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Get the Scoop on Reserve Programs
Get the Scoop on Reserve Programs



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Today, Reservists play a part in a larger percent of critical military missions than ever before and have had a role in every major military action in the last 20 years.

Serve Your Country/Have a Civilian Career

Many people turn to the Reserves as a way to serve their country while continuing their civilian careers. With as little as a weekend a month and two weeks a year, you can make a significant contribution to your nation's readiness.

What are the Reserves?

The Reserve components of the Armed Forces are: the Army National Guard of the United States, the Army Reserve, the Naval Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Air National Guard of the United States, the Air Force Reserve and the Coast Guard Reserve. All Reserve and Guard service members are assigned to one of three Reserve Component categories -- the Ready Reserve, the Standby Reserve and the Retired Reserve.


Reservists are eligible for numerous federal benefits and entitlements including inactive duty for training (drill), active duty for training and active duty, Retired Reserve under age 60, and Retired Reserve at least age 60.

The Selected Reserve Incentive Program offers bonuses for enlistment, reenlistment, prior-service enlistment, affiliation, enlistment in the Individual Ready Reserve, and repayment of student loans for enlisted members and health professionals.

Many states also offer benefits to Reservists, including additional tax considerations or leave entitlements.

Call to Active Duty

It's important to remember that Reservists are members of the U.S. military and can be called to extended active duty in times of crisis and national need. The length of active duty "call up" depends on the degree of national mobilization.

Types of Reservists

All reservists fall into three categories:
  • Ready Reserve - The Ready Reserve includes military members of the Reserve and National Guard, organized in units, or as individuals, who are liable for recall to active duty to augment the active components in time of war or national emergency as provided by law. The Ready Reserve consists of the Selected Reserve, Individual Ready Reserve and Inactive National Guard.
  • Standby Reserve - The Standby Reserve includes people who maintain their military affiliation without being in the Ready Reserve, who have been designated as key civilian employees or who have a temporary hardship or disability. These individuals are not required to perform training and are not part of units. The Standby Reserve is a pool of trained individuals which can be mobilized if necessary to fill manpower needs in specific skills.
  • Retired Reserve - The Retired Reserve includes all Reserve officers and enlisted who receive retired pay on the basis of their active duty and/or Reserve service; all Reserve officers and enlisted who are otherwise eligible for retired pay but have not reached age 60, and who have not elected discharge and are not voluntary members of the Ready or Standby Reserve; and select others.
Service-Specific Reserve Programs

A reserve component exists to augment each branch of military service. These Reserve Components are as different as the individual branches of service they support.
  • Air Force Reserve
  • Army Reserve
  • Coast Guard Reserve
  • Marine Reserve
  • Naval Reserve
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