If you have prior military service in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, many service opportunities are available! Whether you would like to return to the service you have recently left, or would like to try something new, Prior Service programs are for you!
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1. How do I qualify for Prior Military Service programs?
Most branches of the military offer programs for those who have recently left the service. As a rule, these programs are designed to attract persons with specific military skills and may not be open to everyone. Please request information from the branch that you are interested in to find out if your skills are in demand.
Keep in mind that you may also be required to pass a NEW enlistment physical and will most likely have to retake the ASVAB test and receive a qualifying score. A good reenlistment code is also required. Other limitations, such as time in service, number of dependents, maximum age, etc, vary by branch.
2. Can I change services?
Sure! Most branches of the military are accepting prior service applications. The branch to which you are applying will take a look at your service history, reenlistment code and other factors and try to find a place for you in their organization. Your military background is valuable and much sought after! Keep in mind, however, that the services are looking for someone to fill specific jobs. Your job may or may not be of value to the service to which you are applying. For example: If you were a tank driver in the Army, you may have a difficult time enlisting in the Navy or the Coast Guard at the same pay grade! They simply do not have tank drivers! They may, however be willing to bring you in at a lower paygrade and retrain you! Request further information.
3. Will I have to repeat basic training if I have prior military service?
It depends. If you are returning to the branch that you recently left, probably not. If you are changing branches, it depends on how closely the training you received previously matches the training offered by the new branch. In many cases, basic training is required.
4. Will I keep my current Paygrade?
It depends again! If you are returning to the branch you recently left, in the same or equivalent job, probably. If you are changing services, or are returning to your previous branch in a new skill, probably not.
5. Will I keep my military benefits?
Reenlisting or enlisting in another branch of the military in no way affects your military benefits! In fact, you may be eligible for more! You carry with you all of the time in service, sea time, medals and awards, and qualifications that you have collected. Your time in service will count toward retirement and GI Bill requirements. You can keep any bonuses, college funds, loan repays or any other incentive that your prior service gave you and may qualify for NEW ones!
6. What do I do now?
Request information from any service (or services) that you are interested in! Make sure that you check “YES” when asked about prior service and GET GOING!