Which is the best branch of the US reserves and why? What are the benefits of joining the Armed Forces?
This is a two part answer to your two part question.Part One: "Which is the best branch of the US reserves?"This one is really more of what your personal preference is we all have our bias to our respective branches. If your looking at staying close to home or in your home state talk to both your Guard and Reserve recruiters, There may be a NGB,ANGB, or ARB close by you. Chuck did say that they can send you any were and that's partly true but the Reserves just like the Guard try very hard to keep you in the state unless YOU request to fill a spot in another state. Guard very much so because a lot of that kind of stuff is State/unit funded.It is important to note The Guard and Reserves are not the same exactly... more like they are sisters with the same mother (Big Air Force in my case) and different fathers. The Guard will also have a state mission as well as a Federal mission. I could get more into this but for now just know that they are different in some ways but are still in the same family. Keep this in mind as you pick who you are going to join the benefits will also differ from active duty as well.Part Two: "What are the benefits of joining the Armed Forces?The benefits system can be a bit of a Mother **ck*r to understand but I will try to brake this down barney style and there are a lot of catches and hang ups on the VA side of things. ( So we will do that one first)VA benefits: IF you served in any branch at any time (war or not) and were given an honorable, medical, or general under honorable conditions discharge you are entitled to VA benefits. Note beyond your discharge what benefits you are qualified to get will depend on how long you served on Active Duty time, the type of discharge you got and bunch of other crap, but what you MIGHT get is the Post 9/11 GI bill, VA disability, Medical care, VA home loans, Help finding a job, homeless help and vocational training. Check with a VA rep or visit the VA web page to find out the particulars on what the requirements are for each benefit.Active Duty: Your collage is paid for 100% tuition assistance.Zero Cost Full Medical coverage for the active duty member and dependents* ( you have to pay for dental and eye care for your dependents but its not very much I pay like 75 bucks for my wife and kids).Basic substance allowance and Basic Housing allowance ( BAH/BAS): Non taxable money the AF gives you to pay rent and buy your groceries. ( you get this on top of your normal pay check)COLA: (Same idea as BAH/BAS just the over seas equivalent)Tax free paychecks wile deployed: If you deploy to a "combat zone" any funds earned wile deployed are Tax Free and you will get a slew of other types of pay depending on where exactly you deploy to but just know TAX FREE MONEY!!!!.SGLI (life insurance): 50K up to 400K up pay out if you die wile on active duty. (morbid I know but its good to know your family will be taken care of)Commissary/AF Base Exchange BX, Army PX, Navy/Marine NEXT: The Commissary is arguably a dying benefit but its basically a supermarket and the selection can sometimes suck. The BX is often a good place to buy electronics at good price most times its cheaper then anywhere else. (all tax free)Super Cheep Air Travel ( Space A): If there are seats available on a Mil bird and your or on leave you can try and fly Space A. Space A can be a real slow boat to china and you may be stuck some where for a wile and have to buy a commercial ticket to fly back home so your not marked AWOL. So its always best to plan in advance and have back up plan if your gonna fly Space A.Retirement: If your are joining now you will be under the Flex plan its the newest plan the DOD is rolling out it is more set to act like a 401K plan and just like a normal 401K it can be rolled over into a civilian job. I will not going to go into the old plan I am under just know under the old plan lets you retire at 38 (if you joined at 18 like me) and gives 50% up to 75% of your AD pay check depending on how long after 20yrs you serve.30 days (up to 60): Paid leave. you accrue leave at 2.5 days month.Paid Moves: AD will pay for you to move to another base if you get orders to PCS.Clothing allowance: 300 dollars given to you on the anniversary of your enlistment date annually, to buy more uniform items and what not.Guard/Reserve: Compared to Active Duty these poor sobs get the short end of the stick but compared to the rest of the civilian work force you got some damn good benefits. Collage Reserves: The reserves offer a program like active duty when it comes to paying for collage it think its called the Kicker or something but its 100% of your schooling paid for. ( reservists please correct me if I am wrong. )Collage Guard: what you get will largely depend on what state you joined up with for example California (a Communist Utopia IMO) gives you the governors grant that will pay for you to go to ANY state run school, UCLA, UC Berkley ect... pretty kick ass if you ask me.Medical Guard/ Reserves: You get medical benefits but you got to pay for them 280 bucks a month (not counting dental or eye care) , however still dirt cheep compared to A LOT of the civilian alternatives ( Thanks Obama care -_- ).BAH/BAS: No unless your are activated (only wile you are on orders) COLA: Same as BAH/BASCommissary/AF Base Exchange BX, Army PX, Navy/Marine NEXT: Same as active.SGLI (life insurance): Same as Active.Space A Travel: No unless your are activated.Paid leave 30 days (up to 60): No unless your are activated, however you will accrue leave wile on orders and you can One use them or Two sell them back to Big AF.Paid Moves: only if you have been on orders from more then a year.Tax free paychecks wile deployed: Same as active.Clothing allowance: NoRetirement: For the Guard and Reserves they work off a point system, every day on active duty is equal to one point, at the end of each year all your points are tallied and so on until you hit 35 years Time in service. Then they HAVE to retire you but you can retire at any time past 20yrs Time in service, however you can not collect on your retirement until you are at least 55. How much money you actually collect depends on how many points you have earned.Misc Benefits for all branches: The Air force ( in my case) will change you, in ways you will not see it until maybe you go back home for the first time, you accomplished so much grad basic, tech school and been to your first duty station.You become part of a warrior ethos and culture, you are now part of the under 10 club. I say that because if you look at the stats As of Jan. 31, there were close to 1.4 million people serving in the U.S. armed forces, according to the latest numbers from the Defense Manpower Data Center, a body of the Department of Defense. That means that 0.4 percent of the American population is active military personnel. As of 2014, the VA estimates there were 22 million military veterans in the U.S. population. If you add their figures on veterans to the active personnel numbers mentioned above, 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives. (http://fivethirtyeight.com/datal... )As the WW2, Korea and Vietnam vets report to there final duty station in the sky the number will grow smaller and smaller every year. I will leave you with this final thought a benefit of my feelings toward what we do and a poem if you will...When my country asked who will go? I stood up and said "I will". I took an oath to defend my country and in doing so gave Uncle Sam a blank check cashable up to the cost of my life. We are a brotherhood, I use that term loosely as I have sisters in arms as well as brothers. We all share a common bond of kin ship, our road is not an easy its one paved with the blood of our fathers, sisters, bothers and mothers.I stood with General Washington to cross the Delaware, I am a Veteran I marched in company tune to fight my brothers at Gettysburg, I am a Veteran I screamed "over the top" and charged in to No Man's land rife in hand, I am a Veteran I patrolled the darkest depths of the ocean praying that the next depth charge would be the last, I am a Veteran I stormed the bloody beaches of Iwo Jima and Normandy, I am a VeteranI flew 25 combat missions in the sky's over Nazi Germany, I am a Veteran I stacked the bodies 10 high and stopped those yellow reds at the 38th parallel, I am Veteran I stood on the brink of Armageddon ready to end the world in atomic fire, I am a Veteran I dropped fire on people and fought in the darkest jungles of Vietnam, I am a Veteran I flew through the deserts on a wing and a prayer in the first gulf war, I am a VeteranI drove down the IED filled roads of Iraq and Afghanistan, I am a Veteran.We go where eagles dare(airborne), leading the way (rangers), saying "follow me" (infantry) and aiming high (Air Power FTW) . We know the only easy day was yesterday (SEALS) and no one will ever come close (Navy) to how well we do what we do. We will always remain faithful ( Marines) and we do this so that others my live ( Air Force Para-rescue).