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Barracks (from French "baraque," taken from the Catalan word "barraca") are living quarters for personnel on a military post. They are typically very plain and all of the buildings in the housing unit are often uniform structures.


There are a number of remains of Roman army barracks in frontier forts such as Vercoviciummarker and Vindolandamarker. From these and from contemporary Roman sources we can see that the basics of life in a military camp have remained constant for thousands of years.

Ravensdowne Barracks Berwick Upon Tweed, were among the first in England to be purpose-built, begun in 1717 to the design of the distinguished architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. Today the Barracks hosts a number of attractions, including ‘By Beat of Drum’ – an exhibition on the life of the British infantryman, as well as being home to the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum.

Barracks blockhouses were used to house troops in forts in Upper Canada. The Stone Frigate, completed in 1820, served as barracks briefly in 1837-38, and was refitted as a dormitory and classrooms to house the Royal Military College of Canadamarker by 1876. The Stone frigate is a large stone building originally designed to hold gear and rigging from British warships dismantled to comply with the Rush-Bagot Agreement.


In many militaries, NCO and enlisted personnel will frequently be housed in barracks for service or training. Junior enlisted and sometimes junior NCOs will often receive less space and may be housed in bays, while senior NCOs and officers may share or have their own room. "Garrison town" is a common expression for any town that has military barracks, i.e., a permanent military presence.


U.S. Armed Forces

In basic training, and sometimes follow-on training, servicemembers live in barracks. The U.S. Marine Corps have gender-separate basic training units. The U.S. Army has gender-separate basic training, but like the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, has training where male and female recruits share barracks, but are separated during personal time and lights out. However, all the services integrate male and female members following boot camp and first assignment.

After training, unmarried junior enlisted members will typically reside in barracks. In the 21st century, these servicemembers are generally housed in individual rooms conforming to the DoD'smarker "1+1 standard," though exceptions still exist. During unaccompanied, dependent-restricted assignmments, noncommissioned and commissioned officer ranks may also be required to live in barracks. Amenities in these barracks increase with the rank of the occupant.

Unlike the other services, the U.S. Air Force officially uses the term "dormitory" to refer to its unaccompanied housing.

During World War II, many U.S. barracks were made of inexpensive, sturdy and easy to assemble Quonset huts that resembled Native American long house (being semi-circular but made out of metal).

See also


  1. Berwick Upon Tweed Barracks - English Heritage

External links

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