Which adjective word can I use to describe my friend's father's military job in which he need to frequently resettle in a new place after every 2-3 years?

3 Answers 3


There's the word transient, but I wouldn't use that to describe a military job. (I think transient implies something less structured than a military position – when I hear 'transient worker', I think of something more along the lines of migrant agricultural work, and not something associated with a larger entity like a federal government.)

I'm not sure there's a single adjective that accurately expresses the sentiment you're after. Words such as unsteady are even more misleading than transient. I'd be inclined to say:

It's a job that requires frequent moves.

and leave it at that.

  • 1
    +1 But it may be that the soldier's family feels something more like It's a job that requires a nomadic lifestyle. Jun 15, 2013 at 17:37
  • @StoneyB: You could say that, if you didn't mind exaggerating. I made several moves when I was in the military, but I still bought houses and settled into the community. However, I did know one lieutenant who was an instructor and traveled to teach courses on-site. She definitely lived as a nomad – or, as is sometimes said, "lived out of a suitcase." Deployments aside, though, I think nomad would be hyperbole for many soldiers and airmen.
    – J.R.
    Jun 16, 2013 at 10:40

I know. None of the below are adjectives.

The only appropriate adjective, transient, has already been suggested by J.R

I know. I have not answered the OP question.

However, these are all expressions which can be used to talk about any person or any family that often moves to a different town or location. I think they are useful to know.

to be frequently relocated

to be (constantly) on the move

to be often transferred

to have no fixed abode

to be temporarily based

to flit from one town to another

to have temporary lodgings


You could consider the adjective itinerant, meaning "traveling from place to place." However, to my ear it has a slight connotation of unreliability, as if the person wasn't successful in any one place for long and was forced to move on. Requires frequent moves is probably safest, and easiest to understand.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .