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Subsidized Food, Tax Advantages, and More Benefits of Joining the Army
benefits of joining the armybenefits of joining the army

Subsidized Food, Tax Advantages, and More Benefits of Joining the Army

If you’ve ever thought about enlisting in the largest military branch, chances are you’ve wondered what the benefits of joining the Army are. Lucky for you, Army benefits abound, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find benefits like these in any civilian career. From fair pay to tax advantages and more, explore some of the benefits of joining the Army below!

Suggested read: How the Army PaYS Program Is Helping Young Soldiers Build Careers

8 Huge Benefits of Joining the Army

1. Salary

Army pay scales work the same as pay scales for all other branches. Your monthly check will be determined by your rank and years in service, not by your position (as it would be in a civilian career). This ensures that military work is a true meritocracy and that more pay goes to those who have actually earned it.

When you begin your journey in the Army as a Private E1 with less than two years of experience, you can expect to make roughly $21,999.60 per year. However, that number quickly increases as you rise up in the ranks and spend more time in the service.

For example, a Second Lieutenant (O1) with just four years of experience is already making upwards of $52,000 per year.

No matter your opinion on the amount of pay Soldiers receive, know that this pay is massively bolstered by other Army benefits.

2. Bonuses

Benefits of joining the Army include the ability to earn tons of bonuses. Upon your enlistment alone, you could earn a whopping $50,000 extra if you meet the criteria for all enlistment bonuses, including specific job signing bonuses, civilian-acquired skills bonuses, and a quick-ship bonus.

3. Housing

Full-time Soldiers living in housing not provided on-post are eligible to receive BAH, or basic allowance for housing. This is a predetermined amount that the military gives service members every month to cover their housing expenses. The amount you receive will vary based on your location, family status, and rank.

BAH is a great tool that helps offset housing costs so that Soldiers can make the most of their basic pay.

4. Food

Another attractive Army benefit is subsidized food. The Army provides meals to Soldiers and their families at dining facilities for no extra cost. Commissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers who don’t have access to Army dining facilities will also receive the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). BAS is a monthly stipend of $250+ for Soldiers to pay for food off-post.

5. Healthcare

Low-cost, comprehensive healthcare is offered for all troops and their families, one of the many Army benefits for family members. Through TRICARE, Soldiers can take advantage of $0 out-of-pocket healthcare costs, coverage for dental, vision, and pharmacy services, and coverage for the entire family.

6. Education

One of the great Army spouse benefits you can get as part of your Army benefits is education assistance. If you’re planning on staying in the military and retiring from service and work all at once, your spouse can enjoy your education benefits for themselves. Or, you can exit the service early and use these benefits to pursue higher education after you do so.

This mostly comes in the form of the GI Bill, which helps Soldiers or their family members get full tuition paid for college, online schooling, technical school, trade schools, OTJ training, and more. Other benefits for education you can take part in include the Tuition Assistance program, Green to Gold, and Yellow Ribbon Schools.

7. Vacation

One of the most popular U.S. Army benefits is their generous vacation allowance. The Army recognizes 11 national paid holidays that Soldiers can take off, a number of sick days given each year, and 30 paid vacation days off.

Plus, the Army is partnered with tons of travel organizations to make sure that you can make the most of your vacation time. You can get cheap or free flights through Army mission flights, discounts through military lodging, and reduced-rate tickets for family-friendly attractions across the nation.

8. Financial Perks

As a member of the military, you’ll be able to take part in special tax deductions that can lower your taxes. Additionally, you’ll get a Thrift Savings Plan (basically a special 401(k) for the military) and access to free financial classes on consumer counseling, financial planning, and money management.

Want to buy an off-post house now or in the future? The VA makes that easy! As a perk of serving, you can get access to special home loans just for military members and Veterans that require as little as 0% down and no mortgage insurance.

Army Service Is Rewarding in More Ways Than Monetarily

As you can see, the benefits of the Army stretch far and wide. These are benefits you’re not gonna see in any civilian career you sign onto. But these benefits are still just the start. You’ll also have the rare opportunity to travel the nation, and maybe even the world, and interact with new people and environments that many people never get the chance to experience. Plus, joining the Army is a great way to grow yourself physically, morally, emotionally, and socially.

If you want to know more about the benefits of joining the Army, you can contact the closest Army benefits center for more information on this incredibly rewarding career and life path.

Read next: Army Basic Training: Everything You Need to Know

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