Years ago, the pay in the Army wasn’t much to talk about. Many military families struggled to make ends meet. Some even relied upon foodstamps to get by. But those times have changed. Military pay and benefits have increased substantially in the last few decades. Military base pay is higher now and benefits are more comprehensive than they have ever been in the past.
Military Pay Information
Today’s military pay is not only competitive, it exceeds what many private sector companies are willing to pay. In fact, a man or woman fresh out of high school with no prior work experience would have a very hard time finding a job that starts out paying much more than minimum wage. Working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job would earn you less than half of what the military will pay you.
To top it off, you will begin receiving world class benefits from the day you begin serving in the military. These benefits include things such as free medical care, including dental and vision, and allowances for food, housing and uniforms. You will also receive health care benefits for your family and qualified dependents.
Not only is the starting pay exceptional compared to civilian pay, you’ll get a nice raise after you complete your initial training. When you consider how much you would have to pay to receive the training the military provides for free, the monetary advantages of joining the military become even more apparent. The official pay provider for the military is the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which is where you should go to find the official pay charts, news and other military pay and benefits programs.
Military Benefits Information
You will be eligible for more benefits the longer you serve. For example, once you reach certain service requirements, you will be eligible to begin receiving education benefits such as tuition assistance from your branch of service, giving you the opportunity to go to college on the government’s dime. You can also earn eligibility to the GI Bill and VA Loan – two of the most valuable veterans benefits programs.
Serving through your commitment will bring you to the point when you need to decide whether or not to reenlist in the military, or choose to separate from the service. There are pros and cons to each decision. Should you separate from the military, you can rest assured knowing that you served your country well, and have honorably served in one of the world’s largest fraternities (and sororities!). There are a host of benefits available to military veterans, some of which last a lifetime.
Should you reenlist, you may have the opportunity to earn a reenlistment bonus if you are in a high-demand career field. These bonuses are constantly changing based on the needs of each branch of service. Should you decide to remain in the military for a full 20 years, you will be eligible to receive military retirement benefits, which are among the most generous you will find anywhere. The basic retirement package is worth 50% of your base pay after 20 years of active duty service, and goes up 2.5% each additional year served. For example, you would receive 75% of your base pay after 30 years of service. (this is a simplified version of the military retirement benefit; we will cover the details in another article).
Consider the Military for the Opportunity of a Lifetime!
Without a college education, the job prospects are limited to low paying positions with little or no chance of advancement. But the military is willing to give free on the job training while paying you a good salary and providing benefits for you and your family. You have the opportunity to start a career and earn a retirement, or leave after a few years with excellent training and the ability to take your benefits with you so you can pursue a college education, earn a training certificate, or use your military experience in your future career. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!