William Emo

New Member
Nov 29, 2017
From what I understand, after service academy graduates hit 20 years, they add the 4 years to their years of quality service. Under the new retirement system, is there any compensation for this, or do cadets not receive anything?
4 years are not added for retirement. So, 20 does not equal 24. But, the date you enter the Academy is the date used to determine your initial entry date. This can be important because laws change, retirement benefits change etc. This date - known as DIEMS - is used when they grandfather service members under old laws and retirement benefits.

I actually HAVE heard that a year at the prep school is different in some way...but not sure of the details.
The four years do count if someone leaves military service and enters federal government service. For example my best friend left the USMC after 8 years. They became a Gs employee and were able to buy in their general service at 12 years toward that retirement.

Prep school, such a NAPS/USMAPS/USAFPS, is a year that does count towards military retirement. Technically they sign a reserve enlistment contract to attend a uniformed prep school.
You can read all about it in USC Title 10...cadet/mid time does NOT count toward retirement. However, it can be used in a non-military government position.

The prep school year is different as it is a year of active duty.

Man, if you’re starting out and worrying about this you need to worry about real things.
In 20 years, who knows?? Just save all your paper work.
Just as I was leaving active duty some change occurred about service members who did SMP- basically ROTC and National Guard. I had my paper work from 15 years prior and got a big check.
You are absolutely correct to be thinking about the future. I worked in DoD Compensation for 10 years. The number of compensation changes were in the hundreds. Keep all your paper work, but know what you are signing up for.