Changing services after 5 year commitment

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by psulions, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. psulions

    psulions New Member

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    hypothetically....if one was to graduate from An academy and then serve 5 years how likely could he/she switch services? ie...graduate from USNA, serve 5 and then go on to Army or Air Force.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    It is more likely on the reserve side than the active duty side. I would say it’s rare on the active duty side. There are many things that play into this... rank, needs of services, branch/MOS, etc. There are sometimes programs for those to apply for a transfer, but they are rare and very small in numbers when the programs are open.
     
  3. USMA96

    USMA96 Member

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    My story is dated a bit, but at the end of my 5 years in the Army I was well on my way to branch transferring to active duty Coast Guard. In the end I was denied for medical reasons, but I can’t remember if the next step would have been a resignation of my Army commission or if it was just a transfer. I felt at the time that it was not a difficult process, but that could have all changed by now.
     
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  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 5-Year Member

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    Agree with Hoops, you do see people who started out in one service often end up in the Reserves of another, or Air or Army Guard. AD to AD depends on the needs of the service. You also have to keep in mind branch/community career paths - by 5 years and being at O-3, you are expected to have accumulated a certain level of experience and knowledge, usually specific to your service and professional area. The accepting service has to deal with the lack of knowledge expected of an O-3 in their service. The more disparate the professional areas, the more unlikely the leap.

    Things I have seen:
    - USNA grad went Navy air, Marine Air needed pilots so he switched to get jets, left AD USMC after 12 years and now flies for Air National Guard as an AF officer.
    - USNA grad went to med school at USUHS, served as Navy doc, got out, now serves with National Guard as an Army doc
    - USMC infantry officer, got out, used GI Bill to go to seminary, came back in as Navy chaplain
    - USNA grad didn’t make it through SEAL training due to injury, served as a Surface Warfare Officer, applied to go Army and got in - I just remembered the name of the program,”Blue to Green”
    https://m.goarmy.com/careers-and-jo...g/transitioning-services/blue-to-green.m.html
     
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  5. Tex232

    Tex232 Member

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    If you're an active duty officer in one service, finish your commitment and separate, and then try to get back on AD with a different service, the general process I believe would be to gain a commission as a direct commission officer. I know pretty much all of the services have programs for prior service officer/enlisted, although I have heard of more Navy and CG officers coming on board with prior service than the other services. For example, I know the Air Force typically isn't interested in prior service unless you have flight time.

    Rather than finishing your commitment, you can always ask for an inter-service transfer after about a year or so on AD. The losing/gaining services both have to sign for it, but if I am not mistaken you can apply for it as many times as you wish and the losing service is required to at least consider the application regardless of whether you were denied in the past.
     
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  6. raimius

    raimius 10-Year Member

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    It can be done, but the numbers are fairly low, at least on the AD side.
     
  7. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    All the above. It varies from year to year, but seems to occur most frequently in specialized fields- aviation, medicine and law. Coast Guard usually takes some Army pilots each year. I've seen a few from other services to go Army flight school warrant officer program. Also seen a few go into Navy/Air Force flight training pipe line who met the age requirement, but usually as pointed out above they go Reserve/Guard.
    Right after Desert Storm the Navy cut way back on their pilot pipeline, so much so that some graduating from flight school were given the option of getting out with no commitment. Flash forward a few years and the Navy was hurting for pilots, and the Army was over strength the UH-1 and OH-58 were being retired. Some Army Aviation lieutenants were given the option of an inter-service transfer to the Navy where they would go back through flight school.
    So it's hit or miss and depends on the needs of the given service. Not something I would count on.
     
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  8. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I’m flying with a first officer on this trip who is a retired Navy pilot.
    Started out enlisted National Guard as a crew chief.
    Went to flight school with the Army National Guard as a WO.
    After finishing college was selected for Navy OCS/flight school.
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    I have a friend whose son in law did it, Marines to Army. Caveat: enlisted.

    His Army friends call him "Yut" and have no true idea what his real name might be.
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Happens much more frequently on the enlisted side. I convoyed around Iraq with a Guard unit that was nearly half former Marines. When you start to get to Guard and Reserve units you can see all kinds of stuff.
     
  11. OldRetSWO

    OldRetSWO USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs 5-Year Member

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    One of my USNA Roommates switched from USMC to Navy at the 12 or so year point.
    He was an NFO - Radar Intercept Officer and had moved from Active to Reserve and then
    the Corp retired the last aircraft that used RIOs and offered him a billet as a ground pounder.
    He wasn't enamored of that opportunity and managed to switch back into the Navy where
    there were still NFO billets that he could fill. The fun part was that he tried to get back his
    Navy Uniforms that he'd given away within our USNA company when he graduated. I think
    that I had a pair of his uniform white socks with only one hole in them!
     
  12. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    fencersmother and flieger83 like this.