While life in the Military is certainly different from civilian life in many respects, service members can expect to get off-duty time to relax with friends, pursue personal interests or hobbies — and discover new ones, too.
Rest & Relaxation Options
Both domestic and international bases offer amenities to full-time residents and traveling personnel. In addition to residential and training facilities, bases sometimes feature pools, basketball and tennis courts, bowling alleys, movie theaters and recreation centers. Service members are sometimes also permitted access to private campgrounds, beaches and other attractions — great for family vacations.
Base Exchanges and Commissaries
Service members can purchase many household items, food and clothing at a discount in the base exchange or commissary (a commissary is a military store that sells items to service members at close to cost). About 5 percent of the purchase price is charged for store maintenance and employee wages, but otherwise merchandise is not marked up.
On-base entertainment resources available to service members and their families include gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and parks. In addition to facilities, Armed Forces Entertainment hosts more than 400 exclusive entertainment shows around the world each year at 100 military installations, featuring some of the most popular musicians, comedians, athletes and actors.
For service members who enjoy sports, the Military also has its own sports league: Armed Forces Sports. The Armed Forces Sports program includes 25 different sports, ranging from basketball to golf to rugby. The program is open to all active-duty personnel and features nine national championships and 16 international championships.
30 Days of Paid Vacation
As part of their standard employment benefits, active-duty service members receive 30 days of paid vacation each year, compared to the standard two weeks (14 days) for entry-level civilian careers.