Step 3: Choose the right path
Guard or Reserve: Army Reserve
The citizen soldiers
of the Army Reserve have a dual mission: helping communities and supporting
the regular Army forces. The Army Reserve is open to newcomers as well as those
with prior military service in any other branch.
For more on general Reserve benefits and pay, see the Reserve
Army Reserve Jobs
Check out what units and jobs are in your area with
Ensure that you get the best job you possibly can by scoring well on the Armed
Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
To join the Army Reserve, you must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien between
the ages of 17 and 27. Seventeen-year olds need parental consent. You must have
a high school diploma, and have no more than two dependents. In addition, you
must take and pass the ASVAB test, as well as a Military Entrance Processing
Station medical exam.
From the boardroom to the
field, Army ROTC will help you discover the leader
within, pay for college and secure a job after graduation.
today and get an edge on life.
Education Benefits and Skills Training
Montgomery G.I. Bill for Selected Reserve - The MGIB-SR allows you attend school full-time while serving in the Reserve or National Guard and get over $10,000 for school in addition to your paycheck and any other educational benefits you may be eligible to receive. For more on the GI Bill for Selected Reservists, go to the Reserve GI Bill section.
Reserve Officer Training Corps - Hundreds of colleges and universities offer Army ROTC as an elective course for college credit. Through ROTC, the Army offers merit-based scholarships in addition to a monthly allowance for living expenses. There is no military commitment for at least the first year in ROTC. So students can feel free to take a course and see if becoming an Army officer is right for them. The leadership and management training ROTC provides can serve as the foundation for future success in either a military or civilian career. Visit Army ROTC for more information.
Tuition Assistance - The Air Force Reserve offers you tuition assistance. You can be reimbursed up to 100 percent tuition assistance up to $250 per semester hour, or $166 per quarter hour, not to exceed $4,500 annually per servicemember. For more on this program, see the Tuition Assistance Overview.
Loan Repayment Program - The Army Reserve helps soldiers pay off student loans they've taken out in the past, if they attended schools on an approved Perkins, Stafford or other Department of Education Guaranteed Student Loan. Soldiers can qualify to have their loan repaid at the rate of 15% of the loan for each year of Reserve duty served. Not many 38-day-a-year jobs offer benefits like that.
College Credits-By-Exam - Members of the Reserve can also take advantage of free College Level Examination Program tests (CLEP). For every test you pass on a particular subject, you earn three transferable college credits.
Earned College Credit - You can attend college and serve in the Army
Reserve at the same time. Many schools grant college credits for military training
Education and Learning Facilities - Most Army posts have education counselors who help soldiers identify their goals and determine how best to reach them within the Army Continuing Education System. Counseling services include academic and vocational planning, CLEP testing, tuition assistance, college application processing and financial aid advice.
Foreign Languages - Most Education Centers have language labs where you
can study new languages or brush up. The Army has Linguistics Schools that offer
more in-depth, specialized training to people interested in pursuing military
assignments that require language skills.
Skills Training - The Army Reserve offers training in nearly 200 different
specialties. You don't have to join the Army full-time to reap the advantages
of skills training. The Army Reserve is full of "part-time soldiers" who learn
skills to enhance their present career or prepare them for a new one.
Promotions and Career Path
The Army Reserve bases its promotions on a system called: Select, Train, Promote
and Assign. Accomplishment and professionalism are the criteria facing individuals.
That individual then enrolls in professional development courses before being
promoted and assigned to a position of greater responsibility.
Prior Service - The prior service career path for enlisted in the Army
Reserve is just like that of the regular Army from ranks E-1 through E-9. In
many cases, if you were discharged with a rank of E-6 or below, the Reserve
can enlist you at the same rank.
If you are prior service enlisted wishing to gain a commission then the Army
Reserve might be right for you. As prior-service enlisted you are encouraged
to pursue advanced leadership roles. The option of Officer Candidate School,
which allows candidates to continue civilian employment during this period,
is also available. Training is usually held one weekend a month and during two,
For the Officer Candidate School Enlistment Option you must:
If you are an officer, your prior-service experience and leadership can also
be put to good use in the federal and state missions of the Army Reserve.
- Have already completed 60 semester hours from an accredited college prior
- Be able to apply for this program prior to your 29th birthday (There are
a few exceptions for people between the ages of 30-34)
The Army Reserve Experience
The Army Reserve allows you to attend school full time or pursue a civilian
career while serving your country.
Obligation - As a member of the Army Reserve your commitment will be
to attend one drill per month and one period of annual training per year.
Drills - A drill consists of two days of training per month. You'll earn
pay for your two days a month of training, plus 15 days of annual tour and compensation
for any additional days you choose to put in. Your pay will also be adjusted
automatically for cost-of-living increases. You'll also get pay increases for
every two years of accumulated service and additional pay for special duty.
To calculate your drill pay, visit the Drill
Annual Training - With the increased reliance on the Reserve, more units
are training in other countries and performing vital and exciting missions.
Annual training is held for 15 days per year. Also there may be opportunities
to apply for additional training days in which to participate in exercises or
further skills training.
Travel - As a member of the Reserve you will have the opportunity to
travel both on duty and off. You can take advantage of free travel on military
space available flights within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii,
Puerto Rico and Guam. For more on military travel options and benefits, see
the Travel Center.
Life Insurance, Medical Care, Re-Employment Rights - The Army Reserve
provides comprehensive medical care while on duty. You are eligible for low-cost
Serviceman's Group Life Insurance. You will also enjoy job security, with re-employment
rights that enable you to return to your civilian job after being ordered to
active duty for training or during a national emergency. For more on these and
other benefits, visit the Reserve
Home Loan Program - Members of the Army Reserve with at least six years
of service are eligible to apply for the Department of Veterans Affairs Home-Loan
Guarantee program. For more on this program, go to the Home
Base Privileges - You are allowed to access to all military base recreational
facilities such as gyms, tennis courts and libraries. Your privileges are also
extended to the use of base exchanges (BXs) and commissaries. For more on recreational
and family benefits, see the Reserve
Family and Individual Help page.
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