Army Reserve/Active Duty 40 years old

  1. Looking for some help and confirmation of the information I'm receiving from the healthcare recruiter to whom I've been talking. I just turned 40 and graduated with my ADN and have no prior military service. The recruiter is suggesting I apply for the reserves and take advantage of the Strap program to get my BSN. I have a Bachelor's in another field so I believe I can finish most of the RN to BSN programs in 12 months. My eventual goal is to go Active duty and he says it won't be a problem to switch from reserves to active once I secure the BSN so I should try and get the Strap money to help pay for school. From information I've read on the forum I have a few concerns. Some people have said that the switch from reserve to active isn't as easy as the recruiter is making it sound and I believe I need to make it to active duty while 42 or younger so I have less than three years to get the BSN and make the transition. After reading the Strap information I understand that I owe the reserves sevice years for each year of Strap money I receive and they may insist I serve the owed years in the reserves prior to letting me transfer to active duty. When I expressed this concern to the recruiter, he said the 42 year old cutoff would not apply to me if I were already in the reserves as I would be working towards retirement while in the reserves. Can anyone verify this? It didn't seem right to me that reserve time would count the same towards retirement as active duty, but that seemed to be what he was implying.

    Thanks for all your help!!
  2. Visit idtx2 profile page

    About idtx2

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 18

    15 Comments

  3. by   jeckrn
    Can not verify about the 42 cut off for retirement, but you are correct about paying back your time in the reserves. Since it takes 9-12 months to go thru the process & you can apply 1 year out I would wait and apply for active duty. It is not hard to transition from reserves to active but you have to go thru the whole process again.
  4. by   Skeletor
    I am going through the process of Direct Commission with the intention to be awarded a slot in the STRAP as well. I realize time spent drilling while in school will not count towards total time owed.

    Am I correct

    Thank you in advance
  5. by   olderthandirt2
    I believe the "time you are drilling" or at OBLC count towards your retirement (20yrs) otherwise, no "reserves years, don't directly count towards active duty time".......

    That is my understanding. When I transitioned from Reserve to Active, I was able to get constructive credit for either my years as a nurse or reserve years.....which ever was more. For me it was nursing at a 2 to 1 rate (6.5 yrs experience = 3 yrs constructive credit) and I hear that is the limit.....?

    This is new to me, so maybe Athena could help you better here.
    I do know if you have a service obligation (strap) that could prolong your paperwork trail......And as of now, 42 is the cut off.
  6. by   Skeletor
    I was told the STRAP rate would increase to $1,992 per month for a maximum of 24 monthly payments. I would therefore owe the Army 4 years on top of the (possible) 24 months I spend pursuing a BSN.

    Am I correct OTD?
  7. by   jeckrn
    When you transition to active from reserves you keep your rank and your date of rank can be adjusted if it benefits you with your constructive credit.
  8. by   jeckrn
    The years will count for your reserve retirement as long as they are "good" years which means that you earn 50 points. You get 15 points for being in the reserves and 1 point for each BTA. Which means on a drill weekend you will earn 4 points.
  9. by   idtx2
    Quote from olderthandirt2
    I believe the "time you are drilling" or at OBLC count towards your retirement (20yrs) otherwise, no "reserves years, don't directly count towards active duty time".......

    That is my understanding. When I transitioned from Reserve to Active, I was able to get constructive credit for either my years as a nurse or reserve years.....which ever was more. For me it was nursing at a 2 to 1 rate (6.5 yrs experience = 3 yrs constructive credit) and I hear that is the limit.....?

    This is new to me, so maybe Athena could help you better here.
    I do know if you have a service obligation (strap) that could prolong your paperwork trail......And as of now, 42 is the cut off.

    Am I correct in thinking that the 42 cut off for Active Duty would apply even if I were currently in the reserves?
  10. by   olderthandirt2
    Quote from idtx2
    Am I correct in thinking that the 42 cut off for Active Duty would apply even if I were currently in the reserves?
    I dont want to give erroneous info.....I would definitely call a healthcare recruiter with this question. Especially since you are facing a "timeline situation". Being the military, everything is fluid and apt to change. If " Active duty nursing" is your ultimate goal.....write down everything on paper and decide which is the best option for you.

    Having the Service Obligation to reserves may hold up your commission to Active duty----ask the recruiter.

    Another option would be to use student loans, then when you access to Active Duty---accept the sign-on incentive of Loan Repayment (I think they still have this). This way you avoid the "reserve service obligation" from STRAP.

    http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/nurse/corps_benefits.jsp

    good luck,
    c.
  11. by   lifeafter40
    From what I am understanding of the OP's introduction, he/she is already 40...with two years in an ADN program plus the 12 months or so for a BSN bridge...that would put him/her over the 42 yr cut-off for active duty. (otherwise, I think that OTD2 is right that waiting and going straight into active duty would be best). So if military service is your goal, then I would think that going reserves right after you finish your ADN is about your only option, unless they change the no age waiver policy again...you have two years to see if this will happen. Focus on school and talk to a healthcare recruiter again the last year of your ADN program.

    I know it is frustrating being a student and having several years to wait before getting the ball rolling (I have 3 years left in my BSN also), but the military is all about be adaptable. Bide your time, and make your decision with the most current information at hat time. In todays political and economical climate, policies are going to continue to change, so you never know what you may be able to do in a couple of years.

    best of luck to you,
    LA40
  12. by   idtx2
    Sorry if I was unclear, I have my ADN (graduated June 2009). I just turned 40 (June 2009) and since I have a BS degree in another field I should be able to finish my BSN in 12 months or shortly after I turn 41. My fear is that any reserve commitment as a result of taking STRAP funding will prevent me from going active duty until after my 42 birthday. My recruiter is telling me that it will not be an issue since once I'm in the reserves the 42 age limit for active duty no longer applies, but this doesn't sound "right" to me.

    Thanks
  13. by   olderthandirt2
    "My recruiter is telling me that it will not be an issue since once I'm in the reserves the 42 age limit for active duty no longer applies, but this doesn't sound "right" to me."

    For reserves 42yrs is fine.....It is my understanding that 42yrs or ABOVE is NOT PERMISSIBLE for Active duty (without prior service years).............unless it has just "changed back".

    Clarify this matter with "the next in the chain of command", ie the recruiter's supervisor.

    c.
  14. by   idtx2
    Thank you, will do!!

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