Leadership, comradeship, discipline, and determination are among the most rewarding aspects of military service. In addition to non-tangible benefits, military service comes with financial rewards such as education, healthcare, housing, retirement, and veterans’ benefits. Military families are also entitled to these benefits.
Let’s take a look at some of the military benefits and see if they are worth it.
Basic Pay Plus Bonuses
Contrary to popular opinion, the military pays a competitive salary to all active members and reserve units. Base pay is determined by rank and qualified enlistees can enter at higher ranks resulting in higher pay grades. Enlistment bonuses are common. This is the first cash award an enlistee receives and it varies by service and branch.
Members of the military also enjoy housing allowances, cost-of-living adjustments, and special pay allowances. Promotions are common and it’s easy to earn more as you continue to serve and grow in rank.
Joining the military can be a way to pay off student loans or receive a college education free of charge. Every branch of the military has its own Tuition Assistance Program, Education Benefits Program, and College Funds. Some branches also offer the College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) which pays up to $65,000 in student loans.
A lot of military schools offer high-tech training which allows its students to earn college credits while receiving job training. Since most military jobs have civilian counterparts, anyone who participates in these programs has a head start when they leave the military.
The military also subsidizes graduate studies and can help one pursue a medical or legal career.
Health and Dental Benefits
The health and welfare of service members and their dependents are important to the military. That’s why they provide a healthcare system for active-duty members and their families. These are available in military and civilian health care facilities throughout the world.
Active duty members also get life insurance up to $400,000 which can financially support their dependents upon their death.
While on duty, military members can take up residence in military communities with their families. As their rank rises, they get access to various military housing facilities that mimic the civilian community. These modern on-base housing facilities are complete with schools, gyms, theaters, church facilities, restaurants, and other community support services.
For those who leave service and want to own their dream house, the military offers zero-down financing through the VA home loan program. This is one of the most popular veterans’ benefits.
Retirement and Veterans’ Benefits
Upon joining the military, service members are automatically enrolled in a retirement system that sets aside 3% of their basic pay as future savings. The Military matches their contribution after 2 years and those who serve for 20 years receive a monthly life pension or a lump sum discounted amount.
This retirement fund, along with many veterans’ benefits, can help service members enjoy life after they serve the country.
Is It Worth Joining The Military?
Aside from the ones listed above, military members and their families get to travel the world either through relocation or by using travel privileges during their paid 30 vacation days. Active members and veterans also enjoy lifestyle discounts provided by various establishments.
Joining the military is a life-enriching and highly rewarding decision. The intangible rewards are priceless and the tangible ones are competitive. If you’re contemplating enlisting, check out the rest of PA Guard for other resources about military life and its benefits.