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How to Join the Navy Reserves With a Master's Degree

by Tony Guerra, studioD

The U.S. Navy Reserve is part of the Navy's total force concept and plays a vital role in the nation's defense. Increasingly, the Navy Reserve operates alongside active Navy forces on a wide variety of missions and tasks. Because the Navy Reserve is given so much to do by defense planners, it needs men and women in a number of career fields. Men and women possessing college degrees may be eligible to join the Navy Reserve at advanced paygrades.

Navy Reserve Entrance

Service in the Navy Reserve is part-time in nature, and personnel serving within the organization come from many backgrounds. Some Navy enlisted and officer personnel enter the Navy Reserve upon completion of their active service obligation. Other men and women enter with no prior military background, though they also have experience in their chosen Reserve career fields. Yet others enter the Navy Reserve with no military background and in search of career training.

Joining the Reserve

Those joining the Navy Reserve do so either as enlisted sailors or as commissioned officers. If you have no prior Navy service and want to join the Navy Reserve as an enlisted sailor, speak with a Navy Reserve recruiter first. Those with undergraduate or graduate college degrees may be able to join as commissioned officers. If you're thinking of joining as a commissioned officer, speak with a Navy Reserve officer recruiter first.

Navy Reserve Jobs

Not all active Navy jobs are offered by the Navy Reserve, though many are. If you already possess education, training or experience in a Navy Reserve career field, you may qualify for enlistment at a higher paygrade. Someone with a master's degree may be able to enlist in the Navy Reserve at a significantly higher enlisted sailor paygrade than usual. Typically, those with no military background and enlisting as Navy Reserve sailors attend recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Reserve Commissioned Officer

Certain Navy Reserve commissioned officer careers are restricted to men and women with prior Navy backgrounds, including surface warfare line officers, pilots, Navy SEALS and lawyers. Most other Navy Reserve officer careers, though, are open to men and women with college degrees and no military experience. Commissioned officers serve in a variety of careers in the Navy Reserve, including health care and civil engineering. Your specific college degree will partially determine whether or not you qualify for a Navy Reserve officer commission.

About the Author

Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Photo Credits

  • U.S. Navy/Getty Images News/Getty Images