What exactly does it mean to be in the reserves?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Chockstock, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    The commitment after I graduate from West Point that I must fulfill is a 5 year active duty service and service for 3 years in the reserves. What is the difference between the two? If I want to serve active duty for longer than 5 years, can I choose to? For some reason, the image of being in the reserves to me has always been just sitting around, waiting on the Army to call on me, but I'm going to bet that this assumption is wrong.


    Thanks
     
  2. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    While you are in the reserve you go to to training one weekend a month while working a civilian career as your primary job, the army is just a part time job. In addition to this monthly training, you also go training for 2 weeks once a year. You don't "sit around" at all. You could also be activated for however long the Army needs you to be which would make you active duty temporarily.

    Yes, you choose to remain active or switch to reserves.
     
  3. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    That is "Active Reserve". In the old days you did your "active duty" and went "inactive reserve" after seperation. "inactive reserve" in those days meant that you would never again hear from the government unless you got you GI Bill College Check each month. From my understanding Officers have a different commitment.:smile: That's why they get the big Bucks.
     
  4. Kero

    Kero Member

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    Can't speak for west point but as far as I know USNA it is still inactive reserves after your active duty commitment.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Reserve can also imply the type of commissioning. Yrs ago ROTC grads received a "reserve" commissioning and did not get a "full" commissioning for several yrs, usually around the 7 yr marker. SA grads received a "full" upon graduation

    What this meant to them was if there was a RIF, they were not safe. The military would be required to release them prior to hitting the "full" commission officers.

    For many gung-ho kids, this was a real recruitment tool for an SA, knowing that they were safe, especially in 93-94 when the AF RIFd 95% of the Active Duty Reserve Commissioning for class of 85 and 86. There were pilots who had yet to complete their payback and were cut.

    I believe the rule has changed yrs ago, and now all SA cadets are like ROTC, they do not receive "full" anymore.

    Now what does that mean for your job...nothing, you are still ACTIVE DUTY for your commitment purposes. You can stay pass the 5 yr marker and still serve Active.

    Bullet who retired 18 mos ago still has 3 1/2 yrs left on his reserve commitment. YEP, they can call him back, but like others stated "in active" means nothing more than before we go to a draft situation, we will grab you. This is why many military members laugh at the thought of the draft ever returning. He does not do weekends or reports to the military at all, but they have the ability to call him back anytime they want, no questions asked, he will be required to report.
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Chockstock -

    After your 5 year active duty commitment you may be permitted to continue serving Active Duty until you retire or they tell you to leave (you have to move up or move out) or serve the balance of your 8 year military service commitment in either the Reserves (or Guard) or the IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve). The Army can choose to keep you active for your full 8 years and did do this during the Stop-Loss a few years ago.

    Many soldiers do choose to switch to the Army Reserves or National Guard and do continue long careers in that service. You are correct, it's part-time, for the most part. You will drill one weekend a month and a two week (usually summer) 'camp' each year.
    There is the possibility that you could be recalled to active service from the Reserves or Guard. Many soldiers who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are from the Reserves or National Guard.

    If you choose the IRR, you are basically on a list. There is no drill requirement but if the Army needs you they can call you back - and have done this. For this reason you are supposed to keep your address current in case you are called to muster.
     
  7. Subdude

    Subdude Member

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    IRR = "Individual Ready Reserve".
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    ^
    yeah, I knew that. thanks.
    (no idea how I came up with that!)
     
  9. TheKnight

    TheKnight Class of 2014

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    Out of curiosity, would a person be able to stay in the Reserves as an officer for more then three (after the initial 5 year commitment)?
     
  10. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Yes, the reserves need senior officers just as well as the active army. They do promote slower though.
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Many reservists make a part time career of the reserves. It's complicated but there are retirement benefits for those who serve 20 years or so and accumulate enough "points".
    There is a anchor on the Weather Channel - Nicole Mitchell who is a pilot in the AF reserves and is a hurricane hunter.
     
  12. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Sure can- when I retired from Active duty my wife decided to go back into the Reserves- she had about 9 years of active duty- now she's an 06 with 30 years at this point - in a Civil Affairs unit in which virtually everyone is a LTC or Colonel. The reserves aren't what they used to be though- virtually everyone in that unit has two or more tours in Iraq or Afghanistan and it takes a lot more than a weekend a month of your time. But I think my wife would say that its been pretty rewarding and it's a pretty good retirement benefit. So if you decide you want to retain your connection with the Army after your obligation is up but you want to do other things as well- that's the way to do it.
     
  13. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Your USAFA ALO's are reservists...with the occasional guardsman thrown in for fun!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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