Officers in the United States military routinely choose to transition from active duty to a reserve component. This is one option for those with a passion to continue to serve, even in the face of involuntary personnel reductions. Officers choosing to remain in the service in a part-time role must follow a set of procedures to ensure a seamless transition.
While you're still in active service, plan a meeting with your on-base retention officer. This individual is invaluable in assisting you in the transition process. Do this as soon as you know you'll be involuntary discharged due to a reduction in force or a failure to promote -- even if you're qualified. This stage is where you'll begin your transition to a part-time officer.
Your life as an officer is fully documented. This includes awards, letters of accolade or recommendation, adverse information and more. It's up to you to make sure that everything is as accurate as you can determine prior to your discharge. Double-check that any pending medals or promotions you might be due prior to your separation date are still in motion. You can verify this data with your commanding officer or by checking your status on the Human Resources web page.
Although you'll still be serving in the military in some capacity, by transitioning to the reserves you will probably be moving to a new base. You'll need new IDs, both linking you to this location and showing your reserve status. The day your active duty service expires is the day your old IDs expire. Filling out Form DD 2A will help you along in this process. Before leaving your current post, you'll receive your final briefing and be issued your DD 214, or honorable discharge.
Personal Effects and Government Property
As an officer you purchase your uniform supplies. As a result, unlike enlisted personnel, it's not required that you receive authorization to retain your uniforms through your CIF officer. However, any gear you might have in your possession that is considered government property, such as helmets or flashlights, must be turned in and verified against your existing records. If you cannot produce these items, you will be given opportunity to locate or pay for them.
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