Joining the Military is a big, life-altering decision that not only affects your child, but you as well. We’re here to help with resources that provide a comprehensive view of service and what recruits should expect as they embark on a career path in today’s Military.
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What to Expect
Consider this your starting point for understanding military service and the roles and responsibilities your child will experience during their days as a recruit.
Stories from Military Parents
There’s no better way to understand life as the parent of a child in the Military than from real parents who have gone through many of the same discussions and decisions.
Support for Parents
We understand that being a military parent can be stressful. That’s why it’s great to know there are millions of other military parents you can connect with for support.
Common Questions from Parents
There are many benefits to joining the Military, including:
- Opportunities for personal growth, including developing confidence, leadership, and motivation.
- A wide range of careers that align with many personal interests. These roles often include advanced training that helps develop skills which are transferable to employment after the military.
- Employment benefits, like health care, retirement savings, paid vacation, life insurance, and more.
- Off-duty entertainment, rest and relaxation activities, and other family & community offerings
- Competitive salary and compensation that often includes housing allowances, and other additional pay
- Discounts and perks on things like everyday shopping and vacation/leisure opportunities
- A chance to see the world
There are many ways that parents of service members can find support that they need. These include listening to stories from other military parents, joining well-known parent-to-parent networks, and also exploring parental resources provided by the Services.
All active-duty Service branches offer 30 days of paid vacation per year during which service members may spend time with their families or plan other Rest and Relaxation (R&R). Options like Space-Available Travel allow troops to fly at no cost on regularly scheduled military flights, provided there is a seat available. This is a great, inexpensive way to get to a destination. Family members are also welcome to visit their service member on base. In addition, service members of the Reserve and National Guard are often allowed to serve close to home.
Even while deployed, service members will usually have access to postal mail, email and phone service (even while at sea). While communication may be restricted during certain missions, modern technology makes it relatively easy for families to keep in touch.
If there is a family emergency and you need to reach a relative in service, you should contact the American Red Cross Hero Care Center, which can relay messages to U.S. military personnel worldwide.
Military and service academy minimum entrance age requirements are 17 with parental consent or 18 without parental consent. Visit Eligibility Requirements to learn more.