In 1962, President John F. Kennedy created an elite group of maritime soldiers known as the Navy SEALs. Their purpose was to conduct unconventional warfare. With their intense training, it is no wonder a Navy SEAL is often referred to as the ultimate warrior. While a Navy SEAL might tell you tongue-in-cheek that the benefit of joining this group of ultimate warriors is to “blow stuff up” or do “neat spy stuff," the reality is that there are some many practical benefits to joining this elite military force.
Good Pay and Allowances
Although the amount of money military members make varies by rank and pay, in November of 2013, a Navy SEAL with an E-7 pay grade could expect to make $51,000 to $58,000 per year. In addition, SEALs receive $375 per month for dive pay, $300 per month for Special Delivery Vehicle (SDV) pay, and $225 per month for HALO (High Altitude, Low Opening) Parachute Duty pay. They also receive $110 per month for special duty assignment pay and can make various amounts per month if they are proficient in a second language.
Tax Advantage and GI Allowance Benefits
There are two significant benefits available to not only members of the Navy SEALs, but to all Navy members: a tax advantage benefit and a benefit known as the GI Bill. The tax advantage benefit includes no taxes on pay allowances, housing or food allowances. There is also tax-free pay for those working in combat zones. The GI Bill is an allowance that helps Navy members with their college education. It offers Navy members three different financial programs: The Navy College Fund, the Montgomery GI Bill and the Tuition Assistance Program. The first two allow Navy members to earn up to $50,000 for college tuition after they have finished their tours of duty, while the Tuition Assistance Program pays 75 percent of college costs for members that are still in the Navy.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to becoming a Navy SEAL is the experience it provides and how this experience can translate onto your civilian resume should you choose to leave the service. Your training and experience as a member of an elite force give you a competitive edge in many different fields of employment. However, they can prove particularly beneficial in the fields of engineering, education, security or government service.
Many additional benefits are available to both Navy SEALs and other Navy personnel. While enlisted, you can receive money to help offset moving costs if you are relocated. You can receive assistance with temporary lodging expenses if there is a delay in moving into your new accommodations, or you can have access to home loans with low interest rates through the Veterans Administration when you are ready to put down more permanent roots. Navy SEALs also receive medical and dental care at no cost and can purchase up to $200,000 in term life insurance for as little as $18 per month.
There are more than just tangible benefits to becoming a Navy SEAL, because it is not about simply having a career – it is about adopting a lifestyle. For the Navy SEAL, there are no normal days at the office. One day you might propel from an airplane into the ocean and the next day you might take down a terrorist unit while embedded in enemy territory. Since SEALs must work as a team in these clandestine missions, the friendships forged while in training and beyond can last a lifetime.