The Benefits of Joining the Military Reserves and Enlisting

Do you know the benefits of joining the reserves and a military career as full-time enlistment? Deciding between the reserves and full enlistment isn’t an easy decision for some. Others know exactly what they want and they want to make sure they serve their country in the way they see fit. However, many new recruits and those considering joining the military struggle with the decision between the reserves and full enlistment.

Both come with benefits and it’s important to understand these benefits, along with the differences. Some become very confused about the reserves and about full enlistment. There are plenty of things to understand when it comes to active duty or joining the reserves; regardless of the branch of military you want to join. In this post, we are going to cover the detailed differences of both the reserves and full enlistment, along with the benefits of both. If you’re struggling with this decision, use the information below to help with understanding both options better.


While you should never make a career choice strictly based on money, it does play a factor for the decision. There are huge differences between the compensation you receive as a reservist compared to active duty. Your pay will also differ depending on the job you train for. Reservists don’t make nearly as much as active duty military members.

Where You Going To Be Leaving! Your Duty Station!

As an active duty member of the military, you may be given a basic choice of where you would like to be stationed after basic training. However, you may also be stationed overseas or in the United States. In some cases, you won’t get much choice if you’re entering into a specific type of training or career.

Those entering the reserves will be stations near where they live, unless called into active duty.

Length of Service

When you choose full-time enlistment, you will be able to choose from two to six years depending on the branch of the military you join. As a reserve member, you may be able to commit for just one year. Enlistment bonuses may also factor into this decision and are often larger for those enlisting as active duty.

Your Leave or Vacation Time

There’s a huge difference between the reserves and full enlistment when it comes to leave and liberty. The amount of vacation time for active duty members of the military comes out to 30 days per year with 2.5 days accrued every month. Active duty members of the military can also coordinate leave with their units, which will be to subject to approval. Reserve members of the military don’t get any normal leave since they are only obligated to serve two days every month and one Field Training Exercise every year. If a reservist is called into active duty, they will gain the same leave as an active duty member of the military.

What is Liberty

The time given to military members off from work, such as weekends and holidays is called liberty. Those entering the military as fully enlisted active duty will be given liberty in hours, such as 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours. This may depend on the need and all active duty military members get certain holidays off every year.

Reserve members of the military don’t receive liberty unless they are called into active duty.

Civilian Career Very Important For The Days To Come

If you’re looking to join the military to further your civilian career in the future, this needs to be a part of your decision. It’s important to understand what type of training you can get in the military and how much time it will take. If you join as an active duty member, you’ll have to put a civilian career on hold for at least two years. However, you will also gain specialized training, which can benefit you when your commitment is up.

Joining as a reservist means you will still be able to work a civilian career. You won’t gain the same training as an active duty member of the military, which could limit your career options. However, you do have the ability to further your education right away without active duty service requirements.

Other Things to Consider

• The age requirement for both is the same
• Retirement is different as an active duty member you can retire at 20 years, but as a reservist, it will be a modified retirement
• More jobs are available for active duty members of the military
• Active duty military receive medical and dental benefits
• Both receive unlimited access to military Morale Welfare and Recreation facilities and programs
• Active duty members usually gain more educational benefits

Active duty will provide a full five-day work week, while reserves only serve two days every month and two other weeks per year The decision between reservist and full enlistment isn’t one to take lightly. You need to make sure you’re choosing the right path for you and what you want out of the military. If you want to gain more training and benefits, active duty is the way to go. However, if you’d like to stay in your civilian career and serve your country, it may be better to join the reserves.