Unemployment is a major problem in the US right now. The economic crisis and recession have caused over a million job losses in the past year, and some economists are expecting that number to go as high as 2 million more this year. These are the highest levels of unemployment we have seen in the US in several decades, and the military offers something that people are having a hard time finding right now – a steady paycheck and full benefits for themselves and their family. As a result, more and more people are enlisting or receiving their commission in the US military.
Financial, Career, and Educational Benefits of Joining the US military
Many people are well aware that the US military can be a dangerous profession, but there are also many benefits that people may not be aware of. There are many great benefits for military members in addition to the steady paychecks – 1st and 15th of every month, or the preceding Friday if that day falls on a weekend – and full medical benefits for the military member and his family free of charge. More information about military benefits.
Hi tech training in the military
the military is famous for its high level of training. There are some jobs that don’t translate well into the civilian sector (tank driving and artillery crew members come to mind), but there are plenty of career fields that translate extremely well to the civilian sector: a variety of jobs in the medical and dentistry fields, aircraft and vehicle maintenance, communications, small electronics repair, radar and avionics, air traffic control, military police, firefighters, logistics and supply, pilots and other aviation fields, construction and civil engineering, and more.
Education opportunities in the military
The military provides its members with an excellent Tuition Assistance program, matching up to 100% of your tuition costs (up to a certain dollar limit per course and per year) while you are active duty. Through the military I was able to complete my degree without spending a dime on classes – the only thing I spent money on was my books, which I was able to resell after taking my classes.
The military also offers the Montgomery GI Bill, which gives military members the opportunity to attend school after they have separated from the military. The GI Bill offers veterans a monthly stipend to attend the school of their choice – the amount of money can range from just over a thousand dollars per month to full coverage, depending on which plan you are on. Here is a GI Bill School search tool to help find schools which accept the GI Bill.
Military discounts and other benefits
Many companies at a local and national level offer military members military discounts on various items and services. If you have a military ID card – it never hurts to ask for a discount! Large companies such as Disney and Anheuser-Bush also offer military members free admission to their theme parks.
There are many other military discounts to be had, especially on a local level -many local stores offer military discounts to active duty military members, retirees, veterans, and sometimes their family members.
VA Loan. The VA Loan gives military members the opportunity to purchase a home with no money down, so long as they qualify for the loan. All military members and veterans are eligible for the VA Loan as long as they did not receive a Dishonorable Discharge. Here is more information about the VA Loan.
Keep an open mind regarding military as a career option
The military isn’t for everyone, but you should keep an open mind regarding the military. In addition to he benefits mentioned above, you will grow as an individual, team member, and leader. Many civilian employers look highly upon military veterans because they know that veterans bring certain skills with them that many civilians will never have.