Hello Tanya, I am an active duty Air Force Officer. I am a First Lieutenant. I am stationed in TX. The pay really sucks in the military. I was a civilian nurse for 2 years before coming into the military, in which I was making about $60,000/yr. When I came in it dropped me down to $30,000. The work is a lot easier, our staffing is excellent. There is a medical technician assigned to each nurse and they are EMT certified, so they do all your nursing tasks, eg. foleys, NGT's, dressing changes, vitals, monitoring, IV's, etc. All I have to do when I come on is do my assessments, charting, chart checks, and meds, then I am usually done. The civilian nurses love it here. The Air Force do a better job of taking care of their people as opposed to the Army and other branches. A friend of mine who is a LT in the Army was staying in the army billeting(Hotel on base) and the paint was coming off the wall, the bathroom needed repairs, and the kitchen was non-existent. The standards of the Army is so low, that the Air Force will actually pay us extra money when we have to go to Army bases and reside in their billeting because their living conditions are not up to Air Force standards. I can honestly say that I am treated very well in the Air Force. I enjoy the respect and camraderie that is given to me as an Air Force officer and nurse. The military needs to give nurses a bonus like the docs. I get so frustrated when you have a guy who has a 4 year degree in cooking who is the same rank as me, and my schooling was twice as hard, but by us being the same rank, we get the same pay. If the military would boost the pay scale up to reach comparable levels with our civilian conterparts, nurses will be more likely to want to stay in the military. I joined the military hoping to travel and then when I get in, I find out that nurses only move around every 3 years. That was a great disappointment to me. I just got orders, so I will be relocating to Maryland in May. I have gotten accepted into the Air Force Perioperative program. I have been in the military for 2 years now and have been a nurse for 4 1/2 years. I am currently a surgical-nurse on a post-op surgical ward. I am now tired of doing med-surg nursing and want to specialize into the OR. You only get 1 patient at a time which is pretty cool. I am planning to attend grad school in Spring 2004 hopefully at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. When I relocate, I only owe the military 2 more years. After that I contemplating about becoming a traveling nurse. That way I can enjoy the same military benefits and I get to move around as early as every 3 months if I choose, and I get top dollar for being an OR nurse. The apartments that traveling companies place you in are like top dollar. The ones I have seen look like VIP suites in a 5-star hotel. And the benefits far surpass the miltary. You get travel and licensure reimbursement. You usually get s sign on bonus of $1-2,000.00 and you sometimes can get a completion bonus as well. When working holidays and overtime, you get double time pay. They pay all your utilities except cable and telephone. Now you can't beat that. Sometimes I wonder why I am still in the military. The future sure looks brighter down the road. I wouldn't discourage you from the military. I am 29 years old and single so I can pretty much move around without anyone holding me down. Look at your options. If you're willing to take a pay cut and not make that much money until you are a Major in the military, which takes about 11 years to get to, in order to be comparable to what you would get as an agency or traveling nurse, then look into the military. The uniforms are cool, the meetings are cool to go to , but I am all about the money for the most part. I love my job, but I feel that I should be compenstated accordingly.