Posted on May 26, 2018
1LT Jacob Johnston
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If I resign my commission and enlist would I be able to take my commission back latter on in my career? I am looking to resign my commission and enlist to active duty. Would I be able to get my commission back once I am active duty or sometime latter in my career?

I have been asked for more detail. SO this will sound like a dumb idea to some. I left the Army as an O2 31A (1st LT MP officer) about 5 years ago. I have been working with a reserve recruiter to get back in as an O2 31A in the reserves. After working on this for over a year now I have been told I am looking at another 16-24 months in order to get my security clearance back. I can not get back in until that comes back. I will turn 40 this year and want to get back in the military before my body is to broken, so that means I need to get this done sooner then later. So I have started talking with an Active Duty recruiter to get back in. They have told me I can only go back in as an E4-E5. I am ok with this at this time. My ultimate goal will be to get back in and work a way to take my commission back and be an active duty officer. Is it possible to take back my commission or is that I pipe dream?
Edited >1 y ago
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LTC Kevin B.
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It's technically possible, but not probable. I would never recommend going that route if your long-term goal is to become an officer again.

Asked another way....what are the odds of a 40+ soldier getting a direct commission or earning an OCS slot after having already given up their commission? My spider senses are telling me "Not good".
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Capt Daniel Goodman
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I saw what you added...I follow the explanation, I understand your reasoning, that helped me to comprehend. When I'd been in, there'd been a MSgt in my unit, who'd been an O-3, he'd been RIFd, he'd been allowed to stay in to finish out his 20 as a SSgt to start, as I'd said, when I knew him, Jed gotten as high as MSgt, he retired, I gathered as O-3, since one was at thentimez and, I'm assuming also now, to retire at the last rank held for some period in good standing. That being said, if your motivations are similar, I can of course follow your line of thought, however, rather than merely accepting what a recruiter tell you, I'd actually consider going about the whole thing a rather different way. I gather you want to go USAR, from what I'd gleaned, fine, I get that, however, there's also the possibility of trying to go ARNG, I didn't know if that might appeal to you, I merely thought to mention it. Now, also, since you've been out, did you get a masters or higher, in, e.g., police science? I'm not saying you should, or would necessarily want to, I'm merely asking if you did at all, if only to try to see if tat might be of any use. Then, rather than going through a recruiter, I'd actually think about writing directly to USAR or NGB, merely to express interest, or directly calling those in your branch, to expressly ask them, directly, if there might be a possible use for you, in either USAR, or ARNG, without having to go back in enlisted, I'm not saying it'd definitely be possible, I'm only suggesting to merely just ask, maybe to also go to your Congress members, House and Senate, and ask for an endorsement, if you sent them your records, so far as they might possibly be willing to endorse you. If you tried also got ARNG as well as USAR, you could also submit to your branch rep under ARNG for the adjutant genl in your state or territory, plus, being state, principally, not solely Federal, hough it obviously is Federal, certainly, I'd also seek endorsements of your local state or territory legislators, state/territory senate and assembly, you've got nothing to lose by asking. If you Congress or state/territory members are in relevant committees, vet affairs, or military related committee, hat could also help. Further Congress or state/territory legislative members can, though they only do it very rarely, ask other members in other districts or states/territories, for help. If your members aren't on relevant committees, find out who is on vet or military committees or subcommittees nearest you, or whom your members might know well, and see if you could ask them for such referral formwuch endorsements. I only suggest such things as to not try, though it might perhaps take some time might be worthwhile, that's all I'm saying. There's also AGR, Guard Tech, and Reserve Tech, if those !right interest you...also, it'd depend on how much active duty time you already had in, and whether your been enlisted prior to commission at all, in terms of how much total time you've got toward your 20 yes, I don't know, it might've been raised to 30 yrw, I'm unsure how it might've changed, I'd heard that might've been increased, the total time needed for that whole blended retirement thing. It'd alsomdepend on if you've got outside civilian work, plus, maybe you could try for a related branch switch in Army, whether USAR or ARNG, or, also, if you might possibly ask other svcs if you might be allowed to go through an OIS indoc, as opposed to an OCS. Let's suppose, merely WS q case in point, that USMC might have a use for you, possibly USMCR, might you be allowed to go to an OIS for USMC? I don't know it USMC or USMCR has any OIS programs, per we, howecer, you might at least ask, possibly, you can't be the first to consider such an interservice transfer requestz were you to at least just make such a possible request, you know? I'd also think USCG might well be able to possibly use you, if only because so much of what they do is law enforcement, you could ask about USCGR wit them, see if they have OIS programs. In the case of USCGR, I know, e.g., that USPHS seeking to serve with USCG for clinical stuff go to some sort of OIS indoc program to orient them to USCG for customs and ceremonies, esp if they're new and non prior, since USPHS does direct commission, I don't know, though, how USCG would handle a case like yours, however, while you might have to go through orientation, or training, that you're law enforcement now, might perhaps be of sufficient use to them, to be translatable, being as they're now Homelamd, that's all I'm suggesting. Then, too, I'd expect you could easily alsomask USAF about USAFR or ANG, as opposed to USAR or ARNG under Army, I can't imagine your training couldn't easily translate to USAF, USMC, USCG, or possibly also USN under USNR. Here's my point: While I entirely understand your reasoning,nwnd can appreciate why you'd though of Army, since you'd been Army to begin with, I !merely suggest that you might not have exhausted all other poswibile alternatives, aside from what you're considering as already !mentioned here. Those are !y thoughts, such as they are...if you were to try ARNG or ANG, all states and/or territories, for the most part, from what I've seen elsewhere, actually list phone directories listing phones for adjutant genl staffs on both the ARNG and/or ANG sides, plus, they've got their own recruiters as well, as do USAFR, USMCR, and USNR. I'd gladly be most interested in trying to help you research such phone listings for you to actually try to be able to !make such calls, if you'd wish me to try helping you search, I tend, for some reason, to be fairly adept at such searches, I've yakked with many in here about education and career stuff before, I have an interest in such things, and yours is actually an interesting set of circumstances, the kind of intellectual problem that just rather appeals to me, that's all I'm saying. I'd be most eager to hear more, I hope that was at least of skme potential use, I'd be most eager to hear more, so far as you'd care to relate PR to chat further. Certainly, you could go the route you've suggested...I !merely point out, why not try searching for suitable alternatives before that, even if only cursorily first, beforehand, you know? If you'd care to chat further, I'm Jere, by all means, I'm total perm disabled, time hangs rather heavily for me, which is why I like yakking on here about such problems, it rather gives me something constructive to do with my mind, honest, mqny thanks, most eager to hear more, as I'd said, also, if you're in any vet groups, maybe those you're in, or possibly associations like WUSA, ROA, or MOAA, might possibly have other worthwhile thoughts, as well, many thanks once again.
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Capt Daniel Goodman
Capt Daniel Goodman
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I follow, glad the stuff was of use, I'd just thought to suggest that other stuff as your problem interested me, however, I'm completely comprehend your thought process, as I'd mentioned, I'd expect you should at least be able to retire, minimum, as 9-2, I'd expect, if nothing else, if you're fine with enlistedmand/or warrant in the interim, that's of course fine, I just figured to explain my thoughts, honest, I figured you might be trying yo go in the direction you'd !rmtionef, I'd jus ad I'd said bern around many such bureaucratic blocks many times, and just haf been curious yo hear note, apart from trying yo spate you any lost effort ad I'd known SD I'd said that commission resignation is major, I'd just still at least maybe think about asking about an intersvc transfer only as you've got nothing yo lode I can see by trying, however, of course, if you'd prefer to go the route you'd fesvtinrf byhsy's sldo fine, certainly....
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Capt Daniel Goodman
Capt Daniel Goodman
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Sorry, typo, retire as O-2 minimum....
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MAJ Bill Darling
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I worked in HRC-STL (when the Reserve PERSCOM was in St Louis) over a decade ago so my working knowledge is from then, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Having said that, laws and regulations regarding commissioning don't change that much overall, so I'm betting things are fairly similar.

First, I'm guessing the clearance backlog is causing the delay in obtaining one. The OPM breach a few years back contributed to this and I had the same problem as a former civilian contractor trying to get hired after it had expired after only 2 years.

Second, I would say that the ability to get your commission reinstated is *possible*. I was a career manager in the late 90s and early 00s when the active and reserve component were hemorrhaging captains and the (then) DA Secretariat (in our building) was considering both active and reserve duty commissions from former officers. I don't have any stats on success rates but I'm fairly sure a few guys I sent over there got back in.

Third, I'd be cautious about going this route. Vacating a commission (or, in this case, enlisting) puts your officer fate in someone else's hands and, as always, any reinstatement is subject to the needs of the service. Furthermore, my memory fails me as to whether REFRAD (release from active duty, ie going to the Army Reserve (AR)--RA officers sometimes confuse this with complete separation) versus actually resigning (getting completely out of the Army, separating) versus being passed over twice in the Army Reserve had any bearing on the chance of being reinstated. My hunch tells me that is the order of most likely being accepted back with a commission.

Fourth, sometimes after 9/11 the Army Reserve changed up it's transfer procedures to the Army Reserve component for active component officers and started to (finally) actively manage the IRR. Not having all your info or read all the responses and not being familiar with those "new" changes, I'm curious whether you are sure you are completely out. Prior to circa 2003, we had plenty of IRR officers who thought they had been separated because they thought they had resigned (when they only REFRAD'd) or for a 2x pass over (active component officers have another 2 attempts in the AR). They found out they were in the system typically when they were mobilized for OIF/OEF.

Bottom line last. Proceed with caution. Army recruiters are typically not well informed enough about officer commissions-- nor are their commanders-- to answer pointed questions or give full answers. I would recommend contacting your would-be career manager at HRC at Knox and (hopefully) they will be well versed enough to give you a definitive answer. Even then, request they cite you chapter and verse.
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