years of service?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by thepetester, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. thepetester

    thepetester Member

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    Hello,

    This is a dad posting. I understand when my child is sworn in on Jun 26, he will become a member of the USAF. I think it was Christcorp who explained that going to the USAFA is very similar to being enlisted, the only real differences are that the USAFA cadet's job is being a student (and all that it entails) at the Academy vs whatever job the enlisted person might have.

    Are the 4 years at the academy counted towards years of service to retirement? In other words, if at 20 years (I think that is correct) you get full retirement, are the 4 years at the academy counted towards that so you would have 16 more years of service or do you actually serve for 24 years (academy inclusive) to get the full retirement? Someone asked me at work and I had no idea.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Enlisted_Programmer

    Enlisted_Programmer 323rd Mustangs

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    From what I hear, 24 years, but you get paid for 24 years including the USAFA years. I'm not at that point yet though.
     
  3. wildblueyonder

    wildblueyonder USAFA '19

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    I am quite certain that the 20 years begin once a cadet has graduated and been commissioned. In other words, 24 years of service (including the Academy) would be required for full retirement benefits.

    (Christcorp, flieger, etc., please feel free to correct me if I am wrong here. :cool:)
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    To get the 20 year retirement one must do 20 years after service academy graduation. The four years at the academy also do not get added back on once you hit 20 to make it 24.
     
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  5. parent

    parent Member

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    At an admissions briefing the Naval Academy said the 4 years gets added in. So kp2001 are saying that it does not? I guess you are probably correct, the young people doing the brief were only out a year or two.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Concur with kp2001. They must serve 20 years after graduation. The 4 years at a SA do not get added back in. If someone attends a SA prep school (as in NAPS, etc) that year counts as does any prior service time. The 4 years do get added in if a person joins federal civil service as a GS.
     
  7. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    If you dig REALLY DEEP into 10 USC (that's Title 10, US Code) you will find that service time accumulated at the service academies is not allowed, BY LAW, to be used to compute military retirement benefits.

    However...if you served say...10 years and got out...then got on with another branch of the government...it "might" count...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I'm really feeling...I don't know, something tonight...so...

    10 U.S. Code § 971 - Service credit: officers may not count service performed while serving as cadet or midshipman
    (a) Prohibition on Counting Enlisted Service Performed While at Service Academy or in Navy Reserve.— The period of service under an enlistment or period of obligated service while also performing service as a cadet or midshipman or serving as a midshipman in the Navy Reserve may not be counted in computing, for any purpose, the length of service of an officer of an armed force or an officer in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
    (b) Prohibition on Counting Service as a Cadet or Midshipman.— In computing length of service for any purpose, service as a cadet or midshipman may not be credited to any of the following officers:
    (1) An officer of the Navy or Marine Corps.
    (2) A commissioned officer of the Army or Air Force.
    (3) An officer of the Coast Guard.
    (4) An officer in the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
    (c) Service as a Cadet or Midshipman Defined.— In this section, the term “service as a cadet or midshipman” means—
    (1) service as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, United States Air Force Academy, or United States Coast Guard Academy; or
    (2) service as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  9. clandyan

    clandyan Member

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    My husband graduated from USAFA and was commissioned in May of 1990. He was not eligible for retirement until May of 2010 - exactly 20 years. His years at the Academy have never been counted as time served.
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    They are incorrect. This is bad gouge that keeps on going around on a fairly regular basis amongst all service academies. As mentioned above IF one goes to a civil service job after serving in the military for a while there is an avenue to essentially "buy" those years towards a federal retirement, but it is very convoluted and I'm not even certain it is true for every instance. I'm glad flieger83 quoted the actual Code to clarify for anyone.
     
  11. AF-Dad

    AF-Dad Member

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    Once you report to the academy, your DIEMS (Date of Initial Entry to Military Service) is established and this determines which retirement system you fall under. Even if the retirement system is modified, current folks have been grandfathered based on the system in effect on their DIEMS. Similarly for ROTC scholarship cadets, the DIEMS is established when the scholarship begins.
    http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/ad/01_whichsystem.html
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Flieger quoted the answer quite accurately. Don't confuse DIEMS with service commitment or time served towards retirement. The 4 years at the academy, or at ROTC, do NOT count towards the 20 years required for retirement. As clandyan correctly showed, you will need to serve 20 complete and separate years from the academy to be eligible for military retirement. One way to look at it is, in the military PAY Tables, they list ALL ranks from E-1 airman basic to O-10 general (4 star). It shows the pay for LESS than 2 years, all the way to OVER 38 years. This includes every possibility of rank for promotion as well as DEMOTION. (Hence, the possibility of an O-1 or E-1 at 30 years). The point is, no where will you find a rank for "CADET". Cadet isn't a rank. It isn't a pay grade.

    Now; because of the DIEMS that AF-Dad mentioned, it is possible, (But I don't know 100%), that the 4 years at the academy could affect your final retirement pay. Similarly, like an enlisted person who did "Delayed Enlistment" for 1 year while in high school their senior year, does in affect see in their Paychart, E-5 at 10 years for pay, even though they may only have 9 physical years. And at 20 physical years (needed to retire), their pay will show 21 years. But they weren't able to retire at 19 physical years. The DIEMS didn't count towards that.

    Now Flieger might be able to shed a little info on this part, being he retired not too long ago. He might have 24 physical years and 28 for pay purposes. However, in the officer ranks it is so much more difficult to decipher, because so many officer go into a "reserve" status for so many various reasons.

    But as has been stated, the definitive answer, at least towards retirement, is that the 4 years at the academy, does NOT count towards the 20 Physical years required for retirement. It may,.... or may not, affect your final pay, (I don't know 100%), but it definitely does not affect the number of physical years required to reach retirement.
     
  13. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    As has been mentioned by a few those 4 years do not count towards anything in regards to rerirement. One does not get it towards retirement pay. What you mention is what people refer to as "getting 24 at 20" which is not correct.

    Ones retirement pay will be whatever it is for someone with the years post-academy. So if you do 20 years after the academy you would retire as O - whatever with 20 years. If you left at 19 years after graduation you would be a veteran without a pension. If you leave at 24 you'd be an O6 (I sure hope) with 24 years.

    As an aside there are no "demotions" for officers. The only time this occurs is with regards to retirement when someone does something bad and they go back and say "their last honorable service was at XYZ level." The other time it can appear to happen is with flag level officers as the rank comes with the job one is in at that time, so it is possible, although very rare, for an admiral/general to go from 2 stars to 1 star, or 3 to 2, etc. Most simply retire instead of that happening though.
     
  14. afmom2020

    afmom2020 Member

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    Thanks everyone about the clarification because it is not what we were told by the admission officers at two different academies. They said that you only needed 16 more years which clearly isn't the case.
     
  15. baileydb

    baileydb Member

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    On a bit of a similar note- what is a cadet considered? Are they considered active duty military, or are they in a class of their own? At any rate, they are no longer civilians, right? I am so sorry if this seems like a stupid question! The nuances of the military confuse me!
     
  16. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Cadets/Midshipmen are considered active duty, except at USMMA.
     
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  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    kp2001 is spot on as usual, Cadets and Mids are considered Active Duty. You are subject to the UCMJ.
     

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