Enlisting in the Military 1

MEPS Visit Tips

Enlisting Here are some belongings you have to keep in thoughts for the visit:

  • Bring a Social Security card, delivery certificates and motive force’s license
  • Remove piercings, and do not wear garb with obscene snap shots
  • If you put on either eyeglasses or touch lens, convey them together with your prescription, case and answer
  • Get a great night time’s sleep and arrive early

You’ll formally entire the process of joining the Military after you meet all of the Service necessities assessed on the MEPS. The system normally takes one to 2 days, with food and accommodations furnished.

PRIVATE 1ST CLASS a couple of-desire exam that helps determine the careers for which an man or woman is first-rate ideal. Both conventional pen-and-paper (also referred to as paper-and-pencil) examination and a computer-based totally version are available. The automated ASVAB takes approximately one and a half hours to finish, the pen-and-paper model takes about 3 hours to complete, and each have questions on widespread college subjects like math, English, writing and technology. Each Service makes use of a custom aggregate of ASVAB effects to produce ratings related to specific career fields. Alternatively, recruits can also take the PiCAT, or Pending Internet Computerized Adaptive Test, that’s an untimed, unmonitored model of the ASVAB that can be taken online.

In addition, some high schools provide and administer the ASVAB take a look at to their students. If you have taken the take a look at already, you must tell your recruiter and spot if your effects are still valid BRIAN ABRAMS ARMY RESERVE

Step 2: Pass the Physical Examination

A recruiter will discuss bodily eligibility requirements with you beforehand. The bodily is a regular clinical exam, much like what you’ll receive from a family health practitioner. Some recruiters can also behavior a quick bodily education (PT) test with ability recruits as well.

Examinations include:

Step 3: Meet With a Counselor and Determine a Career

At this point, a carrier enlistment counselor meets with you to find the proper job forte. A few different factors make a contribution to profession selection:

  • Needs of the Service
  • Job availability
  • ASVAB rating
  • Physical requirements (as an instance, a recruit desires normal coloration imaginative and prescient for some careers)
  • Recruit choice


The service enlistment counselor can even move over the enlistment settlement. It is vital to recognize this fully earlier than signing. When you sign this agreement, you’re making a critical commitment to the Military.

At this time, you will additionally be fingerprinted for your document, that is required for historical past exams and security STEVE ROGACKI ARMY

Step four: Take the Oath of Enlistment

Once your profession has been determined, you’re equipped to take the Oath of Enlistment. In this announcement, you vow to protect the USA Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family participants are invited to look at and take pix.

I, (call), do solemnly swear (or verify) that I will help and protect the Constitution of america in opposition to all enemies, foreign and home; that I will endure genuine religion and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the president of the USA and the orders of the officers appointed over me, in step with guidelines and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So assist PAIGE HERBST ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

Step five: After the MEPS

You’ll do one in all two things, relying at the terms of your enlistment:

  • Direct Ship: Report to Basic Training rapidly after finishing MEPS checking out requirements. (It varies primarily based on activity assignment and branch.) A recruiter will provide instructions on transportation to Basic Training at the moment.
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP): Commit to Basic Training at a time inside the future, typically inside three hundred and sixty five days. Most recruits enter DEP before transport, inclusive of folks that enlist before finishing excessive college. Recruits enrolled in DEP can also return to their homes till the time involves document for duty.

Remember, a recruiter can answer any extra questions you could have approximately the enlistment method.

Military Pay: Base Compensation

Base pay in the military relies upon on whether you are an enlisted soldier or an officer (you generally want a four-12 months college degree to be a commissioned officer), your rank, and how many years of carrier you’ve got completed. It is the identical in every branch and is taxable. You are salaried, so additional time pay is not available.2

For example, a stage E-1 enlisted recruit, the level at which maximum people start, ought to assume to earn base pay of $1,773 per month in 2023. The month-to-month base pay for the bottom-stage commissioned officer, zero-1, is $3,637.20.3

The most essential differences among newly commissioned officers and enlisted provider contributors are that college diploma, officer training, and scope of responsibility; those are why commissioned officers earn greater.4

Advanced enlistment allows qualified individuals to enter the provider at a better rank with higher pay. For instance, attaining certification as a Boy Scout Eagle or getting a Girl Scout Gold Award could permit an applicant to enlist as a private first class within the Army.5

All provider participants can assume an annual cost-of-dwelling boost decided by way of Congress and the opportunity to earn merit-based increases and promotions.6

The quantity of years you’ve got served at a selected rank also can have an effect on your pay, depending to your rank.7

Reservist Pay

Pay for a navy reservist is based totally at the Active Duty Pay Table for full-time and annual schooling and when on lively responsibility. It is prorated while on partial-month drill obligation. Your pay will increase primarily based on rank and years of carrier.8

 In 2023, drill pay begins at $337.10 in step with month for someone with the bottom rank and least enjoy.three

Military Pay: Allowances, Incentives, and Bonuses

If you’re underwhelmed by using base pay, understand that it’s simplest one part of a provider member’s total repayment. Here are the alternative sorts of pay that you could earn.


Military allowances are nontaxable types of repayment that cowl housing, uniforms, and food no longer at once furnished via the navy.2

Recruits stay in organization housing on base with shared lavatories once they first be part of. Housing alternatives expand as your rank increases. When you are not dwelling on base or in authorities housing, you get hold of a Basic Allowance for Housing that’s based in your area, rank, and own family size.nine

It’s designed to cowl 95% of nearby housing fees.10

If you have got a spouse and/or children, then your housing allowance increases notably.2

If you’re stationed distant places and stay in non-public housing, you get an Overseas Housing Allowance.eleven

For food, the Basic Allowance for Subsistence in 2023 is a month-to-month pay of $452.56 for enlisted carrier members and $311.Sixty eight for officials.12

This allowance does not exchange with your pay grade and is best designed to feed carrier members, now not their households.thirteen

Moving fees money, and receiving everlasting change of station (PCS) orders means that you’ll must pass. The military provides a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) to help cover those charges. Similar to the housing allowance, the quantity that you obtain depends for your rank and family status.14

Our Personal Finance Guide for Military Service Members and Families is going into more detail approximately how the navy facilitates pay for your moves.

Special and Incentive Pay

Special and incentive pay (a number of which is nontaxable) gives greater compensation for much less suited, higher-chance, or extra specialized work.15

It may additionally imply serving as an aviation officer or on submarine responsibility.sixteen

It could also suggest serving in a place with a low preferred of dwelling (complication responsibility pay).17

Hostile fireplace pay and coming near near danger pay compensate carrier individuals for dangers which includes being shot at or encountering a mine.2

Combat Zone Tax Exclusion

One of the most important pay bumps can come from working in a fight quarter. Under the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion, many provider contributors will now not pay any federal income tax for the whole month if they function little as someday in a fight zone. This tax exemption also applies to important pay and bonuses received even as serving in a combat region.18

You will still pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.19

Serving in a combat quarter additionally allows you to contribute up to 4 times the same old annual restrict for your thrift financial savings plan (TSP).19

That approach you may sock away $sixty one,000 in 2022 ( growing to $66,000 in 2023). You can make your contributions pass in addition by using contributing as much as $20,500 of that $61,000 to a Roth TSP (increasing to $22,500 of the $sixty six,000 in 2023).20


The navy gives several forms of bonuses to encourage individuals to sign on and expand their commitments.

  • Quick Ship Bonus—Earn up to $40,000 for reporting to primary schooling inside 30 days of signing your contract.22
  • Enlistment Bonus—By choosing and qualifying for a military occupational specialty in excessive demand, you could earn an enlistment bonus. For instance, an Army human intelligence collector is eligible for a signing bonus of as much as $50,000 in 2023.23
  •  Bonuses vary by using function.
  • Selective Reenlistment Bonus—You get greater pay for signing again up or extending your settlement for at least 3 years if you have served on active responsibility for at least 17 months. This bonus, which can be as high as $30,000 in step with yr, is to be had to carrier individuals with crucial military talents.24
  • Continuation Pay Bonus—Earn this retention bonus after 12 years of service whilst you commit to 4 more years.25
  • Savings Deposit Program—While not technically an advantage, every other possibility to earn extra cash, however simplest whilst you’re deployed in a chosen combat area, is thru the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Savings Deposit Program (SDP). You can earn 10% annual interest on a deposit of up to $10,000 thru the SDP.26
  •  This way that if you served in a fight area for three hundred and sixty five days and deposited the whole $10,000 as quickly as you were eligible, you could earn a further $1,000. (There are some nuances to it, however you get the idea.)

Military Benefits: Insurance, Retirement, Education, and More

Full-time military provider comes with a plethora of benefits that few civilian jobs can match.


Active-duty provider members need to enroll in TRICARE Prime, a medical insurance plan similar to a fitness protection agency (HMO), which has no charges or deductibles and low co-will pay. Coverage is unfastened for service contributors and lively-responsibility circle of relatives contributors.27

Voluntary dental insurance is also to be had through TRICARE.28

The army robotically enrolls energetic-duty provider contributors in Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). You can get coverage of up to $400,000 in $50,000 increments.29

Service members can get preferential fees on owners and automobile coverage as well. Certain monetary institutions, such as USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, specialize inside the needs of these inside the army and their families. Others, which include GEICO, genuinely offer discounts.30


The military’s Blended Retirement System (BRS) presents an annuity for those who serve for as a minimum two decades.31

It also enrolls all provider individuals within the government’s TSP after 60 days.32

This manner, those who serve for fewer than two decades nonetheless have a manner to save for retirement.

The authorities mechanically makes a contribution to carrier members’ TSP debts equal to one% of their basic pay. After two years, you may get an identical contribution really worth another 4% of your fundamental pay.33

The TSP is much like the 401(k) plans that many non-public-zone employers offer.


The possibility to earn a university diploma without scholar mortgage debt is every other standout benefit of military carrier. Through the Tuition Assistance Program, your service branch may pay for up to one hundred% of your undergraduate or graduate college lessons, or lessons for vocational or technical applications, whilst you’re on lively obligation.34

The Post-Sept. 11 GI Bill covers tuition, housing, books, and resources for veterans—and occasionally for lively-obligation carrier contributors. You can switch component or all of this advantage to a partner or child.35

The navy additionally affords arms-on profession education on your army occupational forte, for you to benefit you whether you preserve within the navy or return to a civilian career.36


Some other schooling advantages for that you might grow to be eligible as a provider member are:

  • College Funds—These offer extra advantages on top of the GI Bill for members of the Navy and the Marine Corps.38
  • 39
  •  The Army, but, seems to have suspended its application in 2012.forty
  • Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)—You can receive full tuition and prices at collaborating faculties and universities, plus a month-to-month spending allowance, to finish a two-, 3-, or four-yr degree.forty one
  • Military College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP)—This is available to new recruits in a few branches.forty two
  • Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program—This wipes out the ultimate student mortgage debt after 120 qualifying month-to-month payments.43
  • Opportunities to Earn Advanced Degrees—For example, you may attend Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in a number of disciplines. You can emerge as a doctor, dentist, or different fitness professional through one of the Navy’s clinical schooling applications.forty four


Service participants additionally get many other advantages. Here’s a partial listing.

  • Commissary and Exchange Stores—The commissary is significantly much less pricey for meals, and the post change or base trade is tax free, although it doesn’t always have the best charges.forty five
  • 46
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans—The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) program gives no-down-payment, low-hobby mortgages.47
  • Tax Break on Home Sales—The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) affords more beneficiant qualification requirements for tax-unfastened capital profits on the sale of a service member’s number one house.forty eight
  • Paid Vacation—Active-duty provider individuals get 30 days of paid holiday annually.49
  • Military Discounts—Many groups provide reductions to carrier contributors.
  • Space-Available Travel—Low- or no-cost travel for carrier members and their families may be had on military flights whilst, because the name says, space is available.50
  • Interest Rate Cap on Debt—A 6% hobby price cap on debt incurred before being deployed, called to lively duty, or asked to move suddenly is authorized through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).fifty one

Reservist Benefits

Reserve-responsibility provider participants are eligible for partial blessings. Reservists grow to be eligible for full benefits if they’re known as to lively responsibility.52

What Do You Get for Serving in the Military?

Service participants in the army earn a base income based on rank, experience, and historical past. In addition, there are specific benefits to military service like cost-of-dwelling allowances, unique coverage, and lessons insurance. There also are often navy reductions available from various businesses.1

How Can I Earn a Higher Base Salary in the Military?

While navy base pay isn’t always negotiable, there are methods to make certain you come to be on the better cease of the pay scale. Individuals with college ranges have opportunities to begin in a position with higher compensation. Boy Scout Eagles or Girl Scout Gold Award achievers have possibilities to enlist as a personal first magnificence in the Army.five

All participants of the army are eligible for base pay increases over time, due to years of carrier or benefit.

What Living Costs Does the Military Cover?

The U.S. Military gives advantages above base pay. The army can pay out allowances for fees like housing, uniforms, meals, and relocation. Allowances might cover charges for the carrier member by myself or their entire circle of relatives unit. In addition, the military gives a wide variety of benefits, such as tax breaks, lessons coverage, solid coverage, and mortgage forgiveness.1

The Bottom Line

Unlike in the private zone, where the pay and benefits for maximum positions are stored mystery till you’re simply provided a process, the navy makes it clean exactly what you may anticipate during your career before you even talk to a recruiter. With the large sacrifices involved in serving, it only makes feel that the navy might need to advertise what carrier contributors stand to gain.

Talking to individuals who have truly served (and are not recruiters) can help you get a greater balanced photo of the pros and cons of serving and determine whether you need to pursue this path. The pay and benefits you’re seeking out may be to be had within the personal quarter, too. You just might must do greater research to locate them.


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