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Old 07-24-2016, 01:56 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,459,032 times
Reputation: 2141

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I was getting ten times what I got paid in high school, so I was fine with the money. And the places I went allowed the money to go much farther than it would in the US. "33" beer was very cheap, so much the better.
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Old 07-24-2016, 02:52 PM
 
273 posts, read 136,974 times
Reputation: 252
The details vastly depend on what branch you join and what your job is.

For me, I joined as an officer on a medical scholarship that paid for my school. I owed 4 years. I was transported across the country during this time for free. Free health insurance. I worked with some great mentors that got me started on the right track in my field. I did my time and got off active duty.

As a vet, I have access to all sorts of benefits, including life insurance, access to free VA health care (if I absolutely need it), hiring preferences when applying to government jobs, and base privileges for the next few years (if you complete less than 8 years of active service, then you are placed into the inactive reserve and still have base privileges). Also, I have a veterans license and plates that helps me get out of tickets. Great VA home loan.

As others have said, there are tons and tons of other benefits that are more subtle. For example, I was just hired for a great job that I am only somewhat qualified for. My boss is in the Air National Guard and LOVES military. I suspect that gave me a huge boost over other candidates. And, likewise, if I'm ever in a hiring position, I will be more likely to hire a vet over a non-vet.

In any event, the full-time military life was not for me. I hated the bureaucracy and, for my particular job, the command structure. I worked anywhere from 50 to 80 hours per week, had no social life for 2+ years, and did not take a day of legitimate leave for 8 months (I did take leave, but only to come in and catch up on my work). It was a pretty miserable experience and I'm happy that it's over.

With that said, there were many others in a similar situation and we bonded over our shared misery. I do miss the camaraderie and I'm considering joining either a reserve or guard unit.

As far as the retirement benefits, if you want to have the option for the current (great) retirement, you need to join before 2018. Congress is currently in the process of ruining it, as they do with everything.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:08 PM
 
14,967 posts, read 8,536,771 times
Reputation: 24943
Reading this makes me depressed.

I wish I had applied myself more and stayed in. I would have retired 20 years of service 8 years ago. At least I would have had something as backup, then gone from there.
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,573,172 times
Reputation: 19641
I have co-workers that went to the Navy and ended up with a career after they got out. Some of my friends retired from the Navy and have that income. They then went on to work at the hospital with the career they learned in the Navy, and many times also getting a college degree while in the Navy. Benefits of being in the military? The GI Bill. No down payment to buy a home. No PMI on the loan. Continue with a College education when they get out or like I mentioned while in the military.


Others have ended up with not only the military retirement after putting in their 20 years but also a second retirement from a company that they may work for after retirement. Lets say that you join when you are 18, right after high school and put in your 20 years. Then go on to another job and if it is a Government job you can retire after 20 and have two retirement accounts. So your 58 and retired. My wife's brother did exactly that. His wife worked 30 years for the State of California before she retired. They had paid their home off in 12 years. No debt and three retirement incomes. Lucky them.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:04 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 1,459,032 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Reading this makes me depressed.

I wish I had applied myself more and stayed in. I would have retired 20 years of service 8 years ago. At least I would have had something as backup, then gone from there.
I retired in '89. Been lovin' it ever since.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,088 times
Reputation: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
I'm enlisted and I make $75,000 a year. I don't believe I would have ever been this high of an earner without enlisting. I would have likely ended up in a job that pays less.

I have never paid a dime for college (working on a Master's degree). I joined at age 17, and have gotten my education while in. OP, why do you assume we don't go to college while enlisted?
I have never paid a dime for medical care (including braces and vision correction surgery).
Half my income is non-taxed.
I have a great deal of life insurance for myself and my family.
I still have an unused GI bill that will pay for one of my children to go to college, for free, with money for room and board included in the GI Bill. Does your employer pay for your child's college?
I have a retirement that I'll begin collecting at 38 years old, that I never contributed a penny to, and it's worth about $2,500,000 dollars if I live to be mid-80s, no accounting for inflation and COLA adjustments... and I never contributed a single cent. How does your retirement work?
I will get health insurance for the rest of my life.
I get free legal services, a free gym and pool on base, and discounted shopping.
I have an untold amount of extra benefits that are too numerous to describe.
I make more money than a single person I went to high school with, that I'm aware of anyway.
My husband is also enlisted. Together, we are in the top 10 percent of household incomes in the country, and we're barely in our 30s, and have had a very easy life. We each work just 35 hours a week!

I'm not following how this is a bad deal?
It's only a bad deal to those that have never served....
for they do not know or understand of which you speak.

Army Ret
MSG. E-8

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 07-24-2016 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:19 PM
 
4,316 posts, read 2,149,963 times
Reputation: 7606
I was making good money at a union job one week out of high school. My first paid holiday I was still 17. Bought a new car at age 18. Got drafted at age 20 and sold new car.


However, I never complained about the 2 year draft interruption
In hind sight, after I got out, I definitely should have used GI bill for college/vo-tech.


I never used any benefits.....UNTIL........my hips started giving me trouble. A hip replacement in 2014 and one last October done through the VA CHOICE program.


Those two alone more than made up for wages lost during my two years of service .
Plus, those two years offered me places and experiences I never would have gotten had I stayed working my job and not got drafted.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,393,337 times
Reputation: 4213
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycnyc11209 View Post
I was surprised how US military are so under payed.
I was about to go Army after high school but went to college instead.

in 6 years after high school you can complete a BA or even Masters degree and take civil service exam making same salary or even more.
Military has housing benefits etc. but you can stay with your parents until 24 which is normal and go free state school. Yes US college is not expensive its a myth! you can work part time (+scholarships) graduate with no debt. I did it.
you serve 6 years and your back to square one with no college education and low pay civilian forever, who wants to college at 28 your already behind!

"Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea."

-Samuel Johnson
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:10 PM
 
273 posts, read 136,974 times
Reputation: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
Reading this makes me depressed.

I wish I had applied myself more and stayed in. I would have retired 20 years of service 8 years ago. At least I would have had something as backup, then gone from there.
There are plenty of ways to be successful in the civilian world as well.

I wouldn't regret it too much. Obviously, there was a reason you got out to begin with.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,305 posts, read 10,048,458 times
Reputation: 20460
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycnyc11209 View Post
I was surprised how US military are so under payed.
I was about to go Army after high school but went to college instead.

in 6 years after high school you can complete a BA or even Masters degree and take civil service exam making same salary or even more.
Military has housing benefits etc. but you can stay with your parents until 24 which is normal and go free state school. Yes US college is not expensive its a myth! you can work part time (+scholarships) graduate with no debt. I did it.
you serve 6 years and your back to square one with no college education and low pay civilian forever, who wants to college at 28 your already behind!
You do understand that people who enlist aren't enlisting to become millionaires, right?

Many people don't get to live with their parents until their 24. Free state school? This is VERY rare today.

Actually, if you're in the military you can get a FREE college education so when your service is up, you do have a degree. When your enlistment is up, many people reenlist.

And to think my cousin was almost murdered when he was in the Middle East serving a tour so people like you can sit on your computer and rag on the military. Not to mention the thousands who have died so you can feel superior and post about it.

Last edited by ss20ts; 07-24-2016 at 09:24 PM..
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