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The Military Advantage: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Military & Veterans Benefits

The Military Advantage, 2009 Edition is the most current and complete guide to military and veteran s benefits. Written by Chris Michel, founder of Military Advantage, the nation's largest military... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

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A single reference book with essential information for all service members

The Military Advantage" should be mandatory issue for every member of the armed forces. Christopher Michel and Terry Howell have captured all of the perks of military service into a single reference book. The book is broken up into eight sections ranging from financial services, to health care, education, and transitioning back into the civilian sector. Each section contains pertinent references and helpful tips on how to take the most advantage of many programs available to military members. The first section of the book deals with financial topics such as taxes, VA loans, SGLI, Thrift Savings Plan, deployment finances, taxes, and the service relief societies. Part two reviews the various pays and allowances for active, guard, and reserve service members. It also provides information on how to calculate your retirement pay and set up your retirement direct deposit. The Tri-care program is covered in detail in section three, with each sub-section of the book broken out by category - active duty, retiree under 65, retiree over 65, Guard or reserve members, and family members. There are numerous miscellaneous benefits to military service such as space available travel; military lodging; legal services; veteran's benefits; burial benefits; and surviving family benefits. These topics are all covered in section four of the book. Part Five reviews the various education programs available to military members. This section was updated to cover the latest in GI bill benefits, such as the ability to transfer the unused benefits to family members. Section Six focuses on career advancement. This chapter mentions enlistment bonuses, but doesn't really discuss where to find the current bonus information - unlike the other chapters which do offer service-by-service references for additional information. In a curious pairing, this chapter also discusses commissioning programs; deployment and mobilization preparation tips; and relocation. This chapter does offer valuable checklists for both deployments and a PCS - these would be better as appendices, rather than buried in the middle of the book. The next section of the book covers "Transition Services" for service members who will be transitioning to the civilian sector. The final section of the book is for those who also serve - the family members. This chapter provides advice for creating portable careers; family support services; child care services; and deployment tips. All of this information is available for free from various government websites, however it will save me hours of research time by putting all of the information in a single reference book. The information provided in "The Military Advantage" needs to be in every service member's and veteran's library!

A terrific resource!!

I am amazed there are so many reviewers knocking this book. My husband is a retired and disabled veteran and everytime he tries to get help or answers to his questions from his so called VA rep, the rep doesn't know all the answers. Everytime he tries to get help from the patient's advocate at the local VA medical center, it takes days to get the guy to call back. He is DISABLED and legally blind with glaucoma now traveling to his other eye (one eye not working...get it?). For all the vets who have medical issues that keep them from *looking* (for lack of a better word since it obviously does not apply to him) for these free publications that tell them what benefits they can find, I applaud the author/authors on putting this one stop resource together. Nobody complains, for example, when someone comes up with a scholarship book listing all the scholarships around the U.S. and elsewhere for students, right? What's wrong with listing all the benefits a veteran can receive? Plus the book at 14.95 is inexpensive. Why doesn't the guy just give it away (as one reviewer asked) because obviously the cost of printing the book is expensive so he cannot just give it away. There are tons of resource books out there on various subjects, why not this one for the men and women who may be disabled or so busy they have no time to go *looking* for benefits they may not even know about. I work full time and go to school full time so I have NO time to go hunting along with taking my disabled and blind spouse to his doctor appointments. So I APPRECIATE that the author took the time to do this. This is an excellent resource for veterans who may not be able to hunt down all the benefits they are entitled to due to medical issues, time issues, etc. Renee S.

An easy-to-understand guide to benefits

To address the negative reviews about having to "pay" to know your benefits: sure, you can take the time to travel to your local VA, then sit down with a government publication and try to find the information you're looking for (good luck, by the way; have you tried to read those things?) OR you could get an easy to read reference like this book, or go to the companion site,, which is completely free.


IN A NUTSHELL: "THE" GUIDE TO MAKING THE MOST OF ONE'S BENEFITS This is a necessary guide for anyone that needs and is qualified for the plethora of benefits that are due any member of our armed forces, past or present. Ordinarily, to access the information that you need or even to determine if you are eligible for "Something" just gets you bogged down to the point of just throwing your hands up in disgust. This book offers both insight and quick short-cuts to determine what is out there in the way of programs and how and if you may qualify or apply. The medical benefits section is the most concise and easily understood rendering of the massive and convoluted maze of benefits and programs that altogether form the medical benefits package.


From the first to the last chapter, I was surprised at how easy this book was to read. The information was 'broken-down' from the usual bureaucratic jargon, to clear and understandable English, making it extremely user-friendly. As I studied through the military benefits that were outlined and then explained, I was amazed at the massive wealth of information and resources contained within the covers. To top it all off, the author provides margin notes throughout with 'Take Advantage' hints and contact information of key agencies and offices, which in itself helps cut down the red tape. This is a MUST HAVE for anyone who is now in the military or is a veteran. Dare I say, this is the closest thing to a 'Military Benefits Bible' that I've ever seen.
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