If there is one universally accepted truth by those who have served in the U.S. military, it’s that the barracks, as a permanent residence, are never an ideal place to live.
From nightmarish bases to decrepit dwellings, service members complaints against living in the barracks cover all manner of topics.
But it is the roommate horror stories that leave us positively shook. Here are a handful of the worst.
1. The soldiers who needed a babysitter
I kept getting the roommates who needed a “good influence,” meaning that my first roommate would turn on Terminator really loud when he was having sex while I was asleep and once asked a stripper to kiss me awake so I would party with them.
Another wandered over to my side regularly in his underwear to just stand and look at my stuff, usually while playing with his belly button. It was my fault when he showed up to a uniform inspection with a literal mustard stain.
My last roommate on active duty would play [World of Warcraft] until he passed out and his head dropped between his knees and turned purple. But if I woke him up, he would start playing again instead of going to sleep. So I started just wondering whether it would cause a clotting issue while trying to ignore him sleeping like that. [None] of them consistently turned lights off. — @justlogannye
2. The guy who had to wrestle his drunk buddies
One of my buddies and I were drinking at the barracks before deployment. He had already downed a fifth of Jack Daniels and a six pack, then wanted to drive and get some more. I was drunk, but not drunk enough to think that was a good idea.
He starts waking to his truck. After repeatedly asking him to stop, I tackled him, then pinned him. He kept insisting on getting in his truck. People started coming out of their rooms, thinking it’s just a barracks fight — you know, to spectate. It took a good while to explain what he was attempting. People finally caught on, and the whole barracks just mobs him, carries him back to his room, forces him to drink water, etc. I have no clue what would have happened if he got behind the wheel. If he got caught, no deployment. And it could have been way worse than that. — @AlexKish1
3. The soldiers who almost burned down Benning
At Fort Benning in 1989, my new roommate set his shoe polish on fire, then set me on fire, and shortly after the room was also on fire. — Thomas Hair
4. The roommates who went on a casual ceiling walk
At Schofield Barracks, 2001, we left foot prints on our ceiling from a keg party. Never noticed them until a white glove inspection. Thank God our first sergeant was a cool dude. — Matt McAnally
5. These monsters who left behind poop to scoop
We were in the reception barracks and were doing morning room inspections when the NCOIC came by the room next door [which] was unlocked and vacant. Someone had been pooping and not flushing that toilet. The entire bowl was full past the seat. That room smelled like death — of course we had to clean it up because we lived on that floor. — Sirhc Espinas
6. The murderous motorcyclist
My roommate was rebuilding his motorcycle in our room at Fort Richardson. It was a mess. We had to prepare for an inspection the next morning. I told my supervisor about it. He then told the 1SG. My roommate was told to clean it up. That night I had a knife at my throat. My roommate said that he was going to kill me for telling on him. Of course he didn’t. — Matt Pote
7. The baggage claim boyfriend
My buddy was inspecting a room for morning barracks check and he saw a suitcase move a little. When he unzipped it a naked girl was inside. — Scott McDaniel
8. The soldier who left the new resident a tasty treat
Found about 20 boxes of empty pizza boxes in my dropped ceiling from [the] previous soldier who was too lazy to take them out. — Denis Tchourioumov
**Responses have been edited for clarity.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digital Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.