Changing services after 5 year commitment

psulions

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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.
 

NavyHoops

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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.
 

USMA96

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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.
 

Capt MJ

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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
 

Tex232

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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.
 

raimius

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

UHBlackhawk

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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.
 

UHBlackhawk

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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.
 

fencersmother

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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.
 

NavyHoops

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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.
 

OldRetSWO

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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!
 

Old Navy BGO

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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'm impressed that he would fit into his Navy uniforms 12 years after graduation. My experience was that uniforms shrink over time. In fact, I still have my original issue leather flight jacket, and it shrank to the point I can't get into it anymore !
 

OldRetSWO

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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'm impressed that he would fit into his Navy uniforms 12 years after graduation. My experience was that uniforms shrink over time. In fact, I still have my original issue leather flight jacket, and it shrank to the point I can't get into it anymore !
Funny thing - two night ago, I put on Service White for the first time in many years to give out a USNA appointment at a HS awards ceremony. When I pulled the socks
out from the shoes (where I'd conveniently stored them), I noted someone else's alpha code on them. Once they're cleaned, I guess I'll send them back to their owner who
is now USNR Retired for over 10 yrs.

As for leather flight jackets, I've had my own since the age of 12 or so and yes, the one that fit back then is way too small now. Thankfully dad (CPO who retired with 43 yrs)
was very experienced at "Cumshaw" and when he died, I took over the collection. I've given a few away over the years and am now down to only 3 or 4 of them.

Considering that I find my Green Nomex to be more comfortable, its still not bad for a SWO. . . :)
 

Old Navy BGO

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I noted someone else's alpha code on them
33 years later...I still see things with an Alpha Code on it.. I think I have a couple hangars in my closet with an old roomates Alpha Code...he got ac boarded and didn't make it.
 

BTCS/USN

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I'm impressed that he would fit into his Navy uniforms 12 years after graduation. My experience was that uniforms shrink over time. In fact, I still have my original issue leather flight jacket, and it shrank to the point I can't get into it anymore !
I use to think that the shrinkage was caused by the clothes dryer. Turns out it's because of the refrigerator :(
 

OldRetSWO

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I noted someone else's alpha code on them
33 years later...I still see things with an Alpha Code on it.. I think I have a couple hangars in my closet with an old roomates Alpha Code...he got ac boarded and didn't make it.
In the closet with my uniforms are my ORIGINAL press shop tags complete with decorative strings to help me recognize my stuff in the midst of hundreds of others.

Oh, and during his graduation week SonOfOldRetSWO wore my original USNA nametags complete with my class year on his uniforms and not many noticed but those who did were very impressed.
 

NTWLF ONE

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My oldest son, current USNA MIDN, wore my Plebe shoulder boards last year and happily put on my youngster ones after Herndon. He didn’t want to spend the cash on a new B-Robe and now wears mine in which he says my old Alpha Code in it brings him some “Street Cred”...

I still have a towel in my airline “crash pad” with someone’s Alpha Code on it...not sure who’s..:)
 

theroyz71

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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.
I did it. I was active duty Marine Corps for 9 years and then joined the ARNG after being out for several years.
 

AuxNoob

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Not me, but I do know a USCGA grad who went to Air Guard.
 
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