Depending on where you go in the Navy, it can be the most advanced high tech equipment found anywhere.
1. High tech equipment with high tech training.
Navy bases really suck, All the navy wants at a base is piers and warehouses. So do not go in the Navy looking for pretty bases. Or even for nice housing. the Navy prefers to pay it's sailors to go out and to find their own housing.
2. Which leads to the Navy's best 'pro', the pay.
The Navy pays more more than any other service.
The Navy's SRB is the highest.
Every time you Re-Enlist they are offering a cap of $90k in front of you. [it changes depending on what your rate / NEC is. If your job is hard and requires a lot of schooling, then your SRB is higher].
The Navy routinely sees tax-free service. It is common to serve for decades where your salary is completely tax-free. I was tax-free from 1983 until I retired in 2001. The Army, AF, Marines will only see tax-free status while they are being shot at.
While most solders, marines and airmen are being paid 'base pay'; sailors routinely will bring home three to four times more.
In my case, base pay was commonly 1/4 of my take home paycheck.
If you want money to party with; if you want money to invest with; if you want money for college; then go for the highest pay.
Their will be folks who will lie to you, they will say that all military gets paid the same. Just ask any navy recruiter how much the current SRB level is for a ET1 Nuclear Reactor Operator, buckle your seat belt, as it will take a few minutes for him to look it up, but then $90k will be his answer.
I was not a nuc, but I got $65k every 4 years when I re-upped.
Also when you look at the paycharts, keep in mind that the Navy commonly pays sailors bunches of the extra pays and allowances.
During most of my career, I got:
Career sub pay,
Career sea pay,
Sea pay kicker,
Female separation pay,
All in addition to base-pay.
3. You can attend college courses while you are at sea, and the Navy will pay 80?f the tuition.
4. Also the Navy provides CLEP tests for free, every week you can read any textbook you want, and then take a CLEP test for that topic. If you pass that CLEP test, then you get college credit for having completed that course. I did a bunch of CLEPs, and I took a few courses. I was able to complete: an A.S., a B.S. and a M.A. degree, all while I was in the Navy.
By the way, I am a career submariner.
ET is a good rate. As are QM, RM, FT, TM, MM, IC, MT, and even HM [if you go IDC]
Answered By: ET1 (SS) USN retired - 4/12/2010