Enlisted Retirement credit for the academy?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by cooneymike, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. cooneymike

    cooneymike New Member

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    I have a situation I am trying to find the answer to and could use any direction from anyone here who knows anything of value.

    I was prior enlisted and didn't graduate from the academy. After I resigned I completed my service and went to civilian college. After college I re-upped into the National Guard. My academy time counted as good years towards retirement, which was a surprise for me because I always thought academy time didn't count but the G1 showed me the regs and it all seemed to check out, so over night I picked up a few extra good years. Apparently everyone in the world (including anyone reading this site) knew this but me.

    After a few years drilling I went to OCS, got commissioned in 1997 and have been serving ever since including two tours overseas.

    This August, while awaiting my '20 year letter,' I instead get a letter from the G1 (new state and command) informing me that in fact my academy time doesn't count towards retirement anymore. It would have, had I not gone to OCS, but by getting commissioned those years no longer count. I can get them to point to some regulations that seem to say academy time does not count for officers but there is a clear implication it means commissioned at the academy, I think. I can't find any authority to delete previously awarded and validated good years, except it may have already happened. I've asked the question if I resign my commission will I get the years back, and everyone seems to think that's the case, but no one wants to move past the uncomfortable silence of that moment. I would do it to get the good years back, I still retire at my highest rank, I'd just rather not since I'm physically in top shape and no where near done.

    Has anyone seen anything like this before? I know several of the guys who got out around the time I did went on to military careers of one type or another but I've long since lost track of them and wouldn't want to endanger any of their retirements either.

    Thanks if you know anything.
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I believe your G1 is correct.

    My understanding is cadet times count for Reserve retirement, but National Guard.

    I am in the National Guard and on my retirement statement, my four years at the academy shows up but zero shows up for retirement point.
     
  3. cooneymike

    cooneymike New Member

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    Are you enlisted or officer? Or does that make a difference?
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Good assumption that 4 years at an academy means officer.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    May sound silly, but what is your LES showing for pay purposes?

    If I am reading this right you entered in 92, so are you getting paid X rank with 18+ yrs, or are you being paid X rank with 14 yrs?

    I would check into that because I believe there is a reg that you must serve a specific amount of time in that rank to retire at that rank.

    Hornet, I think he was asking if Member entered the AFA as prior enlisted.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    MemberLG is Army.
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Years of service for pay purpose can be different from years of service for reserve retirement (I will qualify it as for Army). The Army Reserve/NG retirement system is based on points - the maximum points one can earn per year is 365 and have to earn at least 50 points year to have a creditable retirement year. So if someone join the national guard in 2000, he or she will have 11 years of service for pay calculation purpose, but might not have 11 years of creditable service for retirement.

    For officers, I think you have to serve 3 years in the current rank to retain the rank when you retire.

    I am a former ROTC, West Point graduate, with 7+years of active duty time and 10+ years of NG time.
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm curious, LG...are you a "Guard Technician?"

    I ask because I've spent a large part of my career working with NG and Reserve members. The only folks that I know that have been able to "buy back" their academy time were technicians.

    They're "different category" folks...and ANY federal time was able to be counted. I don't know about the ANG tech's, but AF "ARTs" (Air Reserve Technicians) are able to purchase their cadet time for some silly low price of like less than $1000 total. That gives them 4 more years of federal service time to their aggregate total. The only "caveat" was that they had to have 5 years as a "tech" to be "vested" in the FERS (Fed'l Empoyee Retirement System).

    Curious how yours worked.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    yes - I am a guard technician. Guard technicans can qualify for two military retirement - national guard and federal.

    Most federal employee with military time (title 10) not collecting military retirement can buyback military time for

    Regardless of your status, cadet time does not count towards National Guard retirement.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Ahh...good to know. I didn't know if a Guard Tech could "buy back" cadet/mid'n time or not.

    Makes sense though...State v Fed'l.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Correction

    Guard technicans can qualify for two retirements - military (National Guard) and civilian (federal, FERS)
     
  12. cooneymike

    cooneymike New Member

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    Clarifying

    I guess I'm hearing a bunch of stuff here but am still not sure if anyone has run into my situation.

    Academy time does count as good years towards retirement if you are or revert to enlisted. I know that is a surprise to most people as we were told it doesn't count, but it is and has even been addressed here in the forums elsewhere.

    Obviously academy time doesn't count for graduates, see 10USC971 among other things. Besides, everyone gets hammered with this all four years, and it makes sense.

    The problem I crashed into is what if one reverts to an enlisted status, gains the credits towards retirement, but years later gets commissioned? My SJA says the years count and points to court cases, the G1 says it doesn't and points to NGR 680-2 among other things. The two are arguing with each other but four years and 1400 points of my retirement hang in that discussion.

    I'm guessing no one else has seen anything like this before.
     
  13. DRod_Riguez

    DRod_Riguez New Member

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    I was wondering if you ever found an answer to your issue...

    I have a similar situation: I started my military service in the Coast Guard Reserve. I was then offered an appointment to the Academy. After 9/11, I resigned at the end of my third class year to Enlist in the Marine Corps Infantry. After an enlistment, I left the service to pursue a degree. I have recently obtain a commission with the Navy Reserve (Civil Engineer Corps).

    Pretty much wondering what to expect as far as retirement points and time of service for the purpose of pay.
     
  14. cooneymike

    cooneymike New Member

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    Get on it now

    Pull your retirement summary and see how they are coding you, right away. The law seems to say getting a subsequent commission shouldn't invalidate your points but the plain language of 10 USC 971 works against you. What will happen is you will get blind sided very late in your career - maybe even after 20 good years as has happened to me (so far). If you have the points make an appointment with the JAG (yeah, its not easy to do for a reserve guy) and use the attorney client priv to keep him from under cutting you. If you contact me via email (cooneymike@hotmail.com) I will give you the legal memos and such to help him justify the position you want. You want to be proactive. Quietly getting what you want and hoping folks won't notice in my case wasn't a good strategy. I know people it is working for though.
     
  15. mustang10

    mustang10 Member

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    Academy Time Credit

    Before graduation from USAFA the personnel folks created a new pay-date for me due to the fact that my Academy time counts as inactive reserve time after I graduated. I have a first day of enlistment, a pay-date, and a commissioning date which are all different. The pay date is an administrator created date that gives me the correct amount of time in service. The computers don't like breaks in active service when calculating base pay. Basically, for a commissioned officer service academy time seems to count as inactive reserve time. The prep-school time still counts as active duty time because the prep students are not yet cadets like those who have started the four year program.
     
  16. DRod_Riguez

    DRod_Riguez New Member

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    Yes, there are TWO items I am trying to square away. One is Years of Service for the Purpose of Pay and the most important one is Years of Service for the Purpose of Retirement, which are not always the same.
     

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