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Transitioning to the Reserve: What you need to know

Aug. 17, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brian Hasaan and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Lydia Rodriguez communicate with the pilot house May 22 aboard the cruiser Hue City. ET is one rating the Reserve is in need of, and officials hope to entice active-duty sailors.
Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Brian Hasaan and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Lydia Rodriguez communicate with the pilot house May 22 aboard the cruiser Hue City. ET is one rating the Reserve is in need of, and officials hope to entice active-duty sailors. (Navy)
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Itís easier than ever to transition to the Reserve. Over the past decade, the Navy has tweaked and tweaked again its active-to-Reserve programs, and officials are optimistic theyíve nailed it. Details for making the transition were recently spelled out in a recent fleetwide message. Here are some key points:

■ Many sailors donít realize the Reserve is offering big bucks that you canít get in the active component. Some critical skills pay up to $20,000. You could also change rates and net a bonus, too. The current list can be found in NAVADMIN 161/13.

■ Sailors used to have to be discharged and then formally sit down with a Reserve recruiter to sign up. Now you can do so while still on active duty and even negotiate your unit. If youíre switching ratings, you may even start your Reserve training while still active.

■ Sometimes sailors want to take a respite from the Navy or hold out for a specific billet to open in their rating. For these reasons, the Navy developed the Delayed Affiliation Program. Here, sailors get a reservation for a drilling reserve quota and a date theyíll fill it, up to a year away. While waiting for a reservation, you serve in the Individual Ready Reserve and still net points toward retirement. Those whoíve recently deployed can get up to a two-year no-deployment guarantee.

■ The Navy is also looking for reservists to fill critical needs on active duty. So, if you leave and decide you want to switch back, there are options. The Navy maintains a list of needed skills by rating, paygrade and year group. Those who are accepted for a billet simply sign a new active contract and execute a permanent change of station. At the end of your contract, you can re-enlist or transition to the Reserve.

■ The The Navy has a special office with the job of moving officers and enlisted between components. Itís called the Career Transition Office, and itís in Millington, Tenn. Active-duty members can receive guidance through their career counselor or contact the CTO directly by phone at 901-874-4192 or by email at either cto.officer@navy.mil or cto.enlisted@navy.mil. Additionally, help is available through the personnel command customer service center, at 866-827-5672 or cscemail@navy.mil.

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