I get asked this question from my military clients fairly frequently: does it make sense to rent or buy?
My answer: it depends! I always like to run numbers for my clients to give them an idea of what it would look like for both options. Also, it depends how long you will be stationed somewhere. If it's for less than 2 years and you would want to sell your property when you move, renting is probably the better option. You wouldn't have gained enough equity to sell for a profit. However if you will be stationed somewhere for 3+ years, it probably makes more sense to buy.
Look at this way, renting a house for $1,500 / month for 3 years = $54,000 you flushed down the drain paying someone else's mortgage. (Not to mention increase in rent over the years plus pet fees and/or carpet cleaning fees!). What if you put that money toward your own mortgage and then sold for a large PROFIT? Now that is money well spent.
Something else to keep in mind: VA loans require 0% down, have NO private mortgage insurance and as a homeowner, the interest you pay on your mortgage payments is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. This is just one of the many benefits to owning your own home.
Bottom line, you are getting a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) anyway, might as well build wealth for yourself!