Posted on Aug 2, 2021
PV2 Joy Phillip
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I signed my paperwork in 1986, summer (I graduated HS in May). I was on delayed entry due to my MOS not having a slot until the next year, 1987. I left for basic June 2, 1987, and was medically separated due to weight Dec 15, 1988. I was told that the time for the Delayed Entry would be counted toward my total commitment of 8 years. The VA is now telling me that since I only served 18 months, I'm ineligible for any medical anything from the VA. Does anyone know if I have any recourse for this being false?
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SFC Wendell Pruitt
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Edited 10 mo ago
The time in the Delayed Entry Program does not count towards Military service until you sign and begin your active duty contract. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, or entered active duty after October 16, 1981, you must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty,
This minimum duty requirement may not apply if any of these are true. You:
Were discharged for a disability that was caused—or made worse—by your active-duty service, or
Were discharged for a hardship or “early out,”
You whole situation revolves around how your discharge was written up and your DD214 was coded, Most people separated for weight do not get a medical discharge they are administratively discharged under Chapter 18 which is an Honorable Discharge.
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SFC Wendell Pruitt
SFC Wendell Pruitt
10 mo
Good point SFC Kelly most chapter 18's get a code of RE4, Honorable but would require a waiver to reenter the Military at any point down the road. The biggest issue in meeting the VA requirements is they must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty.
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SFC William Linnell
SFC William Linnell
10 mo
Also the Delayed Entry Program only counted towards your pay from the time you signed into the program. It wasn't until 86' that the DOD stopped that for pay. As an example. I signed into the Delayed Entry Program my Sr yr of HS Nov 83' and went active Sep 84'. For pay purposes only I was receiving 1 year of active pay time even though I just started.
As the good SFC above stated and explained he is correct.
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LtCol William Bentley
LtCol William Bentley
8 mo
SFC William Linnell - Although DEP time is always counted as military service for completion of the statutory 8 year Military Service Obligation contract. It's just not creditable toward longevity for pay or retirement after 1986 for Regulars, and after 1989 for Reserve members. All DEP members are enlisted members of the IRR subcategory of the Ready Reserve category of the Reserve Component of their Service, by law and DoD and Service regulations. On the day they swear (again) at MEPS and ship to their basic training, they sign their DD-4 form enlistment contract (for the second time, after the date they entered the DEP and the military), they enter active duty. For those who will be Regulars, they change components on that date, from Reserve to Regulars. For those will remain reserves, they may switch subcategories from the IRR to the Selected Reserve to begin their 6-year reserve drilling service obligations.

I enlisted into the DEP on my way to a 6-year active duty service obligation as a Regular in August 1986, and just missed the cutoff to have my following year in the DEP count toward longevity for pay...

Cheers,
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LtCol William Bentley
LtCol William Bentley
8 mo
All time served after swearing the Oath of Enlistment and signing the DD Form 4 enlistment contract at MEPS the first time is counted as military service in the DEP. By law, DoD and Service policy, all members of the DEP are members of the IRR subcategory of the Ready Reserve of the Reserve Component of their Service, and after 1986 for those entering the Regular component, and after 1989 for those entering the Reserve component, service in the DEP no longer was creditable toward longevity for retirement or pay, although it remained creditable toward completion of the statutory 8-year Military Service Obligation incurred upon entering military service.

You are quite correct that DEP service does not count as active service qualifying for statutory veteran status for the VA or VA benefits under Title 38 of the US Code or VA regulations under 32 Code of Federal of Regulations.

And you are quite correct that the OP's problem revolves around how their discharge was characterized and categorized, as anyone who was separated or retired for disability by a Chapter 61 disability process will qualify for veterans status regardless of how long they served (provided they didn't receive a Dishonorable Discharge). If they convince the VA they incurred or aggravated any service-connected disability, and are granted 0% or higher VA disability, they will also immediately be statutorily qualified for both VA medical care but also statutory veterans status under 38 US Code 101.

Cheers,
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SGT English/Language Arts Teacher
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Edited 10 mo ago
Seek advice from a qualified individual at the American Legion, Amvets, VFW or DAV. They had the ability and assets to help any veteran. They also can cut through all of the red tape that vets don't know about.
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MSgt Rene Ramirez
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You were told the truth. It does count towards your service. If you signed up for 8 years, four active four reserve. Your dep time could be counted towards the reserve portion of your service not the active part.For instance when I went in it was six years, I signed up for four active, two reserve. The total being six years. Some people sign up for two active and six reserve it all depends on what you signed up for. But the total time that you were signing up for is eight years as of 1985 I believe.
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SFC Ralph E Kelley
SFC Ralph E Kelley
10 mo
Thank you a concise explanation.
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SGM Steve Wettstein
SGM Steve Wettstein
10 mo
MSgt Rene Ramirez During the time frame she says, DEP time counts for nothing. All it does is securing a AIT slot, it does not count a day into the 8 year commitment.
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LtCol William Bentley
LtCol William Bentley
8 mo
LCpl Benji Smith - It counts, under US law and the DoD and Service regulations, toward meeting the 8 year Military Service Obligation contract incurred upon first swearing the Oath of Enlistment and signing the DD form 4 enlistment contract at MEPS. The first time, not the second time at shipping to basic training.

All service in the DEP is enlisted service in the IRR subcategory of the Ready Reserve category of the Reserve Component of the Service in question. Thus, it is counted as reserve service under the 8 year MSO contract, so a year in the DEP means that the member's remaining military service obligation is 7 years at the time they enter basic training. If they then served 4 years active duty, at the time of their transfer back to the reserve component to complete their MSO, they would only owe 3 more years. Not 4 years.

The DEP time is no longer creditable toward pay or retirement longevity; for those entering the Regulars that ended in 1986, and for those entering the Reserves it ended in 1989. But the difference between credit toward pay and retirement, and toward meeting the statutory 8 year MSO contract, is different.

It doesn't help her establish eligibility toward statutory veterans status under 38 US Code 101 and 32 Code of Federal Regulations 3.1, et al., however, as service in the DEP, by definition, is not active service which is qualifying toward statutory veterans status and benefit eligibility.

Various types of military service are often creditable for one thing, but not another. and the DEP is one such type of military service.

Semper,
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LtCol William Bentley
LtCol William Bentley
4 mo
SGM Steve Wettstein - DEP time has counted, day for day, toward meeting the statutory 8-year Military Service Obligation contract since before I enlisted in 1987, as DEP service is, in fact, military service in the reserve component. Prior to 1986, for those contracted to serve a Regular obligated period of active service, DEP time counted for pay longevity, too. For those contracted only to serve a Reserve obligated period of service, their DEP time counted, day for day, toward pay longevity until Congress finally cut it off in 1989.
Cheers, WKB
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