Know Your Military

Get to know your military, the people who serve, and what it means to serve.


About Your Military

Your military is an all-volunteer force that serves to protect our security and way of life, but service members are more than a fighting force. They are leaders, humanitarians and your fellow Americans.

Get to know more about the men and women who serve — who they are, what they do and why they do it.

Military Life Myth Busters

Sure, you’ve seen military life depicted in movies and TV shows. But misconceptions abound about service members’ daily lives. Here’s your chance to bust those myths and learn the real deal.

A man in uniform, a civilian woman and two children walk together on a flightline.

According to a survey, 50 percent of young people thought that joining the military meant it would be harder to stay in touch. But it’s 2020, everyone.

Smartphone capabilities and other tech advances have made communication easier than ever. Skype, FaceTime or any of the other many video-chatting services have given deployed service members around the world the ability to be in touch with their families and friends at any time of day in some of the most remote areas of the world.

There is a misconception that the military can be a lonely life that involves lots of location changes and deployments. While there is a lot of moving in the military, it’s very family oriented. In fact, 52 percent of the enlisted force is married, while 70 percent of the officer corps is. That’s higher than the U.S. average of about 48 percent, according to Census Bureau statistics.

DOD offers some of the best maternity leave available in the United States. The Defense Department has supported military families by expanding maternity leave to 12 continuous weeks for all new moms serving in uniform, and is working to expand paternity leave for dads, too.

Not true. Many service members are also able to get their degree while on active-duty. Then there’s the ROTC (the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, if you’re unfamiliar with it), which trains college students for future service. About 120,000 people have benefited from ROTC scholarships in the past decade.

Also, the GI Bill has helped more than 2.3 million veterans pay for college. And did you know that there are actually several options for educational benefits under the GI Bill? There’s the Montgomery GI Bill for active-duty and select reserve service members, as well as benefit programs for disabled veterans. There’s also the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which offers more than just help with tuition and fees. It also offers a living allowance, money for textbooks and even the option to transfer education benefits that service members don’t use to their spouse or children.

Like anything else, when you leave one way of life for another, it can be a transition. Moving cross-country. Leaving home for college. Those all represent a big change, but people adjust, and it’s no different for veterans.

Sure, there’s definitely a transition period when you leave the military, but there are several programs that help service members with transition and separation, including the Hiring our Heroes program.

And if you’re thinking that your job skills won’t transfer, that’s a myth, too. People forget that the military has all sorts of opportunities – from cooking to doing scientific research to public affairs – and a lot of those skills are extremely transferable. Not only that, but in the military, you get a crash-course in things like dependability and reliability, teamwork and team-building, leadership, handling stress, decision-making and critical thinking, just to name a few. All of those qualities are highly valuable to employers in the civilian sector. So, just like any civilian who might transfer from one job to another, people with military backgrounds can do that, too.

Need help with your civilian resume, or tips on how to interview? The military also has that covered. And if you’re looking for a career change when you leave, as we’ve shown above, there’s lots of help to get you where you want to be!


The U.S. military is a force for good around the globe. When disasters strike, troops are on the move. Whether securing the homeland or assisting partner nations abroad, military members participate in numerous humanitarian missions both planned and unforeseen.

Face of Defense:

On the Beat

Army Spc. Roberto Rojas is part of what the military police. He talks about his day and what being an MP means to him.

Face of Defense:

A Mother's Dedication, A Daughter's Inspiration

Air Force Master Sgt. Namir G. Laureano grew up watching her mother's love and passion for family, community and soldiers. It was the selfless service of her mom that influenced Laureano to join the military.

Marine Corps Sgt. Jenna Cauble poses for a photo with Bbutler, a military working dog.
Face of Defense:

Marine Adopts, Reunites With Military Working Dog

Marine Corps Sgt. Jenna L. Cauble stayed true to the ethos, never leave a Marine behind, when she adopted her first military working dog partner.

Read Now
Face of Defense:

And the Band Played On

Dan Valadie is part of an elite group – but it’s not Special Forces. He’s a percussionist and key leader in the Air Force Band’s Ceremonial Brass Unit.