Posted on Dec 7, 2017
SGT Harvey Watson
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I am an active duty NCO with prior service National Guard time. I am about to ETS from active duty and will be at 20. HRC retirements branch said If I want to collect the 20 year Guard Reserve retirement (which I qualify for) I will need to be actively drilling. I am trying to do the least of an enlistment possible (I know that sounds bad but I have done my time) I don't think they will do a year enlistment so it looks like the minimum I could do is 3. This being said If you sign an enlistment contract with them and drop retirement will the retirement negate the remaining service obligation? or will you have to fulfil the remaining obligation. I already asked and was told IRR would not suffice I would have to be actively drilling to drop the paperwork. I was just curious if anyone else has ever encountered this issue and may be able to provide some insight or ideas. About 6 months out from separating so I need to be making some decisions.
Posted in these groups: Kentucky ARNGRetirement_logo Retirement
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Responses: 3
CPT Lawrence Cable
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OK, question one is have you received “Notification of Eligibility For Retired Pay at Age 60,” or more commonly, the 20 year letter? If not, I would be certain that I had 20 creditable years before I made any decisions. I'm not sure what HRC is telling you, you wouldn't be eligible to apply for a Reserve/Guard pension until 9 months before your 60th birthday and there are damn few of us that are active at that time. What generally happens in the Guard/Reserves is that you are transferred to ARHC as a retired reserve, which allows you to get your grey area retire benefits and keeps you on the TIS role. Then you apply for retirement in the window before you 60th birthday. You can still attend drills for points as a retired reservist if you get permission.
A final note, they no longer mail the retirement packets out when you approach you 60th birthday, so you will have to contact HRC to start the application process.
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SGT Harvey Watson
SGT Harvey Watson
2 y
CPT Cable, good insight!!!! I was unaware of all of this. I was under the impression that if you did your 20 you just petitioned the hrc reserve retirements and they would add your name to the list.

I wish there was a more cut and dry direction to all this.

You are very helpful.

I think I will do another 3 if they will have me and just do what needs to be done. That way we at least have that pension taken care of. What’s 3 more years.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
2 y
SGT Harvey Watson - Here is an article from "The Balance" that does a good job of walking you through the requirements. There is a note and link to the information on early retirement, which happened after I left the Reserves, so I don't know much about. The state probably has a brochure on this in someone's office, but in general, the Guard and Reserve tend to suck about informing their soldiers of the actual process. In your case, if you do another three, you should have the 20 year letter and you would just need to request transfer to the Retired Reserve until you are actually eligible to retire with the pension and benefits. https://www.thebalance.com/reserve-and-national-guard-retirement-pay-system-3356865
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
2 y
SGT Harvey Watson - Here is what I found from HRC on the Early Retirement, which looks like might benefit you. https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/REDUCED%20AGE%20RETIREMENT
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SGT Harvey Watson
SGT Harvey Watson
2 y
Thank you sir! That is indeed very helpful. I do appreciate you sharing.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
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Hey, I'm retired, not in your shoes, BUT it seems to me like this is nothing but that last hoop to jump which you can do standing on your head. Look at it this way: if you have to do a couple years extra, you will have more retirement pay, probably a little more rank which boosts the retirement pay. There is always a silver lining.
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SGT Harvey Watson
SGT Harvey Watson
2 y
Good point Sergeant Major. Its been a very long journey unfortunately my back cant take much more. This past year I received 5 back surgeries and now I have a battery sewn into my body wired to my spine to help with the pain. It does help but I am still limited in the scope of what I used to be capable of. Army says I am good to continue service (never even went to medboard). So I am just trying to keep it as light as possible, I would hate to throw away all this time and investment but I do want to keep it as brief as possible. I agree it is just one last hoop, and you are right the retirement increase is a perk. (Thank you for the encouraging and insightful response Sergeant Major)
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
2 y
SGT Harvey Watson - Think about this. Look for a different MOS, maybe in intel or some other less physical job. I don't know what all is around your area, maybe a switch to the Army Reserve as they are more CS/CSS. Maybe a medical MOS is possible. this way you would have to do MOSQ, that would take up time and you might get another good skill for later. Believe me I understand the back thing. That was one of the reasons I retired when I did, came back from Iraq with a screwed up back.
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SGT Harvey Watson
SGT Harvey Watson
2 y
Good idea Sergeant Major, I actually hadn't given that much thought but it is a great idea. I currently work Commo and I know it can range between A.I.S. to humping a ruck depending on the unit assigned. I plan to transition to DOD contractor (preferably General Dynamics) after I separate, working in the same field. However like you said a new start couldn't be a bad thing. I like your optimism, It always helps to hear these insights and experiences from other veterans on here. A lifetime of commitment isn't something to take lightly. I signed up at 17 and have been at it since. 3 more years would put me at 40 so I will still be a young buck lol.
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CW3 Senior Automotive Maintenance Warrant Officer
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I would think the 3yr obligation would be the amount of time it would take to get your 365 retirement points for your final active duty year. Example is a 2 days drill gives you 4 retirement points. You do not get points for any days your not on orders. I recommend finding some military schools and get your last 365 points quicker then retire.
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