Army Reserve rank question

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am in the process of obtaining a direct commission as a nurse in the Army Reserve. I have over 4 years of civilian experience (3 years with an RN diploma and 1 year with a BSN). I asked my recruiter about rank, they told me that I will be commissioned as an O-1. I then had asked how they calculated my rank, the recruiter told me that my rank would be calculated by the "board".

    I was wondering if anyone knows exactly when and who will determine rank? Should I be more pressing on the topic, or will somebody further along in the process have a designated job to determine rank?

    Thank you for your help!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   jeckrn
    Rank is based on experience and education. Since you do not have a MSN your rank will be dependent on what area your experience will determine your rank. Experience as a civilian RN counts as 50% of time in rank. Since you have 4 years experience as a RN it will be equivalent as 2 years of an Army Nurse. It takes 48 months as a 2nd LT (O-1) to be promoted to 1st LT (O-2). Not all RN experience will count towards constructive credit (Time in Grade), i.e LTC. You will know what your rank and TIG will be when you are notified that you have be accepted for commissioning. Rank is determined by the board/HRC based on regulations, the recruiter has noting to do with it.
    Last edit by jeckrn on Jul 2
  4. by   jfratian
    You'll find different branches calculate rank differently too. For example, the Navy won't count any experience you got before your BSN (i.e. ADN or diploma experience, even if as an RN, doesn't count). For active duty, the Air Force would likely bring you in as an O-2; I'm not sure how the Air Force Reserve would do it.

    Typically, you do get fractional grade credit. If you come in as an O-1, you'll likely have less time to wait until O-2 than someone who started at the from scratch.
  5. by   jfratian
    While the recruiter will be able to make a solid, educated guess based on their experience, the official final say would be made by the selection board. It will all be on the commissioning documents that you sign at the very end too. Those documents will have a 'DOR' (date of rank) that will be back-dated if you receive any fractional grade credit.

    For example, my active duty start date (first day of officer training) was March 2014. However, my DOR was artificially back-dated to May 2013. This was to compensate me for 20 months of full-time civilian RN experience. I promoted to O-2 ten months earlier than my peers who started at the same time.
  6. by   pdav
    Thanks for the information
  7. by   A_little_late
    One additional question:

    I was told my Air Force Reserve recruiter that with my 24 years of ER/ICU experience and my BSN I should come in as an O-3 (I have an age waiver and have finished MEPS). Now I am being told that I will either be a O-1 or O-2. He said that the rules on how "they" calculate rank and experience has changed. Does anyone know where the "rules" are? A good friend that retired from the Air Force reserve told me that when he went to officer's training there were many other direct commission nurses with more experience receiving less rank than him. I confused and was hoping someone could give me the actual regulations and or guidelines or a place I could go to vet what I am being told.

    Thank you.
  8. by   jfratian
    The rules change every cycle based on how badly they need nurses. Typically you get 50% credit for full time RN experience. Typically, a nurse with 8 years of experience will enter as an O-3. However, a lot of times it has to be relevant to the job you are taking.

    For example, I know someone who was a PACU nurse for 20 years but insisted on doing OR nursing instead. Because she had to be retrained, she was capped at O-2.

    Also, I have heard that RN experience can be capped at a certain level if you don't have a master's degree.

    Your recruiter has no say over how much credit you get. He/she simply relays the message. You could verify what he/she is telling you by asking to see something in writing. Or you should be able to reach out to the chief nurse you interviewed with. This is why I generally tell people to apply to multiple branches so that you have options if something like this comes up.
  9. by   A_little_late
    Thank you for the reply. So far everyone has been great to work with. I do not believe anyone is trying to mess with me. I have wanted to serve in Air Force my entire nursing career and move forward regardless, it is just a let down to have been told I would go in as an O3 and then find out maybe no more than O2. That and I know so many other nurses who went in at O3 with far less experience.

    Here are some Laws and Regs. I found:

    Title 10 U.S. Code 532: Original appointments in the medical and dental specialties maybe made in grades O2 to O6.

    Under SECDEF regulations: each appointed officer gains constructive credit for training, education and experience in the following ways:

    One year for each year of advanced education beyond a baccalaureate degree for officers in positions requiring advanced education.
    Credit for periods of advanced education in health profession other than medicine or dentistry if such education is relevant to the appointed positions.
    Up to one year may be credited for any internship or professional training relevant to the needs of the military.
    Up to one year may be credited for each additional year of graduate-level training or experience towards any certifications in specialties needed by the military.
    Except as authorized by SECDEF, total constructive credit cannot exceed that which is needed for an original appointment in O4. Medical and dental officers are exempt and, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 532, may be appointed to grades up to O6.

    There is a separate DoD policy that provides for medical appointees in the following ways

    4 years for completion of first professional degrees, including medical MD, osteopathy DO, dental DDS or DMD, optometry OD, podiatry PodD or DP, veterinary DVM, and pharmacy PhD.
    Actual full-time equivalent education, up to 2 years for a master’s degree and 4 years for a doctorate in a health profession other than medicine and dentistry.
    Year for year credit or (or day-for-day if less than a year in duration) for successful completion of a residency, internship, or fellowship required by the Service.
    Half a year credit for each year of experience, up to a maximum of 3 years constructive credit, for experience in a health profession if used by the Service.
    Year for year credit for additional special experience or qualifications, as determined by the Service Secretary.

    So it appears:
    They have a lot of latitude
    Only education beyond your BSN counts anymore
    Your nursing experience will give you no more than three years or credit
    They give more credit for physicians and dentists and their residencies and internships

    I will let you all know how it turns out.

    As Always... A Little Late..

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