U.S. military officer committment question

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Andy W, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Andy W

    Andy W

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    For an Officer in the U.S. military, what happens after their initial commitment? I know that enlisted men either leave or re-enlist for a certain amount of time once their initial enlistment period is up. What does an officer do? Do they sign a commitment for another X amount of years or can they leave at any time once their initial commitment of 4-10 years is up?

    I'm sorry if you are having trouble understanding my question. I had a hard time figuring out how to word it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  2. zackwatt

    zackwatt That's a Bingo! Lifetime Member

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    Depends on the job you get.

    My knowledge is of the Air Force...

    4 for most.
    10 after training for pilots.

    So, in between 4-12.
     

  3. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    You stay until either you resign, or you're passed over (twice) for promotion.
     
  4. F14Scott

    F14Scott Luggage CLM

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    Once your initial commitment is up, you finish out the set of orders you were on when your time expired. For instance, if you were 18 months into a set of three year orders to a shore command job when your commitment expired, you'd have 18 months to work at that job.

    If you choose not to accept the follow on set of orders, you must resign.
    If you choose to accept the next set of orders, you have "re-enlisted" for the duration of those orders.
    If no orders are offered (as is the case when one gets passed over for promotion), you must resign at the end of your current orders.

    My commitment, as a RIO, was six years after winging, for a total of eight years in.
     
  5. kpuscg04

    kpuscg04 ACTA NON VERBA

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    Most military officers are brought into the service as Reservists. In the Coast Guard we use the term EAD contract, Extended Active Duty. After that contract expires (3 to 5 years) the Service will hold a board for integration. Integration means the officer will transfer from the Reserve Component to the Regular Component. The integration board may correspond with a promotion board (usually to O3) but its a separate action.
     
  6. chuckman

    chuckman

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    The minimum officer service is 8 years. That's across the board (unless you resign, which is never a given). That 8 years can be a combo of active/reserve/IRR. The only way you are really 'out' is a resignation, even in the reserves. Or passed over twice.
     
  7. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    When you get commissioned, as a Warrant, you also accept voluntary indefinite status. That puts you in a career status and you can resign (IF they accept your resignation) or you get passed over twice for promotion. After the Vol Indef there is no further contract or time stuff. If you go to school (senior course) you agree to stick around for another X years and you cannot resign until that's over but it's not like an Enlisted contract.

    Oh, the promotion thing is even better. You're both active AND reserve and you can get kicked out by being passed over by either board.

    (edit) Congrats, you have found one of the most confusing topics of conversation there is amongst military people. Even those who do this for a living get twisted up in minutia.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  8. kpuscg04

    kpuscg04 ACTA NON VERBA

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    I forgot to add. Upon integration and transfer to the Regular component, Officers serve at the Pleasure of the President of the United States. We have no contract. To get out we must resign or be passed over by a promotion board (typically twice but that is up to the Service). It is the Services option to accept an Officer's Letter of Resignation or not.
     
  9. MstrPara

    MstrPara Go Loud.....

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    Herr Glock hit it on the head........no easy answers here.

    There's a lot of different methods; times can vary based on branch of service, special quals, etc.

    Regarding the "active duty" portion of your committment, here's what I know, based my experience as an Army Officer commissioned in the early 90s (again, branch of service and quals may change things).

    Upon commissioning, you have an active duty committment. Depending on your source of commission (West Point, ROTC, OCS, direct commission) and type of commission (Reserve vs RA), your initial active duty committment will vary......generally from 3-5 years.

    At the end of your initial committment, you don't "sign on" again like an enlistment. If needs of the service deem, you can stick around.

    During your career, you'll tack on additional ADSO (Additional Duty Service Obligation) time, for schools or PCS moves. An example would be if you're sent to a school on the Army dime, you'll be required to sign an ADSO stating you'll remain on active duty for an additional year after completion (to ensure the Army gets their $ worth out of you)

    Chuckman's correct, overall committment is generally 8 years. Once your AD committment is done, you MAY serve the remainder in the Reserves or in IRR status......if you're allowed to do so by the powers that be.
     
  10. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    Andy, let me ask you something: why do you keep asking GT these questions?

    I know there is a large base of knowledge here, but at the same time many of us have been out for a long time. Even people IN the service will often give you bad or incorrect advice, not out of malice but simply because the whole thing is hugely confusing.

    There are professionals in the military whose job it is to know about the different programs and obligations; they are recruiters and OSOs. As long as you keep in mind that they are salespeople you can ask them all the questions you want. They get paid to talk to people like you.

    I honestly can't think of another variation on "what is the military like" or "what branch should I join" or "which service has the coolest shoes" that you haven't asked. I'm really glad to see that you're gathering all of the information that you can; many people join the military and find that it's not what they expected. Doing research is good.

    At some point, though, almost all of your threads turns into people telling you to talk to a recruter. so here it is: talk to a recruiter. Join the miltary, or don't. No shame in deciding that the service is not for you. Please, please don't turn into one of those guys that does nothing but talk about how they "almost joined" their entire life.
     
  11. Squaw Man Wolfer

    Squaw Man Wolfer

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    My info is way out of date, but I doubt if the basic truth has changed. The contract you sign will be vaguely worded to allow maximum flexibilty for the government, and minimum flexibilty for you. The guy talking you into signing is getting career points and or bonus to get you to sign.

    Many current people will sincerely tell you what is current practice, but current practice don't mean diddly when the situation changes. For example, during the Vietnam war, Lyndon Johnson refused to activate reserve units, and certainly not the IRR. This led to a few decades of belief that reserve units would never be activated, and reserve status was just a paperwork drill, if you so chose it to be. The guy who recruited me swore that to be the case. And it was. But, that would be a big surprise to a lot of folks who got packed off to Iraq.

    This is not written out of bitterness, I deeply treasure my military service. But just know that after you sign, they got you by the short and curlies, and for as long as they want you. That said, current practice will PROBABLY be what happens. Yeah. Maybe.

    It would well be worth your while to take a copy of the contract to a lawyer to have him explain it to you. The fine print DOES matter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  12. Andy W

    Andy W

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    Why do I keep asking Glock Talk these questions? I know that there are a lot of current and former military people here. You're right, I should probably find another source. I have also done hours and hours of research on the military outside of Glock Talk. This isn't the only place I go for military information. I never asked the question "which military branch has the coolest shoes?" but I will now. :supergrin:

    Just so you know, I have been talking to an Army recruiter. Last week, I was ready to leave college after this semester to enlist in the Army. However, I have come to realize that this probably isn't my best option right now (partly due to none other than people here.)

    I do not want to be one of those people who "almost joined" but didn't and regret it for the rest of their life. B

    ETA: I just joined another forum that is more military specific.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  13. StevieJ

    StevieJ

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