Many people sign up for the Reserves to try out the military, and to receive different job training for a career. This is a good plan, even with the current funding and staffing protocols. In the United States Armed forces, with the current War on Terror the lion’s share of the staffing for active duty has been using mobilized Reserve units. There are two ways of looking at this. One, it gives practical experience to individual reservists that they do not have during peacetime and being restricted only to the drilling experiences that the normal peacetime Reserves encounter. Two- it makes Reservists that are activated for more than 180 days Veterans, and eligible for a host of benefits that normal Reservists that have not been mobilized are not normally eligible for.
Serving in the Active Duty Navy is a great opportunity, but there are a lot of nice perks for serving in the Navy Reserve. While serving on your drill weekend, you receive four days of basic active duty pay for two days of weekend drill. Additional days that you choose to serve or are asked to serve on a monthly basis are compensated at the same rate as active duty pay rates. Also during your two weeks of active duty drilling each year, you are compensated at the same pay rate as active duty Servicemembers at the same rank and rate, and time in service.
The allowances and pay that you receive are based on your individual time in service and your
Housing Benefits- When you come back from serving in the US Navy Reserve after being mobilized, if you serve for more than 180 days in a row on active duty you are then eligible for the VA home loan program. This is a huge advantage, and makes a Reservist a Veteran, who is eligible for up to 417,000 dollars of financing to purchase a home, to repair or remodel, or to refinance an existing home loan. This may not seem like much, but if you are young and later desire to buy a home it is a great benefit to have.
Montgomery GI Bill- Normally a member of the Reserves is eligible to participate in the
Reserve GI bill, but if you are mobilized for six months, or a year or longer there are normal Active Duty elements of the MGIB that you will likely become eligible for. This is another super benefit that normally a Reservist not being mobilized would not be eligible for. Additionally you can use the Top Up and other GI Bill “Kicker” programs to help increase the Montgomery GI bill benefits that you are eligible for.