Everywhere you look there are military discounts, priority lines, and other courtesies that Americans have created to honor and support our men and women serving in the armed forces. While most people think of the big benefits like low-cost housing and free or extremely cheap college tuition, there are a lot more benefits to joining the military that most people don't consider.
A career in military service comes with a variety of benefits and perks, such as low-cost housing, ample time off (after long periods of being on call 24-7), and free college education. But there are also some undeniable challenges that come with being in the military. The life of a military service member isn’t easy. For instance, it can be hard to maintain long-distance relationships or even get enough sleep some nights. However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges for most people who enlist.
Perks Of Military Service Most People Have Never Heard Of
In all honesty there are a variety of perks that some people have heard of but most folks don't quite understand the nature of. That's absolutely true for our number one perk of being in the military ... travel!
You Get To Travel the World For Free
Traveling by military transport is usually not the most comfortable and certainly far from the most luxurious option - it's free. Whether you are on assignment and get time to explore the area around your base or are able to take advantage of "Space Available" transport where you are often human cargo sitting next to shipping crates, travel is a big perk most men don't think about.
Student Loan Repayment Program
Military service members are given access to the Student Loan Repayment Program, which besides helping you pay for college, allows you to consolidate your loans and pay them off as fast as possible.
Of course, you will need to commit to the service for at least five years, and work full-time, which is a huge plus. Also, if you want to continue to use your GI Bill benefits even leaving the military and changing your career, you can do so without losing it.
VA Home Loan Benefit
Veterans can benefit from the VA Home Loan Benefit. This program is free money and gives veterans a chance to purchase a home with only a 5.5 percent down payment (private lenders may require more). This is a pretty amazing benefit, especially since it’s not easy for most service members to get a mortgage due to credit issues.
In addition, you will also get access to loan forgiveness after 10 years, and a 15-year, zero-interest loan after that. This loan program will help service members purchase the home they always wanted.
Lifelong Access to Commissary and Fuel Stations
While on-base shopping is far from glamorous you are almost guaranteed to find cheaper prices due to the fact that there's no sales tax, items are priced at cost + 5% and the goal is to provide the important items that military families need - not to make a profit.
For example, right now in San Diego the average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $5.652 and I saw a gas station only a couple blocks away that was nearly $7. However, the NEX (Navy Exchange) down the street from me is priced at only $5.21 per gallon!
Lifelong Health Insurance
Military service members have access to health insurance for the rest of their lives through the VA's Medical Benefits Package. These plans have no premiums to worry about and provide coverage similar to most private insurance plans.
Exclusive Military Discounts On Shopping
Americans are some of the most generous people on the face of the Earth and we love our men and women in uniform. We also know the marketing value of our brands being associated with supporting the troops. That's why there are literally TONS of discounts available ranging from those provided by insurance brands like USAA and credit unions to affinity marketing sites
While many of these benefits are designed for active duty military - for instance having a US Spec Jeep Wrangler delivered to your base in Germany, many of the benefits apply to any honorably discharged veteran.
Unparalleled Leadership Training
One of the most underappreciated benefits for military service is the extraordinary leadership training that all service members will learn. While some of this is practical squad level training that you need to accomplish strategic objectives, many of the skills you learn will make you a better leader in the private sector and teach you how to deal with obstacles, challenges and responsibilities that most civilians won't have the ability to experience until much further in their career.