Posted on Aug 11, 2020
PO2 Corbett Robley
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I served from 2008-2014 and separated as an E-5. Fast forward six years and I'd like to go back in. I wanted to go into the reserves initially, but I met a gung-ho recruiter who convinced me to go the active route. I think he said he's had 3-4 prior service walk through his door this year and he's put them all back on active duty; he made it sound somewhat easy.

I passed my physical and filled out all the paperwork. The recruiter says he's going to submit my stuff to my old rate's ECM and if they turn me down, he's going to see if I can come in as a CTR/CTT/CTM/CTN/IT.

My recruiter isn't a prior service recruiter, so he doesn't know much more about the process other than the paperwork he needs to submit.

I've always heard that returning to active duty as prior service is basically impossible, but my recruiter made it sound... Pretty dang easy. I'd love to know if you guys think my recruiter has just been super lucky or if things have become easier nowadays for prior service, or even your own stories if you came back active duty as a prior service (when did you come back? How long were you in before? How long were you out? What was your rank/rate?)
Edited 7 mo ago
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Responses: 12
PO2 Jamye Pankiw
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So, my advice is always... get it in writing (as stated by our fellow veterans). I assisted a 37 year old going in for the first time to the reserves and the recruiter said everything they could to keep him from going officer (since he has a bachelor's degree) and even convinced him to go Sea Bee. Just remember that the recruiter is there to fill the needs of the Navy. Your rate may not need filling, so you may have to change rates. Make sure you can easily pass the PFT.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
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My experience with prior service on the Army side is that if you have a good RE code and they have slots for your rank in your mos/rate and you pass everything else, it's not a problem. Sometimes they will ask you to take a rank reduction, especially if you go to a different mos/rate. If you see the people that post on this board about problems as prior service, most got out on bad RE codes and there are some that in reality will keep you out of the service forever.
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PO2 Kevin Hill
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I am currently in the process for going into the Air Force Reserves, initially wanted to go Navy, but have been out too long. 16 years.

As long as you are medically qualified, have nothing out side of that (credit/tickets), it should be no different than re-enlisting like you were never out.

As with anything military related, get it in writing and keep a copy for yourself.
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