Regular vs. Reserve

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Matt7, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Matt7

    Matt7 USAFA Cadet

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    Hey everyone! I've been doing a lot of reading about the air force lately and came across the Regular and Reserve designations for commissioned officers. I read that all rotc and academy grads are commissioned as reserve and compete for regular status. Is this correct? And could someone maybe explain this in more detail? Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Readers digest version. You get commissioned; you progress up to major. At that point you are selected for "Regular" or not. If yes, then you are allowed to continue on active duty and go until retirement. If no, then you will be released. Again, readers digest version. mike...
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Decades ago, SA grads were given a "full commissioning" upon graduation and ROTC grads were given reserve. This did not preclude the Reserve commissioned officer from serving full time AD, but if a RIF came about the Reserve would be seperated before the full commission.

    I can't recall when it was changed, but now if you graduate from the AFA or ROTC or OCS you all get a reserve commission. In other words if a RIF comes about you are all on the block. Granted the AFA's head is now as close because they are an AFA grad and that would play a part in factoring who to cut.

    Back in 92, for certain commission yrs, the RIF took 95% of all reserve commissions. It was a very scary time. I believe the class yr was 85/86. All AFA grads were safe b/c they had a full commissioning, this is also why they had to cut so deep into that yr group to get the numbers they needed. I don't recall one friend not getting the ax...some of them had silver stars and had just returned from the gulf
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    The exception to this is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Graduating from CGA will get you a "regular" commission, while graduating from OCS will get you a "reserve" commission. You can apply to "integrate" into a regular commission after a certain amount of time.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    However; with the coast guard; I'm not sure if their RIF (Reduction in Force) is handled the same as with the Navy, Air Force, or Army. (PLEASE; I'm not dissing the Coast Guard here, so don't go there). You see, the Coast Guard isn't under the direction of the department of defense except for during war time when the president directs, and then they fall under the control of the Department of the Navy. They originally started off under control of the Department of Treasury. Last century, they moved under the control of the Department of Transportation. And more recently, they are now under the control of Homeland Security. So I'm not quite sure if their purpose of "Regular" and "Reserve" officer means quite the same or has the same implications on an officer's career or not. They may use it as part of their "RIF" when necessary.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Understand, not taken as a "diss". The commission is the very same commission as all branches (of course, instead of United States Air Force, it says United States Coast Guard). On a side note, the Coast Guard's first agency was formed in 1790 (ok, part of it was formed in 1789, the same year at the Dept. of War). There are THREE commission types. Temporary, Reserve and Regular. As I understand it, other academies resulted in "Regular" commissions before, but no longer do.

    So, the commission, which does not come from the Dept. of Defense, but instead the President of the United States, is the same, across the board. The status of those officers may differ from branch to branch.


    And as a bonus, some CG trivia....

    The United States Coast Guard traces it's history back to 1790 with the creation of the "System of Cutters", as proposed by Alexander Hamilton (the Father of the Coast Guard), and signed by President George Washington himself. At that time the Coast Guard was under the Department of the Treasury, collecting tariffs and combating smuggling for the fledgling country). As the Continental Navy was disbanded, for awhile, the U.S. Coast Guard was the only sea going service, and with the exception of the U.S. Postal Service, the only federal agency many Americans could see. A Coast Guard cutter fired the first naval shot of the Civil War, lost the highest percentage of servicemembers in WWI and landed troops in WWII. The Coast Guard has been involved in every U.S. war. In 1967, the Coast Guard was transfered from the Treasury to the Dept. of Transportation. In 2003 the Coast Guard was transfered from Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security (one of two agencies that made the move fully in tact, the other being the U.S. Secret Service).

    That is where the Coast Guard finds itself now. And while it hasn't been transfered to Dept of Navy control since WWII, the Coast Guard conducted patrols off of Vietnam and can be found in the Persian Gulf today.

    That was a good deal of trivia. :wink:
     
  7. Matt7

    Matt7 USAFA Cadet

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    ok that makes sense thanks christcorp, pima and line. One more question, is it possible to get regular status before major or is that unheard of?
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    It is possible (and generally done by O-3) in the Coast Guard, not sure about AF though.
     
  9. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    kind of, not really, wrong.

    Before 1996, West Point grads received a commission into the "Regular" Army. From 1996 to 2005 officers didn't receive a Regular commission until the rank of Major. Even WP Grads.
    Since the summer of 2005, all newly commissioned active duty Army officers are commissioned into the Regular Army.

    Source:
    http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=6866
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Interesting read. I wonder if Army numbers had any part in this.
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Well, there is a War and the Army is heavily involved.

    A 2nd Lt out of ROTC is the same rank and performs the same duties as the 2nd LT out of West Point. Once you get your commission - it's up to YOU not your dilpoma.
    Once they made RIF strictly performance based, back before the war, in the 1990's(which is how it should be, IMO) there really was no point to having some commissioned USAR and others USA.
     
  12. J Collins

    J Collins Founding Member

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    My first husband graduated from civilian college, went to OCS and TBS and Arty School, and became a USMC Reserve officer..... (his ID card had an expiration date)...

    While a 1st LT he had to go thru an Augmentation process (seemed similar to promotion board).... There we a dozen 1st LTs in his Arty BN (1st Bn, 11th Marines) at Camp Pendleton, after the process only 2 were augmented he and another... Both of their MOS's were changed and he was then sent to Supo School in JAX, NC and retrained.

    He then got a new ID card that no longer had an expiration date and job security. The other LTs that didnt get augmentation were out of the Corps on the expiration date of their ID card.

    This was back in the mid 80s, not sure if theings have changed now regarding the augmentation process. At that time I remember hearing the only "regular" officers came out of the Academies.
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That's a very similiar process that I have seen in USCG. When you look at the commissions as well, a regular commission says "United States Coast Guard" while the reserve commissions say "United States Coast Guard Reserve".
     
  14. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    JAM is right - I won't swear that this is true for the other DoD services although since it is a function of the National Defense Authorization act of 2005 I assume that it is. What Christcorp described was true when I was commissioned but in 1996 the Law changed and all officers from all sources for all branches covered by the National Defense authorization (so again maybe not the USCG)were commissioned as reserve officers rather than RA or USAR. In 2005 this was changed again and all officers going on active duty were commissioned as Regular Officers- again regardless of commissioning source. The USArmy Human Resources Command has a page that explains this somewhat convoluted system (which is far simpler than it was "once upon a midnight dreary" in the "olden" days with active duty officers possessing USA; USAR; or AUS ranks.https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/Active/opdistacc/RA/CRA.htm
     

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