Army vs. Navy – Which is Best for You?

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Are you comparing the Army vs. Navy right now? While the Army vs. Navy football game is very popular and something you may enjoy if you join one of these branches, this post isn’t about the football game. Instead, it’s a comparison of the Army and the Navy meant to help you decide which one is best for you.

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Below, we will compare Army vs. Navy in multiple categories including how you can join, enlistment options, enlistment incentives, job choices, recruit training and education benefits.

Joining the Army or the Navy

Both the Army and the Navy offer the same basic ways you can join. You can join as an Active Duty member, which means you’ll be a full time member of the Army or Navy. It’s also possible to join the Army and the Navy as a Reserve, which means you will serve part-time. In addition, you can join the U.S. Army or U.S. Navy as an Office. This includes multiple options, such as:

• ROTC
• Officer Candidate School
• U.S Military Academy at West Point (Army)
• U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis (Navy)
• Direct Commission Officer (Army)
• Direct Appointment (Navy)

Joining the Army or Navy as an officer will require the right qualifications and training.

Army and Navy Enlistment Options

Two basic enlistment options are offered for both the Army and Navy. You can join through standard enlistment, which means you sign up and start immediately or you can use delayed entry, which means you sign up and delay joining for a certain period.

Delayed entry enlistment for the U.S. Army comes in two ways: Delayed Training Program or Delayed Entry Program. Both programs allow you to delay basic training up to 365 days, while enlisting now.

The military delayed entry program is also offered by the U.S. Navy, which allows you to delay starting your training for up to 365 days.

Enlistment Incentives for the Army and Navy

Enlistment incentives may be the deciding factor for some when choosing between the Army and Navy. However, some of the incentives are the same or may depend on the job you choose. When speaking with a recruiter for the Navy or the Army, make sure you ask about the possible bonuses and incentives you may gain from each job option.

Enlistment bonuses vary depending on the type of enlistment you choose. The job you choose may also determine how large or small your bonus will be for enlisting. These bonuses change regularly, depending on need and you will need to ask your recruiter for details. Your enlistment bonus will also depend on your rating from the Navy or Army, along with the length of your contract. If you plan to join the special forces of the Army or Navy, you may receive special incentives. While these are incredibly competitive programs, those in great mental and physical shape may fit perfect into the military Special Forces.

Other possible enlistment incentives include:

• Student Loan Repayment
• Voluntary Education Programs
• G.I. Bill
• Accelerated Promotion

All of these options are offered by both the Navy and the Army, but may vary depending on your job and type of enlistment. You may be able to get promoted faster if you were/are a Girl or Boy Scout, already have college credit or a degree, were a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Participated in JRITC in high school or you refer a friend.

Army Job Choices

More than 200 Military Occupational Specialties or MOSs are offered by the U.S. Army. They include:

• Administrative Services
• Combat Operations
• Communications
• Engineering and Construction
• Electronic Maintenance
• Health Car
• Intelligence and Electronic
• Mechanical Maintenance

• Media, Public and Civil Affairs

Navy Job Choices

The U.S. Navy offers more than 100 career options in fields, such as:

• Accounting and Finance
• Arts and Photography
• Aviation
• Business Management
• Construction
• Computers
• Dental
• Electronics
• Engineering
• Education
• Information Technology
• Legal
• Law Enforcement, Intelligence
• Medical
• Music
• News and Media
• Special Operations
• Transportation and Logistics
• World Languages

The job choices of the Army and Navy may become the deciding factor in your decision. Both offer some similar careers, but both also offer jobs you cannot find from the other military branch.

Recruit Training

While the job choice may be the deciding factor, another difference between the Army and the Navy is how they handle recruit training.

Army Basic Combat Training

The Army uses what is known as Basic Combat Training, which lasts 10 weeks. Out of all the branches of the military, the Army is the only one offering more than two locations for basic training. You may do your training at one of the following locations:

• Fort Benning, Georgia
• Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina
• Fort Leonard Wood in Waynesville, Missouri
• Fort Knox in Louisville, Kentucky
• Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma
• Navy Boot Camp

The recruit training for the U.S. Navy is known as Boot Camp. It may last from 7 to 9 weeks and will be held at the Great Lakes Recruit Training Depot in Great Lakes, Illinois.

Education Benefits for the Army and Navy All branches of the U.S. Military provide some type of education benefits. However, these benefits do vary a bit from one branch to another.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Nay both offer the GI Bill, College Funds, College Loan Repayment and Tuition Assistance Programs. However, the Army also offered a Concurrent Admissions Program, while the Navy offers a program called CASH, which stands for College Assistance/Student Headstart.

Making Your Final Decision Between the Army and the Navy

While looking as Army vs. Navy in a comparison can help with the decision-making process, one isn’t better than the other, overall. The Army may be a better fit for you because of the job you want to perform. Usually, making this decision will come down to the job, the bonus and the possibility of a shorter or longer enlistment.

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2 Responses to “Army vs. Navy – Which is Best for You?”


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military dot image Myina Rodriguez    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

I am currently in nursing school and I would like to pursue a nursing career in the military. I am trying to decide whether I want to join the Army or the Navy. I would only be able to do the reserves because I have children and I am not married. I know both of them have that to offer. I plan on waiting until I graduate in April 2018 at that point I would like to make a decision.


military dot image larryf    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Hey Myina, congratulations on pursuing your nursing career. It’s a career with a long future. If possible, I would recommend talking to nursing reservist for both Army and Navy. Do your homework. Once you sign and the ink is dry, there’s no turning back. Think future tense too. For example, does one of the branches provide far more schooling and hands-on-experience than the other. My best, Larry


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