Getting Settled | Acclimating to Military Life
New to the military? That means new surroundings. New digs. New routines. You’ll want to get up to speed on your new living arrangements, rules and ways to get rooted in your new military community.
The New Army Combat Fitness Test
Starting October 2020, all soldiers will be required to pass the new Army Combat Fitness Test, which will replace the Army Physical Fitness Test. You will be expected to meet ACFT requirements regardless of age or gender, as part of your military training.
Your Military Service Offers a Faster Track to US Citizenship
Every year, thousands of foreign-born service members and their family members become U.S. naturalized citizens. Learn more about steps to become a U.S. citizen and how you can use your military service to speed up the process and save money for processing fees.
Military Pay 101: Basic Pay, Allowances and S&I Pay
As an active-duty service member, you receive many benefits and entitlements like free access to Military OneSource services and support. One of the primary benefits to working in the military is a steady paycheck and tax-free allowances. Here’s a summary of the different military pay elements you might see on your monthly Leave and Earnings Statement.
Beyond Military Pay: Your Service Member’s Robust Military Benefits Package
As a member of your service member’s support network, you may have heard the good news that both active duty and reserve military personnel received a 3.1% military pay raise in 2020 – among the biggest in a decade. Beyond the salary bump, you’ll be glad to know that your loved one has several ways to be financially fit.
Housing for Your New Service Member: Living in the Barracks
During basic training and initial job training, all enlisted service members are required to live in the barracks. When service members move to their permanent duty station, only single members are required to live in unaccompanied housing, or barracks.
The Military's A+ Financial Benefits to Protect Your Future
As a service member, you've earned financial benefits to help protect your future.
Military Leave: What It Is and How It Works
As part of the military pay and benefits package, military service members earn 30 days of paid leave per year. You start at zero and for every month of military service, 2.5 days of leave get added to your leave account. It doesn’t stop, but the most you can carry over from one fiscal year to the next fiscal year is 60 days, except in certain, very limited situations where you can carry over more.
On Your Side: Military Financial Support
Service members and their families have access to substantial resources to save money and manage your expenses. Learn more about ways to save and protect your family’s financial health with the following programs:
Managing Your Money as a New Service Member
You're learning a lot of new skills in the military, and money management should be one of them. As a service member, you may earn more, get special duty pay or have new expenses. It's your money. Make the most of it by creating a financial plan. Staying on top of your finances is important for your security clearance, your career and your future.
Your Leave and Earnings Statement
Your monthly Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES, is one of the most important financial documents you have for mastering your money and achieving your financial goals. Here's how to decipher the code.
Deductions, Allotments and What Comes Out of Your Military Pay
Like a coin, there are two sides of your military paycheck. There’s what goes into your paycheck – basic pay, allowances and special and incentive pays – and there is what comes out. You can see your deductions and allotments listed on your Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES. Here are some of the more common items you’ll see listed on your LES.
TRICARE 101: Military Health Benefits Basics in Five Minutes or Less
TRICARE is the health care program for almost 9.4 million service members, retirees and their families around the world that provides military health benefits and health care support to ensure mission readiness
Life After Basic Army Combat Training
Following your Army basic combat training, you’ll take one of two paths, advanced individual training or Officer Candidate School to advance in your military career.
Meeting Military Fitness Standards
Physical fitness is a big part of life in the military. It’s required. Each service member is regularly tested. A Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coach can help you get or stay fit.
Military Pay 101: How to Open a Bank Account and an Introduction to TSP
When you’ve received your first Leave and Earnings Statement, or LES, that means you’ve been paid for your service in the Armed Forces. We’ve got some tips on how you can make the most of your basic pay – from the most important parts of your actual pay stub, to picking the right bank account, to even getting a “raise” by increasing your Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, contributions.
Military Jobs: Your Future Career in the Armed Forces
Enlisting in the military can help you achieve your career goals. In fact, there are even some jobs that you can only do as a service member, like drive a tank or fly a fighter jet. Here’s what you need to know about your future military career.
Military Housing: Living on an Installation for the First Time
Moving is an exciting time, and moving on to a military installation for the first time can be a great opportunity to become part of a service-oriented community. You’ll likely have many things in common with your new neighbors, and save some money by living in more affordable housing provided to you by the military.
What to Pack for Basic Training
You'll need to take only a few basic things when you head off to basic training - everything else will be provided for you. Your recruiter will give you a list of what you must take and what you definitely shouldn't pack.