Military Service Obligation

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Just_A_Mom, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Here is the link to the Official DOD instruction for Military Service Obligation. It's good reading, applies to all Military Departments (including the Coast Guard) and clearly spells out the obligations for both ROTC and Service Academies.
    I highly recommend that everyone signing a contract with the Military read and understand the contract.

    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/130425p.pdf
    For those unable to click on the link here are some highlights:
    Page 2
    Wow, look at that - 8 years!!

    page 5
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Ok....so?

    You forgot to mention that 3 years of that is unpaid, inactive reserve time that requires you to simply remain alive for three years.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Also to be found in 14 U.S.C.1....(that's the one that governs the Coast Guard)


    § 182. Cadets; number, appointment, obligation to serve
    How Current is This?
    (a) The number of cadets appointed annually to the Academy shall be as determined by the Secretary but the number appointed in any one year shall not exceed six hundred. Appointments to cadetships shall be made under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, who shall determine age limits, methods of selection of applicants, term of service as a cadet before graduation, and all other matters affecting such appointments. All such appointments shall be made without regard to the sex, race, color, or religious beliefs of an applicant. In the administration of this chapter, the Secretary shall take such action as may be necessary and appropriate to insure that female individuals shall be eligible for appointment and admission to the Coast Guard Academy, and that the relevant standards required for appointment, admission, training, graduation, and commissioning of female individuals shall be the same as those required for male individuals, except for those minimum essential adjustments in such standards required because of physiological differences between male and female individuals. The Secretary may summarily dismiss from the Coast Guard any cadet who, during his cadetship, is found unsatisfactory in either studies or conduct, or may be deemed not adapted for a career in the Coast Guard. Cadets shall be subject to rules governing discipline prescribed by the Commandant.
    (b) Each cadet shall sign an agreement with respect to the cadet’s length of service in the Coast Guard. The agreement shall provide that the cadet agrees to the following:
    (1) That the cadet will complete the course of instruction at the Coast Guard Academy.
    (2) That upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy the cadet—
    (A) will accept an appointment, if tendered, as a commissioned officer of the Coast Guard; and
    (B) will serve on active duty for at least five years immediately after such appointment.
    (3) That if an appointment described in paragraph (2) is not tendered or if the cadet is permitted to resign as a regular officer before the completion of the commissioned service obligation of the cadet, the cadet—
    (A) will accept an appointment as a commissioned officer in the Coast Guard Reserve; and
    (B) will remain in that reserve component until completion of the commissioned service obligation of the cadet.
    (c)
    (1) The Secretary may transfer to the Coast Guard Reserve, and may order to active duty for such period of time as the Secretary prescribes (but not to exceed four years), a cadet who breaches an agreement under subsection (b). The period of time for which a cadet is ordered to active duty under this paragraph may be determined without regard to section 651 (a) of title 10.
    (2) A cadet who is transferred to the Coast Guard Reserve under paragraph (1) shall be transferred in an appropriate enlisted grade or rating, as determined by the Secretary.
    (3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a cadet shall be considered to have breached an agreement under subsection (b) if the cadet is separated from the Coast Guard Academy under circumstances which the Secretary determines constitute a breach by the cadet of the cadet’s agreement to complete the course of instruction at the Coast Guard Academy and accept an appointment as a commissioned officer upon graduation from the Coast Guard Academy.
    (d) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this section. Those regulations shall include—
    (1) standards for determining what constitutes, for the purpose of subsection (c), a breach of an agreement under subsection (b);
    (2) procedures for determining whether such a breach has occurred; and
    (3) standards for determining the period of time for which a person may be ordered to serve on active duty under subsection (c).
    (e) In this section, “commissioned service obligation”, with respect to an officer who is a graduate of the Academy, means the period beginning on the date of the officer’s appointment as a commissioned officer and ending on the sixth anniversary of such appointment or, at the discretion of the Secretary, any later date up to the eighth anniversary of such appointment.
    (f)
    (1) This section does not apply to a cadet who is not a citizen or national of the United States.
    (2) In the case of a cadet who is a minor and who has parents or a guardian, the cadet may sign the agreement required by subsection (b) only with the consent of the parent or guardian.
    (g) A cadet or former cadet who does not fulfill the terms of the obligation to serve as specified under section (b), or the alternative obligation imposed under subsection (c), shall be subject to the repayment provisions of section 303a (e) of title 37.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    So....if I'm reading this correctly 10 U.S.C. is counting the 4 years of midshipman or cadet time (appointment)....

    Is that correct?
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This is why many people go with the comment 5 and dive. Yes, they can call you back up, but that really is in an extreme measure. What I have seen is they use Stop Loss first before they start calling up the inactives.

    This also occurs when you retire. The military, at least the AF has the right for 5 yrs after retirement to bring you back in AD. Yet, they are not getting paid and none of that time counts towards their retirement pay.

    It is their option, and all this really is, is a way to CYA if they do pull you back in.

    I do know many military members that took what is called Palace Chase.
    However, that too is at the pleasure of the AF when allowing the military member to go this route. Yrs ago it was abundant because the AF was heavy on pilots and the economy was good. Many pilots will elect this option if airlines are hiring, because now they can get out earlier and start their second career, while they are not held to time owed from other commitments, i.e. TA and PCS or PME.

    I cannot and will not speak for the AROTC, but I know in the AFROTC, graduation date and report date can be off as much as a yr. Their DOR will be different than time in service. For example, they will get longevity pay based on commission date, but their promotion date will be at a later time. Commissioned in May, report in Mar and your DOR is Oct. When you go to separate it will not be based on the DOR or your report date, but your commission date. You do not get paid by the military while you wait to report to your 1st station. So in the 8 yr pay back, it could be 7 owed AD. *Bullet retired at 21 DOR, but in reality he had only served 20 1/2 yrs because of his DOR, if timing matched up he could have actually retired with only 19 1/2 yrs AD, due to his commissioning date. The reason for the delay is that all SA grads go before ROTC, thus, you must wait until they are through the system. For high demand schools like UPT, some AFA grads will not go until next march. That means March is when the May ROTC grad will be going at the earliest, and actually it could be later because DEC grads might still be going through the pipeline with the AFA grads.

    Another distinct difference regarding time owed between SA and ROTC. The AFA will not be on leave until March for their school, but they will be assigned to a base and become AD while they wait for their slot, thus their DOR will match their commissioning date. They will always be the ones with the lowest line number when it comes to promotion. Graduate number one out of AFA and you can expect that if you are IZ to be promoted in the 1st month for your board compared to other IZ members. ROTC line numbers will be tied to DOR, not commission date. For example, back in the 90's when the AF RIF 95% of ROTC members in the yr group of 85/86, some were saved because they may have commissioned in 86, but their DOR put them in 87 for board release reasons. Their DOR was FY 87.

    Additionally, in the AFROTC program, the yrs vary. 4 yrs is the typical time owed for AD. 10 for pilots and 6 for navs and ABMs. I just want any cadet, candidate or parent understand that it varies from service to service. http://afrotc.com/help-center/qa/#/students/video20/. I am not saying JAM is incorrect about the 8 for AROTC, but for AFROTC it is incorrect information regarding AD time owed. In active is not the 2 weeks a yr and 1 weekend a month. It means you can be called back, but you are basically free to live your life like a traditional citizen. As a retiree Bullet owed 5 yrs, he has 2 down and 3 to go, we have yet to hear a peep out of the AF asking him to come in for duty. The threat exists, but we think that the chances of him being recalled is higher than the chances of winning the Mega Millions lottery.

    If you look at your link it was dated 1997. Back in 1997 for the AF, pilots owed 8 and Navs owed 7, but as you can see that is no longer true. The military does change commitment times, based on the pipeline flow. My link for the AF is the current FAQ on the AFROTC scholarship site.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I was thinking the same exact thing. If it means from the date of appointment, then that would mean the incoming cadet has 4 of the academy and 4 in the active duty. Instead of "5 and Dive", maybe it should be referred to as "4 and Door". ????

    Or, it means that they can call up the cadets if needed, so they are on call. And by the 5th year of active duty, (9th year since appointment), they no longer have any obligation????
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    For AFROTC they owe 4 after graduation, so maybe they are considering their 4 yrs of scholarship as AD, because that would be 8. A ROTC cadet must contract for their scholarship. If you have a 4 yr scholarship than I would suppose it could count as an appointment.
    If the SA grad stood and took their oath on I-Day wouldn't that be considered as an apptmt? I am not trying to be facetious, just trying to get a concise definition of what an apptmt is? I find this interesting because there are certain parents who swear that their child is AD based on the fact that they are getting paid, have SGLI and a CAC, and leave is at the will of the SA, thus, if you follow that train of thought, than yes, it would be 4 and door. You can't play the game both ways...one way for time owed and another for time served. UNLESS, the DOD counts the 4 yrs in ROTC as time served, thus, 4 yrs AD will make it 8.

    If you read the bold that JAM posted it states ROTC. I went back and 4.1/4.2 does not directly address SA cadets, unlike LITS's post where it directly addresses CGA cadets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    The only definition of 'appointment' that makes any sense at all for the instruction as a whole is appointment as a commissioned officer upon graduation from SA/ROTC. Otherwise, it would behoove everyone to take as long to gradeuate as possible and the junior military colleges would really have a rough time filling their quotas. The 8 years would then been active duty plus inactive ready reserve. I am relatively certain that in the Navy, back when ROTC was only a four year active obligation, that it entailed a four year ready reserve. Now, of course, as is USNA, it is five and three. Also, the instruction covers the procedures and requirements for the IRR portion of the MSO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Most likely because the Coast Guard doesn't have an ROTC program, so the 14 USC is a little more specific than 10USC.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Okay, I will roll with that, but it still doesn't explain the assumption every SA cadet has their earliest point of diving is at the 5 yr marker. The only assumption I can make that every SA cadet believes this is that it is a wives tale since the quote says 8 yrs. Nothing in that quote says 5 + 3.

    I can go with the flow of 5 + 3, but then it brings us back to when is the apptmt? If it is at commissioning, okay, but as you noticed, I linked the AFROTC FAQ and it is 4, which means the quotes of 8 yrs doesn't match there for ROTC according to JAM's link.

    Again, maybe the AROTC is 8, but the AFROTC is promoting on their scholarship web site that most do 4 yrs. They do not say 4 yrs AD + inactive to equal 8. Not saying they are tweaking their advertisement to get recruits, but the paperwork for our DS does not say 8 yrs MSO.

    Not trying to be facetious, just saying if we go down the road of military commitment, it is important not to make a blanket statement that this is it. It isn't. Commitments vary and it should be noted that they do, cadets, candidates, and parents need to understand the true obligation they will incur once they are commissioned as an officer. A yr might seem like nothing, but it really is something. Stinks to walk in thinking you have 4 to find out you have 5 or 8.
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Not sure what you are attempting to point out here. Para 6.6.2 of the DoD instruction is simply pointing out, by US Code Title 10 source, to what officers the Instruction applies. Congress has left it up to DoD to establish the length of MOS, as they should.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    TPG, I felt that was the way all along. If you look back at retirement pay, at one point there were 3 different systems going and the system you got was based on your commission yr. Just like UPT commitment I remember they went from 8 to 10 to 9, all within 3 yrs. The rule was specified, but if you look further in the bowels you can see there is somewhere else to override it.

    It really is not a fast and hard, do this amount of time and you can leave. We still have not even addressed how you can land up owing more time because you attended a specialty school, PCS, took TA or attended a PME in residence. All of those things can actually add time, so even then the 8 yr rule JAM posted is out the door. Note they are concurrent with the original commitment, but if you had 3 yrs left and took something that incurred 3 yrs at that point, you now owe 6, not 5.

    It is so easy to say, this is the rule. However, when you get into the minutia the rules change.

    Take a Pilot slot commitment time changes. JAG it changes. Med school it changes. UNT it changes. ABM it changes.

    Take TA and commitment time may change...it is concurrent, but tied to the last disbursement of TA. Start your Masters at yr 2, finish at 3 1/2, add in your TA and 5 is not going to be the time you exit.

    Be like us, go overseas at 18 months, and not do your Masters, yes, you can leave at 5, but the problem is, it is hard as Hades to job hunt from Europe. That means, you will need to volunteer for your next assignment so you can be near where you want to live, or at least stateside. Most people, say "Well, what the hell, I'll stay a few more yrs and get my Masters on their dime PLUS I can request my next station and not be forced to a place we will hate"...oops read above! Along come the kids, and now you are a yr out from O4, NICE PAY raise...do you leave with no job security, or do you stay and say Well, a paycheck is a paycheck? We have a mtg and kids, we can't afford to not have a paycheck. You get O4 and PME, now do you leave or take the extra time commitment for PME, which will help when you go civilian. Well, PME as an O4 would make me more valuable to companies like Rand, Raytheon, SAIC, Boeing, etc. Took PME, and as soon as you complete that you were selected for O5 with a PCS to Europe in a Joint Command position. Well, what's 3 more yrs we already still owe time for the PME, otherwise I am up for rotation and they could send me on a remote, at least we have contol. Time to PCS from Europe, and you just realized you hit 20 because Well, became how you lived your life.

    Saying I am out at 5 can happen, but nobody said when you signed on the dotted line that the military would drop you in a town/city where you would want to stay in at 5. Nobody said you wouldn't have a brand new baby and the economy would be at 9.6% unemployment. Nobody said that if you take XYZ assignment or TA you could leave at 5.

    Yep, you can do it, and yes, many have, but you need to understand that if this is your goal, you keep an eye on the ball regarding your military career so you can leave exactly at the 5 yr marker. To me, in this day and age the military pays a strong salary for many corporate fields, it is hard to transition into corporate at 27 without a Master degree at the same salary. They may pay a good salary, but that carrot of 75% TA doesn't exist for goodwill, it exist for retaining members. Nobody at 17 said life won't get in the way when you want to leave at the 1st earliest moment. To me this is something every candidate should take into the equation when deciding. It is a heck of a lot easier to take a Merit scholarship than a military scholarship or SA apptmt.

    Let's call it like we see it, every SA has @ a 14-16% acceptance rate, many of these cadets are offered Merit scholarships from multiple universities (plan B), heck our DS was offered a 100K merit scholarship from a nationally ranked university (he didn't take it ---he wanted to serve). They could go somewhere else without a commitment to the service. If an SA or ROTC is the way to get a "free" education IMHO, the price is too high. If you want to serve in the military, than don't walk in thinking it is on your terms, it isn't! It is on their terms. HARSH? YES, but that is my HO.

    The DEVIL is in the details. Read the fine print!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  13. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Same for USCGA grads - their length of service (5 years active duty after appointment as commissioned officer) is governed by Federal Law (USC 14/1/9/182/b) not Department guidelines (DOD or Homeland Security).

    The "appointment" is defined the same way as USNA as well, upon commissioning.
     

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