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Military Contracts

Read the Enlistment FormThe contract you sign the day you join the military will dictate years of service and your life for the length of the contract. This is a legally binding contract—an agreement that defines the terms of service and is enforceable by law. Don’t take it lightly. If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen. Your recruiter may promise you a duty station, or a certain salary, or a job title. Make sure everything is to your liking and accurate before you sign. Get copies and keep them safe. Most of all, make sure you consider the following:

Montgomery GI Bill—If college is in your plan, make sure your recruiter knows that and has it noted in your file. Some branches may take out a nonrefundable deposit, up to $100 each month for your first year, to make you eligible for the MGIB. This option is offered only when you sign up. If you opt out, it will not be offered again. The MGIB is applicable to technical and trade schools, as well as universities and colleges.
Some branches and recruiters will sweeten the deal by offering large sums of money in bonuses for enlisting. Keep in mind that the higher the amount offered, the more dangerous and less desirable the job may be.
Duty Station
For various reasons (e.g., family situation), you may want to pick your duty station. Be sure to check that the duty station you request is listed in your contract. Just because your recruiter said it, doesn’t make it true or enforceable until it’s in your contract.
Job Title/ Rank
If you’ve decided on a certain job or been promised a certain rank, verify that information is listed as such in your contract. Oversights in this area may set you back and delay advancements and pay raises.
Enlisted Years
Most contracts enlist you for four years of service. If you have arranged different terms for your years of service, make certain it is documented.
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