GUEST POST by Ty Ross
Most civilians have heard of the Army Reserve, but do they really know what the Army Reserves is all about? What it does? I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials. Join the reserves and get paid to work just one weekend a month. But the Army Reserve is much more than that. A crucial segment of the United States Army, Soldiers in the Reserves are highly skilled and trained Soldiers responsible for helping provide safety, security and stability to people nationwide and abroad. The flexibility and security of the Army Reserve makes this a sound career choice for many. To help those of you on the fence make a decision, I’ve listed the Top 5 Reasons To Join The Army Reserves, as I see it.
# 1 Flexibility
The idea of having to leave family behind to pursue a full-time career in the United States Army keeps many from enlisting. With the Army Reserves, you can have the best of both worlds; serve your country while remaining close to home. With a commitment of just 38 days a year (one weekend a month and two weeks a year), you get to maintain most aspects of your civilian life, even if you work or attend school full-time. And for those who are married, have children or are in their 30s, with a maximum enlisting age of 35, you can still do your duty with minimal interruption to your home life.
Army Reserve Soldiers receive a regular paycheck. Just like you would if you had a part-time civilian job. With annual salary of over $3000 for enlisted soldiers ($5000 for officers) with less than 2 years experience, that’s an extra $250 a month. Add the many available bonuses a new recruit can receive for enlisting, skills, etc. you can reasonably earn compensation equal to having a full-time job with no increase in your time commitment. Though enlistment bonuses can reach up to $20,000, the average enlistment bonus is around $5,000. Not bad.
Army medical facilities and hospitals are some of the best in the world, and as a member of the Army Reserves you and your family are eligible to receive life, health and dental benefits. Though you have to pay premiums if on reserve status, the low cost premiums for individuals and families alike (less than $200 month for family) ensure you and your family access to top notch medical care if needed. Those remaining on active duty for 30 days or more pay no premiums for health and dental. Those who serve for more than 20 years are also eligible for retirement benefits.
The Montgomery GI Bill, often referred to as the GI Bill provides additional monies to help Soldiers with the cost of college tuition. The GI Bill pays for tuition, fees & books, and monthly housing allowances. Add the GI Bill ‘Kicker’ (add on monies for those who are receiving the GI Bill) and you are looking at close to a $1000 a month, thereby allowing Soldiers to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree of their choice. The cost of college continues to rise and the default rate among graduates due to the economy is steadily increasing also. That makes the Reserves an even more logical choice for those who can’t afford college on their own.
#5 Job/Skills Training
To assist Army Reserve Soldiers with establishing a career, both during and after service, job certification and training is available. Many jobs in the Reserves have a civilian counterpart. Nursing, Engineering, Information Technology and Law Enforcement are just some of the areas of training available. These careers have proven stability and are constantly in demand. By joining the Army Reserves, you will get the knowledge, certification and training necessary to be successful in whatever field you choose.
Well, that’s my Top 5 Reasons To Join The Army Reserve. As a Soldier in the Army Reserves, you will not only be doing yourself a great service with the benefits and opportunities available, but you will be doing your country a great service as well. By committing less than 40 days a year, you are doing your part in helping keep this country stay safe and secure during times of peace and war. By accessing the training and higher education benefits, you are contributing a highly skilled and trained individual to the career marketplace ensuring we remain competitive at home and abroad. So what are you waiting for?