The freedom to decide what you want to do with your life still exists in the United States.
Every year, 1000’s of recent high school graduates have a few options to consider.
One of them, of course, is if they would like to serve in the military.
While some young adults decide to enroll in college before considering the military, others wish to join immediately after graduating high school.
There are several advantages to joining the military immediately after high school.
In this article, we’ll talk about 10 big benefits of joining the military after high school.
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#10 – Free College
It may seem counter-productive, but there’s actually an incentive to enlisting in the military before enrolling in college.
These military programs help finance your way through college by essentially covering the cost of tuition, and room, board, and books.
Consequently, many recent high school graduates that are unable to afford college pursue the military to further fund an education.
The military has helped finance higher education for countless service members throughout the decades.
Furthermore, you can develop a trade or job skill while serving the country through your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
The U.S. Armed Forces cover all your training while you attend classroom studies and field exercises.
As a result, the amount of new skills you can acquire while in the military is exceptional, and can help you land a job in the civilian world after your service is up.
#9 – Serving Your Country
The number one reason that people join the military (regardless of age) is the opportunity to serve your country.
Joining the military is a selfless decision that puts others before yourself.
While you will struggle and claw through boot camp and advanced training for your military specialty, in the end the reward is worth it.
Military personnel learn and develop job skills and characteristics that will be with them for the rest of their life.
Service members are generally phenomenal leaders with terrific character and morals.
Related Article: Top 20 Reasons to Join the Military (and 7 Reasons NOT To)
However, many would admit that they would never have developed such a high degree of character and discipline had it not been for the military.
For this reason, you should consider serving the country so you can evolve into a better overall person.
You have to grow up quickly in the military, yet the sacrifice and honor of serving the United States are second to none.
#8 – Increased Discipline
The military is renowned for building and developing character.
As a result, the Armed Forces generally focuses on increasing your discipline immediately after reaching boot camp.
While the lessons of discipline are hard and unforgiving, it ultimately creates a better soldier and person.
Consequently, many recruits join the military to improve their discipline and accountability.
Discipline is all about doing the right thing whether anyone is judging you or not.
It’s sticking with a mission even when you are tired and hungry.
It’s showing up on time and working together as a team.
There are very few work settings that teach and build discipline to the degree of the U.S. Armed Forces.
#7 – Worldwide Travel
Who doesn’t want to see the world?
While most of us have grand visions of touring Europe or visiting the Far East, service members are actually making it a reality.
One of the best benefits of joining the military after high school is that you’ll be far more experienced in the world compared to many of your friends.
While they may only relocate a couple of hours from home to attend college, you may be on the other side of the world fighting bad guys.
Traveling and seeing the world is obviously a gigantic advantage of being in the military, especially when you get to do it for free.
If you were to pay for international travel out of your own pocket it would cost you $1,000’s.
Consequently, it makes it nearly impossible for young people to see everything the world has to offer.
Therefore, enlisting in the military provides you with the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures depending on the military specialty.
#6 – Free Room and Board
In addition to traveling the world for free, you also get to stay and eat on the government dime.
Not bad, right?
Every branch of the military provides ways for you to receive free housing and food while you are stationed away from your primary residence.
Most of the free room and board is available through military base housing which is basic yet covers all the essentials.
Meanwhile, some service members (particularly those with families) elect to live outside the base.
Nonetheless, the government can generally offer financial support for housing and food costs through various avenues.
One of them is via Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH.
BAH essentially provides you a ‘bonus’ pay that is dependent on where you’re stationed, your marital status, and rank.
Receiving free room and board saves you $1,000’s each year.
It’s a fantastic bargain that service members receive compared to college students that must borrow thousands each year for room and board on campus.
Related Article: Does The National Guard Pay For College?
#5 – Free Medical and Dental
When people are young they often feel (and act) invincible.
However, there will be a day when you’ll appreciate having health care included with your job benefits.
Fortunately, the military includes full health care and dental benefits for every service member, regardless of the military branch of specialty.
Health care is critical for service members with families because it can potentially save you $100’s or even $1,000’s each year in medical costs.
Some military bases provide better health care than others yet you can depend on at least some form of coverage.
Since you are young and just out of high school, you may not need medical treatment immediately, yet in the future, you’ll be grateful for service.
Keep in mind that literally everything is covered…you won’t pay a dime!
#4 – Good Pay
Military personnel not only get to see the world but also get paid while serving the country.
While most will agree that the pay is not spectacular, it is enough to cover all your monthly bills.
Furthermore, all the benefits that are included with monthly pay enable you to skip several expenses that a general household would need to cover like rent and groceries.
Soldiers earn pay based on their military rank and years of service.
For this reason, it serves you well to remain in the military as long as possible for better pay.
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Working hard and showing that you are dependable may lead to promotions in rank, which also improves your monthly pay.
Furthermore, those that decide to enlist in military specialties that are in demand or dangerous (like combat roles) may include special bonuses.
As a result, many elect to pursue the most hazardous or demanding jobs in order to receive the highest form of compensation possible.
Regardless, expect long hours and hard work yet the pay is enough to make it rewarding and save money in the process.
#3 – Stable Job
There are not a ton of available jobs for recent high school graduates without any type of college education.
Consequently, joining the military after high school is sometimes the best option out of limited choices.
The great aspect of joining the military is that you have a stable job.
If you work in the private sector you can get laid off without any warning or notice, in most states.
Meanwhile, a military job is guaranteed and you can practically work it for as long as your body or mind will allow.
Government jobs are highly valued because they usually offer outstanding benefits and stability.
You also receive training for any military job/specialty you qualify for which is an outstanding value.
#2 – Learn Valuable Job Skills
It is not as easy to find an employer that is willing to take the time and energy to train new workers correctly.
Unfortunately, this often leads to unskilled and unreliable workers because they never received proper training.
On the other hand, the military actually takes the time to train you properly since you are dealing with things that could actually end your life (or a fellow service member).
Therefore, most military specialties require you to spend the better part of a year (sometimes even more time) purely for training exercises.
Consequently, the military has a habit of now just throwing new recruits into the fire.
You’ll find the transition into military life is usually patient in terms of training, even if your training commander is demanding.
As a result, make sure you take advantage of the time during train to learn as much as possible.
Learning valuable job skills now serves you well once you decide to retire from the military and seek civilian employment.
#1 – Low-Cost VA Home Loans
Owning a home is the quintessential American Dream.
Not surprisingly, most service members have aspirations of starting a family as well as owning a home.
Thankfully, the military provides low-cost VA home loans exclusively to military personnel.
The low-cost VA home loans feature low-interest rates which makes it possible to qualify for a new loan.
If you compare that to your typical college student that may not own until their mid-20s at the earliest, you definitely have a head start.
As a result, low-cost VA home loans that can get you into your own residence within your first few years of service is hard to beat.
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There are several advantages to enlisting in the military before you enroll in college.
Starting early presents you with a head start compared to the rest of your fellow graduates.
It enables you to start serving the country immediately while learning a necessary job skill or trade.
Furthermore, serving the country can eventually help finance college through the GI Bill and other forms of government aid.
These 10 benefits of joining the military after high school are worth considering if you are interested in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Speak with a local military recruiter for more information about enlisting after you complete high school.
Want to learn how to start your journey in the US Military? Click on a branch below to find out how to prep for your visit with the recruiter!