Let’s be real for a second. In no way shape or form was enlisting in the U.S. Navy an easy task. This is not for the faint-hearted, and be prepared to go through some growing pains if you are.
Young, Dumb, and Broke
Upon graduation of a private high school that my parents could barely afford, I was an 18-year-old kid that had no clue what to do with his life. I worked at a pizza joint for a mere $8.00/hr with absolutely no money saved for college. All of my friends were beginning to drown themselves in debt by going off to the expensive public and private Universities. I always thought of the bigger picture and did not want to have to rely on landing a high paying job after graduation to make my debt bearable. I began to do my research.
Thank God for the Internet
After searching the internet looking through countless scholarships that I could potentially qualify for, I always had a program in mind. However, this program is not free and does not come easy. It requires completion of a full military contract then the Post 9-11 GI Bill is yours. So here are the best benefits of the Post 9-11 GI Bill that I found (and currently using).
- Three years of paid tuition at any public university (And Yellow Ribbon Private Colleges)
- Monthly Housing Allowance pay based on your location (Los Angeles County is roughly $2,700)
- An annual book stipend of $1,000 (Books are expensive)
- Priority registration for veterans! (I could barely get classes at my Community College before the military)
- Trade Certifications fully paid for (Real Estate License, IT Certifications, etc.)
Well, I went ahead and volunteered my life for 4 years.
21 countries, 7 states, 5 Navy promotion ranks, 2 IT certifications, and 1 Top Secret Clearance later I finally found myself fully eligible for the Post 9-11 GI Bill. Yes, being in the military had its perks and has laid out an awesome foundation for success in civilian life.
So What Jobs Can I Get?
Okay, so you got your degree, certification or license… Now what? Luckily for you, there are plenty of veteran-friendly employers all across America! In my case, I researched Real Estate Brokers all around Southern California until I found Century 21 Award. They offered me a competitive veteran exclusive commision split and a week-long training course valued at $300. Always take advantage of your benefits!
Nothing in life worth having is free, but being a veteran does make achieving what you want easier. Trust me.