Good advice already on aspects of the VA loan benefits.
Just addressing the more general question, since you're already at Maryland you already know the general issues with transportation and commuting. You don't have to live right next to where you work (and even if you did, that situation will change if you change jobs), but it helps to be reasonably close by. At least on the same side of the river--it'd be a pain to live in Gainesville and work in Gaithersburg, for instance.
If you're going to be in consulting or financial services, you'll probably be traveling quite a bit, at least at the beginning. So consider something reasonably convenient to a couple of the major airports--something in Fairfax County to get to both National and Dulles, or something in Montgomery (or Prince Georges') to get to National and BWI.
Obviously, the amount you can afford will play a big role in where you can live.
Beyond that, a lot has to do with lifestyle. That can range from the "hip," trendy areas in Arlington to the funky, popular areas in Takoma Park. Or, in D.C., Adams Morgan. Or traditional suburbia. Or a "planned community" feel like Reston or areas of Burke. Or a real "small town" feel like Clifton. And those are just examples. Lifestyle may really be the most important element. Determine what you'd like, and it's likely that there's something out there that--geographically and price-wise--will meet your needs.
Hope that helps.
Long & Foster