For those of you not familiar with the military tendency to number buildings in large numerals rather than give them names, let me introduce you to the phenomenon.
Military installations may vary in size and complexity. The naming convention for a particular post may involve heroes, places, battles, famous people, depending on taste, time and tradition. But if you need to give someone directions or turn in a work order, using a name may just make it more difficult. If you number the buildings then there is absolutely no question of which building is under discussion. Numbers don’t change and each one is unique.
Further, on larger installations numbers run in sequences and batches. If you are standing in front of building 100 for example, the buildings in near proximity are going to have numbers higher or lower in the same sequence. This is not your usual street in Germany where on one side you have buildings 11, 13, 15 and 17 directly across the street from number 168. Instead, you can be fairly safely assured that Building 5 is going to be located between Buildings 4 & 6. If a building is big enough to have multiple entrances, it is common practice to name them …. A, B, C …..
Anyway, when I come to these conferences I always ask for billeting on the Casern. When I was active duty, it was just easier since force protection rules said no uniforms off post. And, since some of the times I came it was in permissive status, it was just easier not to have bills to pay. That is right, the German military doesn’t charge for barracks use for conferences. Now, since this is entirely out of my own pocket, I am more than happy to not have any more expenses than my train fare and a few Euros for meals in the mess hall.
Building 4 has rooms with private showers. Buildings 5 & 6 are your typical single room with sink. Showers and toilets are down the hall. These are not open (like field latrines and showers) so I am more than a happy camper. I’m not in a tent – what’s not to like? Free room, cheap board, 18 CME credits and getting to see old friends and colleagues. So staying in building 6 works for me. Especially since I even have a room on the ground floor!