GSA stands for "General Services Administration." It is the broad title given to the branches of the military, and to certain branches and organizations of the government. Overall, it refers to a government contract arrangement with multiple individual companies providing quality and military-grade products to these agencies and branches of the military. In reference to the GSA barracks furniture manufacturers, it means that furniture manufacturers have contracts with the military to produce specific pieces of furniture for the military only. Here are some reasons why this GSA furniture is made only for soldiers and government agencies.
1. Military Personnel Cannot Bring Their Own Furniture into Military Barracks or Offices
It is a strange rule but is a rule with a purpose. Civilian furniture is not allowed in military barracks or military offices. It tends to create a divide among soldiers and officers, where the military expects everyone to be "equal" and of a "hive mind." Individuality is not encouraged in this career, and there are expectations that everyone serves as a working unit. To create that continuity and carry it over into the living spaces, GSA contracts are formed so that everyone in the military has the exact same beds, dressers, footlockers, chairs, wardrobes, tables, and desks.
2. GSA Furniture Is Built to Military Specifications
As you would expect, GSA furniture is built to military specifications. It is unlike any civilian furniture you can (or cannot, as the case may be!) buy. These specifications serve purposes known to only military personnel. Sometimes those purposes are "need to know" for military personnel only. That said, civilians are not likely to purchase or own this furniture unless they are married to persons who are serving in the army, navy, air force, or marines.
3. GSA Furniture Manufacturers Can Only Renew Their Contracts IF They Have Complied with Previous Terms
Military contracts are worth a lot of money to the companies that are able to secure these contracts. These contracts are renewable every so many years, and ONLY if the manufacturers have complied with all of the requirements in previous contracts. That means that if the manufacturers sell GSA furniture to civilians when it is not allowed under their contracts, the manufacturers run the risk of losing their GSA contracts. If the manufacturers lose their GSA contracts, most of the time they are unable to get any sort of government contract ever again, or at least for an extended period of time.