Military barracks with plumbing so bad that the entire building smelled of methane, and water so disgusting it wasn't considered safe to drink.
Those were among the findings by the Government Accountability Office after it visited 12 military installations to examine the living conditions of troops in base housing. The watchdog agency published the conditions in a scathing new report, confirming complaints made by many service members for years.
The nearly 100-page report was rife with examples of substandard conditions. Pests such as bedbugs and roaches were a common issue at six of the bases that the GAO visited. Several bases had severe issues with security in the buildings, to the point that service members said that they were unable to lock their doors at night and squatters had moved in.
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The GAO concluded that leaders at the Pentagon are not only failing to provide oversight — instead choosing to largely punt the issue to the branches — but they also don't consider it a priority. The result has been bureaucratic finger-pointing, with no one office or leader willing to own the issue.
Therefore, the military's youngest and most vulnerable troops — tens of thousands of service members — who depend on barracks housing have been forced to clean up dangerous, crowded and disgusting rooms themselves.
While it is…