Careers & Benefits
A career in the Military offers benefits and perks that often match or surpass those offered by civilian employers. Whether it’s offering free health care, vacation time or the opportunity to plan ahead with a retirement plan, the Military supports its members and their families both today and tomorrow.
Free Health Care
Active-duty service members receive medical and dental care at no charge. In addition, spouses and dependent children of active-duty service members may enroll in military health care (a small enrollment fee and annual deductible may apply). TRICARE, the Military’s health care plan, covers dependents of service members up to age 26.
30 Days Paid Vacation
Active-duty service members receive 30 days of paid vacation each year, compared to the standard 14 days that entry-level civilians typically receive. While there are some limitations to when vacation time can be used, service members generally receive their requested time off after giving adequate advance notice to their supervisor.
Life insurance can help protect a family’s financial stability. Active-duty service members may select up to $400,000 in Service Group Life Insurance (SGLI) at a cost of only $29 a month, which is automatically deducted from each paycheck.
Service members can retire far earlier compared to most civilian jobs. After 20 years of service, they have two options from the Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System (BRS):
- Option 1: Receive a defined benefit, which is a monthly pension for life that's calculated based on a service member’s highest 36 months of basic pay and years of service.
- Option 2: Receive a lump sum, which is a discounted portion (25 or 50 percent) of their retirement, paid either all at once or distributed annually for up to four years. This means the defined benefit payment is reduced until reaching full retirement age.
This benefit is also available to Reserve and Guard members after 20 years of service and reaching age 60.
Thrift Savings Plan
For all service members, the BRS automatically sets aside 3% of their basic pay in a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for retirement (the contribution is adjustable according to IRS limits). The Services will match a service member’s contribution after two years, which is also when that savings is theirs to take with them, even if they leave the Military.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides dozens of federal benefits to veterans and their dependents, including home loans that are guaranteed by the federal government. Other VA programs include educational assistance and disability compensation.
While every service member works hard, the Military does allow for a balance between work and personal life. In fact, service members enjoy many perks, discounts and opportunities to relax with their friends and family.
Generally, military housing is provided for all service members, whether they’re living on or off base. While there are some exceptions, with the abundance of housing options, service members can find housing to fit their needs.
Service members work hard but get plenty of time to socialize. Many military bases are loaded with amenities like gyms, movie theaters, parks and more. The Military also works with Armed Forces Entertainment to provide over 420 shows around the world each year, reaching more than 250,000 personnel at 100 military installations.
Life in the Military offers discounts on a wide variety of products and services. While on base, service members can also participate in multiple free activities, such as sports leagues. Talk to your recruiter for more information on these exclusive offers.