http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/army-sees-new-turnaround-in-recruiting/20060909100609990001 Note article's reference to up to a $40K signing bonus for certain fields. This is just a concept. Say someone wants to homestead and lacks funds to do so. Say bonus was $20K. That, after taxes, is still a pretty substantial down payment on acreage, particularly if other income was limited that year. During tour it offers two benefits. Military pay is fairly generous today (when I was an E-2 in 1964 it was $95 month plus room and board). Also, services has the matching college education funds which can be up to about $40K for a four-year tour if used to the maximum. Someone might purchase acreage with the signing bonus and then make both payments and college education deposits during the tour. Or, have the goal to pay off the acreage during the four years. Be aware though of the tax implications on the bonus. If the check is drawn on 12/31 it is 2006 income. If drawn on 1/1 it is 2007 income, plus other income for the full year. Just something to think about. And, yes, last paragraph in cite may be why they are making their recruiting goals. And, please, don't turn this into an anti-Army or anything else thread. If it does, I will ask it be removed.