.

Speed limits on military bases are generally lower than normal streets. For example, most places have a 45-50 MPH speed limit on main roads that aren’t residential. These types of roads are restricted to about 20 MPH with you’re on base/post. Sometimes it’s even slower!!

Don’t even think about going even one MPH over that limit either. Military police are ready to hit you with a ticket that’ll just piss you off. Same with the stop signs. If you’ve never stopped at one and plan to visit a military base, start practicing… like now… seriously, everyone actually stops at them.

4. Gotta scan that ID again to buy groceries.

Yeah, you read that right. Not only do we have to show our military IDs to get on base, but we have to scan it AGAIN before we can even start our grocery purchases. Sometimes, we have to show it just to get in the commissary. Commissary is our fancy name for the grocery store. 😉

Also, if you shop in the NEX (Navy Exchange), you’re supposed to show your ID at the checkout counter. It might not be as consistent because it’s not a step that’s part of the checkout process, but they are SUPPOSED to check that you’re a military member or dependent first.

Basically, the takeaway here is that unless you have a military ID, you’re not going to be purchasing anything. “But what if the military person scans their ID at the commissary, then I pay with my card?” You could do that, but it’s not really kosher.

Prices at the commissary and NEX are a little lower than at your normal grocery and department store, so even buying stuff for someone who isn’t permitted to come on base is considered a no-no. Just don’t do it, it’s not that much cheaper anyway and definitely not worth losing your NEX/commissary privileges.

5. You’ll feel like you’re in a mini-town.

Mini is not the most accurate term because some of these “mini-towns” are HUGE! They have their own zip codes sometimes. What I mean is that you really can find a lot of the same offerings on a single military base that you can find in most towns. Police station, fire station, hospital, commissary, NEX, bowling alley, schools, libraries, restaurants, and movie theatres. All of these and more are common staples of military bases.

6. You stand for the anthem before a movie.

Speaking of movie theatres, there’s one big difference when you see a movie on base, and it’s not the cheaper ticket prices. After previews play and before every movie starts, there is a video played while the national anthem plays. Also, everyone stands during it, so put your popcorn aside and close your cell phone when the previews end.


Another disclaimer before someone says, “My base doesn’t have that.” Not EVERY base (or post) has all of these things. These are just some of the giveaways that you might be on a base. 😉


Tea of the day: Green Tea Energy
Brand: Yogi Tea
Color: Alright, so this green tea isn’t necessarily green, but it’s more of a yellow-green. That’s pretty common compared to other green teas I’ve had.
Taste: This is probably the lightest tasting tea I’ve had to date, and I’m not saying that as a bad thing. It’s so mild that it’s almost hard to detect anything, and I love it! This is so weird! I  saw lemongrass and spearmint leaf when looked at the ingredients. Maybe it’s a mind trick, but the next sip I could ever so slightly taste them. Overall, it’s actually really refreshing not having an overabundance of taste.
Ideas for next time I have this: If I ever feel like I want the energy component of this and more taste, adding lemon and/or honey is definitely my go-to step.

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