Benefits of the Army
By Staff Writer
Sergeant Major Gilmore is a retired Army veteran. He was in the Army for 26 years and seven months but never fired at someone and never received fire. He did however have a variety of jobs. His main job was as a military policeman. Gilmore had other jobs such as a patrolman, a desk sergeant, a traffic accident investigator, and “a breathalyzer operator, that was cool.” He was a military police investigator, a platoon sergeant, a first sergeant and a battalion sergeant major. “I was a drill sergeant too; I can’t forget that, I loved it.” One benefit of the Army is gaining experience in many different jobs and having fun. There are over 150 jobs in the Army.
There are plenty of benefits in the Army such as health care, education benefits, traveling, vacation, allowances, money, discounts and even better behavior. When you sign up for the Army and become a soldier you and your family are automatically covered in both medical and dental care at little or no cost by a comprehensive HMO-type health care plan called TRICARE. The Army’s health care team is one of the biggest health care networks in the world, using state-of-the-art technology. Many health care plans give you restrictions as to what doctors or dentist or hospitals etc., you could see but TRICARE allows you to see any authorized provider. If you retire you still receive the TRICARE benefits, but if you leave on your own then the benefits stop.
Scholarships in Army ROTC help you focus on what’s important, getting your college degree, rather than how you’re going to pay for it. Army ROTC has scholarships available whether you’re a high school student or already in college or university. They award scholarships based on merit and grades, not financial need. These scholarships consist of two, three or four year scholarships based on the time remaining to complete your degree. They offer full tuition and additional allowances for books and fees. They also offer the option for room and board in place of tuition. Army ROTC provides monthly living allowances for each school year. Depending on your level in the Army ROTC curriculum, you can earn certain amounts.
· 1st year, $300
· 2nd year, $350
· 3rd year, $450
· 4th year, $500
This allowance is also available to all non-scholarship cadets enrolled in the Army ROTC advanced course.
The Montgomery GI Bill, also known as the MGIB, and the Army College Fund, also known as ACF, are designed to help you pay for your college education. You can get up to $85,536 but it depends on how long you’ve been enlisted in the Army and the job you’ve chosen. The only thing you need to do is pay $100 a month during your first year of service. If you decide to go with the ACF, the total amount is combined with the MGIB.
If you’re in the Army Reserve, it’s a little different. It offers a selected reserve Montgomery GI Bill of up to $12,132. The way to earn an additional MGIB kicker is you have to qualify for and accept a critical position in the Army Reserve. With the GI Bill kicker, you can add up to $687 a month for up to 36 months, a total of up to $24,732.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of benefits for education at an institution of higher learning. The way to be eligible for a Post-9/11 GI Bill is being a soldier who served 90 or more days on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. The benefits include tuition, fees, a monthly living allowance, books and supplies. These benefits can also be transferred to a spouse of dependent children.
Captain Koziara is a senior Army instructor (SAI) at The High School of Commerce (he oversees the JROTC program). He enlisted in both the Air Force and the Army, but is now a retired veteran. He was in the Air Force for nine years. He left the Air Force and went to finish college with his GI Bill. After receiving his degree he joined the Army as an office man and stayed an active soldier for 11 years.
He worked at UMASS Lowell and Fitchburg State College. “When I was working there I was able to work on my masters.” He was stationed in Texas and Massachusetts and got to see Germany and Mississippi. “The job takes you to different people and you make new friends and stay in contact.” A benefit from traveling is not only do you get to meet new people but, you get to experience new ways of life and hear about different traditions and try different foods, even possibly learn new languages.
In the Army, vacation is referred to as leave. Leave is a paid vacation from duty for recreation and relief from the pressures of job-related duties, which is granted under federal law by Congress. Leave is a right (not a privilege), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can take it whenever you wish.
It has been estimated that the average Active Duty service member receives a yearly compensation package worth $99,000. 60% of this package is non-cash compensation. It includes health care, retirement pay, childcare and free or subsidized food, housing, clothing allowance, family separation allowance, cost of living allowance, moving and relocation allowance and education.
An enlisted soldier receives more than $200 a month for food. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is the second-largest piece of compensation for soldiers. How much you get for BAH is based on rank, location, and family status. Enlisted soldiers get an allowance to replace uniforms and decorations on the uniforms. For jobs in the Army that require civilian clothes, the military provides a civilian clothing allowance. Soldiers are paid a cost of living allowance when they are assigned to high-cost locations in the U.S. and overseas. When moving to a permanent change-of-station, the military pays for the transportation of household goods. For soldiers who have been deployed or assigned to places where the military will not move families, they receive a family separation allowance of $250 a month to cover expenses during a soldier’s absence in the family. If the family cannot move when the military allows them to due to medical reasons they are also entitled to the allowance.
As a soldier, basic pay depends on how long you’ve been in the Army and your rank. As you climb in rank and gain years of experience your pay will increase. Similar to many civilian jobs, basic pay is distributed on the 1st and 15th of every month.
However, drill pay for the Army reserves is different. You earn Drill pay when you train on the weekends and during full-time training events. For Drill pay, you’re compensated hourly for work completed. Like Basic Pay, your wages will increase when your rank and you gain years of experience. For training events longer than a weekend, you are given prorated Basic Pay.
You can earn an additional $75 to $450 a month from Special Duty Pay. This pay is for enlisted soldiers in jobs that demand extra responsibility or extraordinary effort. Some of these jobs could be parachuting instructors, fuel specialist and combat controllers.
Hardship Duty Pay is an additional compensation for Army soldiers assigned to the locations where living conditions are substantially below conditions in the United States. Soldiers who serve 30 or more days in a designated hardship area receive $50, $100 or $150 per month, depending on the area.
There are also many ways to earn additional money in the army. You could take complete special training, take on extra responsibilities or have served in the military before. Qualified active duty recruits may be able to receive a combination of bonuses up to $40,000. Qualified army reserve recruits may be able to receive a combination of bonuses up to $20,000. 0
Soldiers who enlist for two or more years could receive educational bonuses. If they’ve done 60 or more hours in a college, have an associates’, bachelors or higher degree they can receive $2,000. Soldiers who have a high school degree with 30 to 59 hours in college can earn up to $1,000.
Many companies have recognized and appreciated military service and give discounts on things such as air travel, movies, baby and maternity, automotive and motorcycles, clothing, electronics, cruises, dining, Broadway shows and even theme parks. Restaurants such as Applebee’s, McCormick & Schmicks, Hooters, Chili’s, Outback, Uno’s and Knotts Berry Farm are just some of the restaurants that offer free meals for veterans on Veterans Day. Veterans can go to a professional football game on the following Sunday after Veterans Day for free.
Soldiers in the Army follow by a creed called “The Soldiers Creed’
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the
United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
This creed gives soldiers loyalty, discipline and confidence. It teaches them to never give up and to always do their best. The Army also teaches organization. When wearing the dress blues or green blues, the uniform has to be worn properly, cleaned and pressed at all times. The Army organizes soldiers into groups depending on the number of soldiers there is.
· Squad-consists of nine to ten soldiers; usually commanded by a sergeant or staff sergeant
· Platoon-consists of 16 to 44 soldiers; two to four squads of dressed and covered soldiers; led by a lieutenant with an NCO as second in command
· Company-62 to 190 soldiers; commanded by a captain with a first sergeant as the commander’s principle NCO assistant
· Battalion-300 to 1,000 soldiers; four to six companies; usually commanded by a lieutenant colonel with a command sergeant major as principle NCO assistant
· Brigade-3, 000 to 5,000 soldiers; commanded by a colonel with a command major as senior NCO
· Division-10, 000 to 15,000 soldiers; commanded by a major general
· Corps-20, 000 to 45,000 soldiers; two to five divisions make up a corps; commanded by a lieutenant general
· Army-50, 000 + soldiers; commanded by either a lieutenant general or higher
You can also earn bonuses for civilian skills and being able to speak a Middle Eastern language and much more. If you join the military you’ll be gaining more benefits than if you were to get a regular civilian job. The military isn’t all about fighting in the war. They take the time to pay attention and cater to your needs. There are more jobs available in the army than just being a soldier.
Sergeant Major Gilmore was asked what he would say to a person who wanted to join the army and he replied, “I would say that the military is a great career and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.”