How to Convert Reserve Years to Active Duty Years

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Years of service in the armed forces as a reservist do not convert directly into active duty years. Instead, reservists are awarded retirement points for certain activities in which they participate. Each year in which a reservist earns 50 retirement points counts as a qualifying year toward retirement. The year is calculated from the day you enter reserve status (called an "anniversary year"). A reservist must obtain 20 qualifying years of service to qualify for retired pay benefits. When considering whether an anniversary year qualifies toward retirement, points should be assessed and totaled according to the following guidelines.

Step 1

Add 15 points for maintaining reservist status. Each reservist is automatically awarded 15 "membership points" simply for completing the year with reserve status.

Step 2

Add one point for training assemblies or drills. A reserve weekend typically consists of four or five assemblies or drills depending on whether they start Friday night or Saturday morning. No more than two points can be awarded in any single day.

Step 3

Add a point for each day of active duty service. If you are called up to active duty during an anniversary year, each day of active duty service automatically grants one retirement point.

Step 4

Additional points. A reservist can earn more points by participating in military funeral honors (one point) or by successfully completing three hours of nonresident instruction or correspondence courses (one point).

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