Should You Enlist Active Duty or Army Reserve?

Should you join the US Army full time as an Active Duty soldier or should you make a part time commitment and join the Army Reserves? Below is a quick comparison between the two.

Active DutyArmy Reserves
Age RequirementsBe between the ages of 17-35 years.Be between the ages of 17-35 years.
Length of Service2-6 year commitment/Serve a total of 8 years in the military1-6 year commitment/Serve a total of 8 years in the military
RetirementMay retire after 20 years of qualifying serviceModified retirement possible after 20 years of qualifying service
Job Choices200 jobs to choose from180 jobs to choose from
Medical/Dental BenefitsMedical and dental benefitsMedical and dental benefits when on active duty
Job TrainingSpecialized job training (AIT)Specialized job training (AIT)
Location of DutyMay be stationed at home or on foreign soilStationed at home unless called to active duty
Work ScheduleServe 5 days a weekServe one weekend a month and two contiguous weeks a year
Vacation and Leave30 days military leave per year (paid)Paid vacation only if you are extended active duty
Social & Recreational ProgramsUnlimited access to all military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities and programsUnlimted access to all military Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities and programs
Education BenefitsNumerous benefits, loans, and other assistance for the soldier as well as his/her familyOnly a few educational benefits
Commissary PriviledgesUnlimited post exchange and commissary priviledgesUnlimited post exchange priviledges and up to 24 commissary visits per year
Physical RequirementsPhysical training 3-4 times a week, annual testingResponsible for maintaining own fitness, tested twice a year

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