If Your Spouse Leaves The Service And You Dont Get Ready To Get Some Grief
If youâve got a ring on, the first question you get wonât be, âWhat does your husband do?â Rather, itâs âWhat unit is your husband in?â Military women married to civilian men are perhaps even more of a rarity than single female officers.
My husband left the military before I did â and anytime I mentioned it, Iâd get a look of shock followed quickly by a look of either confusion or disgust. I was actually asked: âDoes he like you working with so many other men?â âIs he intimidated by you?â âWho wears the pants in this relationship?â My personal favorite? âIâm surprised heâs OK with that.â
I Joined The Army Because My Single Mother Could Not Afford Me And My Sister
Daniel Kilburn is a retired senior drill sergeant who spent 33 years in the U.S. Army. His service allowed him to earn his MBA and eventually achieve not only financial stability, but financial success. He now works as a consultant, speaker and coach.
What was your financial situation like before you joined the military?
I recall having one set of clothes for the entire school year in 10th grade. I would cut two or three sets of cardboard inserts for my shoes every night before sleep the soles of my shoes had holes in them I walked through one school district to get to mine. I did not have the 25 cents for the bus.
I washed my clothes by hand every night and hung them on hangers off the wall heater to dry. I hoped they would not get burnt by the gas heater, and that my mother would see them and ask me why they were there. Fortunately, they never got burnt, and my mother never noticed them. I never told her I only had one set of clothing, because I was told at a very young age to never ask for anything because I will not get it.
There was always milk in the fridge, and a glass of milk was breakfast. And quite often a glass of milk was dinner. As hard as I can, I do not remember lunch.
What were your reasons for joining the military?
How did your military service impact your personal finances?
Would you recommend military service to a young person today as a means to get out of poverty?
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And After You Leave The Armed Forces
Soldiers are often discharged with no money to continue in the civilian world and no transferable job skills. Unemployment lines are filled with veterans who are poorly qualified and lack the useful skills for civilian employment. Many veterans remain jobless for long periods and are a large part of the homeless and prison populations. Even those who are gainfully employed will remain behind their civilian counterparts in income and advancement for the rest of their careers. Once you have been in the military, you cant catch up with the rest of the world.
The military stays with you in other ways as well. Much of the appeal is the idea of proving yourself, developing discipline, being all you can be. Perhaps you want to carry army pride with you all your life. Remember, however, that this is only part of the picture. No one can participate in violence and remain either unscarred or indifferent. You will always be part of the destruction you supported. And if the United States does fight a war, you may never be able to forget the people you killed. For some people the weight of these memories is too heavy to bear. The suicide rate among Vietnam veterans is many times the national average.
Enlisting in the military is a serious commitment. Before you join, know what is in the fine print. Learn all the details and choose whats best for you. Think about it.
Soldiers of Conscience film trailer
Center on Conscience & War
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You Might Get Seriously Hurt
Casualties happen in war. War is hell. People know the risks when they join. It comes with the territory, but I’m not talking about that.
What people don’t know is that this can happen at any time and in any place, even stateside. Even if there is no ammunition or other threat around, a soldier can get seriously and permanently injured.
After years of PT , a soldier may have problems with his knees and other joints. He can easily have the same problems pro basketball players have, but without the same salary. Any civilian can get injured, but it is more likely in the military because you are more active and working longer hours with more dangerous equipment.
Medics are ready, safety policies are in place, and your buddies are usually looking out for you, but sometimes this isn’t enough. As a medic, I’ve seen twenty-year-old trainees walking with canes as a result of injuries they sustained during service.
How Tall Do You Have To Be To Join The Army
According to the United States Army official site for recruiting, the height range for new recruits starts at 50 and ends at 68 for men and 410 to 68 for women. This is the range specified on the Army official site that displays its height and weight calculator. The minimum age for these requirements is 17.
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Higher Education Wasnt For You
College isnt for everyone. But you have to make a living somehow and sometimes that means joining the military. Make no mistake, youll learn important trade skills to best prepare you to do your job in the military. While the training upfront may be more intense than college in some ways, your service will be just as valuable as a college degree now and in the future.
Earn Respect And Admiration From Your Peers
I cant tell you how often my friends introduce me to others by mentioning my service in the Army.
Almost always, I get the same reaction.
Wow. Thats really admirable of you.
I never brag about it, but, to be honest, it always feels good to hear.
Not to mention, everyone always wants to buy me a beer.
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Which Service Should I Join
Next, you’ll need to decide which service you are interested in. Sometimes, you’ll know this in advance. Perhaps you had a friend or relative who served or is serving in a particular branch of the military and you want to follow in their footsteps. You should give this matter much study and thought.
Each of the services is different, and some people may be more suited for one service vs. another. Make sure you select a service that you are interested in joining, based upon your interests. Don’t join a service just because someone else liked it, or expects you to. It’s your life and your decision.
There are also differences in education benefits, assignments, job guarantees, education programs, and enlistment/re-enlistment bonuses.
Recruiters see lots of folks who want to enlist and serve in one of these elite fields. The truth of the matter is that most people who apply for the “elite” programs wash out due to the very rigorous training requirements. If you enlist to become one of these “elites,” and you wash out of training, you don’t get to quit. You’ll be required to serve the remainder of your enlistment contract in a different job.
What Is The Duty Of A Military
The Army exists to serve the American people, defend the nation, protect vital national interests and fulfill national military responsibilities. Our mission is enduring: to provide necessary forces and capabilities to the combatant commanders in support of the national security and defense strategies.
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Getting Fit With Fitt
As a rule of thumb, ease into your activities, gradually increase each element of FITT, and end each session with a cool-down. For example:
- Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up. Walking, biking or a slow jog will increase blood flow to the muscles and lightly increase your heart rate. Follow up with some light stretching of the muscles you will be using in your workout.
- Improving your overall fitness is most effectively done through a combination of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic and strength exercises. The two sample fitness sessions below are based on Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology guidelines.
- A 5- to 10-minute cool-down helps return your body to its normal, pre-exercise condition. Suddenly stopping an intense workout can make you dizzy, nauseated or even faint. Walking, biking or a slow jog will gradually bring down your heart rate and relieve muscle soreness.
Patriotism Defending Our Nation And A Sense Of Duty
Military service is a time-honored way to serve others first. Walter Reuther is quoted as saying,
There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well. .
This quote sums up what it means to serve. When you join the military, you learn the true meaning of service.
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What Does The Army Do To Prevent Identity Theft
Apart from warning service members about the risks and instructing them to be careful about their documentation, there isn’t much that can be done to protect a person’s information or identity. Prevention and swift action in the event of identity theft are typically the only ways of addressing this issue. The Military Consumer has a lot of information available to specifically help servicemen and veterans navigate identity theft issues because this kind of violation is an unfortunate possibility for people in the military.
Military Retirement Benefits Are Worth Millions
Its not an exaggeration to say military retirement benefits are worth millions of dollars.
Military members receive a lifetime pension based on the average of their highest three years of base pay. Military retirees who are in the High 3 Retirement System receive 2.5% of their base pay for each year of service. So 20 years of service would equate to a pension worth 50% of their highest 3 years of base pay .
Members who are participating in the new Blended Retirement System use the same calculations, except that you would use a 2.0% multiplier instead of 2.5%. So a retirement at 20 years would be 40%, 25 years would be 50%, and 30 years would be 60%. However, there are two big additions: the first is matching TSP contributions of up to 5% of your base pay, allowing you to have portable retirement benefits when you leave the military, even if you dont reach retirement. The other is a Continuation Pay Bonus, which is a mid-career cash bonus for extending your service commitment.
Example retirement value:
Enlisted members earn somewhat less than commissioned officers. However, their pensions are based on the same formula and receive the same cost of living increases each year. So you can easily run the numbers and get a rough approximation of potential retirement benefits. For example, a $2,500 a month pension is worth $30,000 per year. That would be worth $300,000, $600,000, or $900,000 over 10, 20, or 30 years.
Learn more about retirement benefits:
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S For Joining The Military
Start by doing some research about your options for joining the military. Learn about the five active-duty branches and their part-time counterparts. Know the main differences between officers and enlisted members. And explore the career fields you can enter for each branch.
Once you know which branch youre considering, contact a recruiter. A recruiter will give you an overview and answer your questions about that service. If youre interested in more than one branch, contact a recruiter for each. If youre interested in joining as an officer, the recruiter will explain any options you may be eligible for.
If you decide to enlist, you will report to a military entrance processing station . Youll spend a day or two completing pre-enlistment steps. These include taking the ASVAB, having a physical exam, meeting with a career counselor, and if youre accepted,taking the oath of enlistment. From there youll receive orders for basic training, usually to start within a few weeks. If you enrolled in a delayed entry program, youll go home and get orders for basic training within a year.
Commissary Exchange Base Privileges
You will find many people on base in the same position as you, and they will become family. Base schools offer unique environments to military children in pre-school and elementary schools on many bases. The no tax and lower than average shopping experience at the grocery store and base stores are also helpful to the monthly budget. Social activities are also prevalent on base and in the surrounding area for the military family to help with the departure of a spouse on deployment.
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Military Versus Civilian Employment
Before you join, recognize the fact that a job in the military is not civilian employment. It’s not just like having a regular job. You just cannot decide you want to get out of the military anytime you want toyou signed a contractand the military signed a contract with you, too. You can go to jail just for being late for work.
No matter how high your rank, no matter which service you join, there will always have a boss. Many times you won’t like or agree with your orders, but you take a solemn oath to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the lawful orders of those appointed over you.” Disobeying those orders can have serious consequences. If you can’t live with this simple fact, save yourself the hardship and the government some valuable time and money, and don’t enlist.
Travel is significant in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and even in the Coast Guard and National Guard. Expect to move often and be away from home six or more months at a time when deployed.
If you like to smoke marijuana once in a while, don’t join. The military uses random, no-notice urinalysis, and if you’re found positive, you may very well go to jail . The DOD urinalysis test can find THC in your urine for three weeks after you’ve smoked a joint.
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When You Join The Military Your Family Joins With You
I was born into a military family. Later, when my mother was pregnant with my brother, my father decided not to re-enlist. By then, he had saved enough to start his own business. He did so and never looked back. Decisions like this are terrifying to make. Who do you turn your back onâyour family or your country? Of course, it’s not always black and white, but it does make life tough for everyoneâeven for the parents of soldiers.
Although military marriages are no more likely to end in divorce than civilian marriages, they are faced with unique challenges that not every couple is prepared for. For example, a military spouse is not as likely to find a career. A potential employer has to face the possibility that the employee might leave with only a few day’s notice if their spouse is suddenly stationed elsewhere. An article called How Military Marriage Screws Up Your Career sheds light on many of the ways that military spouses can struggle professionally.
An Army wife understands that her soldier can be deployed at any time. During this time, she holds down the fort. I hate to say this, but it’s a lot like being a single mom. It takes a very special woman to be an Army wife.
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Join The Regular Force
Members of the Regular Force serve full time protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty. They contribute to international peace and security, and work with the United States to defend North America. They are ready to respond at a moments notice to threats, natural disasters or humanitarian crises at home and around the world.
Free Health And Dental Care
A program called Tricare Prime provides free health and dental care to all active-duty members. It is usually provided through an assigned primary care provider, typically located at the base. Veterans who have over two years of active service or a service-related disability qualify for lifetime Veteran Administration healthcare benefits. Members with a service-related disability can also qualify for over $3,000 worth of benefits each month from the VA.
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When You Visit The Recruitment Office:
- Take along a parent or friend as a witness.
- Read over the entire enlistment agreement very carefully.
- Get all promises in writing. Spoken promises do not have to be honored.
- Before you sign anything, take it home and discuss it with your parents, friends, and a trained counselor who understands how recruiters operate. Your recruiter must give you a copy of the agreement if you request it.
- Get copies of everything you sign.
Military Entrance Processing Station
Once you make the decision to enlist, the Military Entrance Processing Station is the place where recruits go to finish the enlistment process. There are MEPS locations all over the country. Recruits officially complete the process of joining the Military once they meet all of the MEPS requirements. This process may take a few days.
Potential recruits must do the following at the MEPS:
Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine which kinds of careers an individual is best suited for. There are questions about math, language, science, mechanical and electronic knowledge and more. The test lasts about three hours and is one of the factors used to determine which military specialties you’d be good at. You can take the ASVAB while at MEPS, but you can also take it at your school if it’s offered there, or at a Military Entrance Test site.
Pass the Physical Examination
Your recruiter will discuss physical requirements with you beforehand. While the physical examination varies from branch to branch, it typically includes completing a medical history questionnaire, taking basic blood, urine and flexibility tests, as well as hearing and vision exams.
Meet With a MEPS Career Counselor and Determine a Career
Along with your ASVAB results, a MEPS career counselor will take into account service needs, any prior experience and your wishes when helping you find a career.
Take the Oath of Enlistment
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