DS, Army 2Lt (commissioned May 2015, AD end of Sept), sent this to me for comment/opinion/advice: http://the-military-guide.com/wp-co...Blended-military-retirement-graphic-color.pdf So now, I'm asking for the same. My advice was simple--do your best at your job, contribute the max, worry about which retirement plan to use on about Dec 1, 2017. He is single, no children, no debt, soon to begin overseas deployment. Did I read right that the DoD match starts at the beginning of the third year of service? I am most curious about questions of pre-tax vs. after tax contributions. DS will be in a combat zone, therefore base pay will be tax free. I have read different schools of thought about when to or not to contribute pre-tax dollars to tax deferred savings accounts. Some say contribute nothing to a tax deferred account unless there is a matching contribution. Let's please not turn this into a discussion about what is or isn't fair for those service members joining after Jan 1, 2018.