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General FAQs

1.) What is the Navy Reserve?

The Navy Reserve provides support to the active component (AC). Each Navy Reserve service member who is not currently on active duty (AD) is placed in one of three categories: Ready Reserve, Standby Reserve (active S1 or inactive S2), or Retired. Service members in the Ready Reserve (USNR-R) and Standby Reserve Active (USNR-S1) are considered to be in an ACTIVE status. Service members in the Standby Reserve Inactive (USNR-S2) are considered to be in an INACTIVE status. Everyone in an ACTIVE status is eligible to train with or without pay, to serve on active duty for training (ADT), earn retirement points. Officers are considered for promotion in the Ready Reserve [Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) or Selected Reserve (SELRES)]. Enlisted members must be in a SELRES status and pass their advancement exam to be considered.

2.) What are the definitions of some commonly used Reserve acronyms?

a.)  SELRES – Selected Reserve. This component of the Ready Reserve is comprised of members who receive pay and earn retirement points for monthly drills and annual training.
b.)  VTU – Voluntary Training Unit. Members in this component of the Ready Reserve do not earn pay, but do earn retirement points for drilling.
c.)  IRR – Individual Ready Reserve. IRR members are not in a drilling status, but may be involuntarily recalled and are eligible to earn retirement points. Officers are reviewed for promotion and may promote. However, enlisted members cannot take the advancement exam in the IRR and therefore cannot advance.
d.)  S1 – Standby Reserve Active. These members hold a Reserve commission/enlistment but are not eligible to drill due to any of the following: NPC/BUPERS-approved reasons, key federal and non-federal employees who are needed in their civilian positions during national emergencies, students preparing for religious ministry, those members who are enrolled in medical/dental school or anyone else the Navy needs. S1 members are eligible to earn retirement points, but cannot receive pay or allowances and are subject to involuntary recall in times of war.
e.)  S2 – Standby Reserve Inactive. S2 members hold a Reserve commission/enlistment, but may not participate for retirement points or pay, nor are they looked at for promotion. 
f.)   IDT - Inactive duty training. IDT periods (drills) are conducted to provide operational support and to enhance members' readiness for mobilization. IDT periods are performed either with or without pay. One IDT period is four hours for SELRES members and three hours for VTU members and is worth one retirement point. SELRES members receive one day of basic pay for each IDT (4-hour period). SELRES members are required to perform 48 drills per fiscal year.
g.)  AT - Annual training. These are limited periods of active duty. SELRES members are required to perform 12-14 days of AT per fiscal year.
h.)  Authorized absence (AA) – is an excused absence granted in lieu of performing IDT drills. Generally, up to six months’ worth of AAs can be granted within a fiscal year.
i.)   Unexcused absence (UA) – is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Members who accrue greater than nine UAs during a rolling 12-month period are subject to administrative separation.
j.)   Anniversary year – is the year used for the crediting of qualifying years for non-regular retirement. The date used to determine the start of an anniversary year is established by the date the member entered into active service or into active status in a Reserve component, whichever is earlier. Example: A member shipped to boot camp (or officer  commissioned) on May 10, 2005 will have an anniversary date of May 10th in which all points for a qualifying year must be met, i.e., must have earned 50 points toward retirement).
k.)  IAP – In Assignment Processing. IAP is a temporary status where a SELRES member is drilling in a paid status but does not hold a billet. Members in IAP status should only remain there for 90 days. If a member does not find a billet within 90 days of assignment, Navy Reserve Forces Command may move them to the VTU.
For additional information, please reference BUPERSINST 1001.39F.

3.) What are the responsibilities of a drilling Reservist?

The responsibilities of a SELRES member are to complete a minimum of 48 drills (four 4-hour drills per month, typically done one weekend per month) and 12-14 days of AT each fiscal year.
The Navy Reserve is very different from AD. While on AD, members are on-call 24/7, thus AD service becomes the main priority. Conversely, the Navy Reserve is part-time allowing for greater flexibility for other priorities in life.

4.) Can Selected Reserve (SELRES) affiliation be delayed?

No, not unless the member is willing to forego TAMP medical benefits and GI Bill TEB, if applicable! However, once a member is affiliated they may arrange AAs with their Reserve unit leadership to assist in their transition timeline. CTO will not delay a member’s affiliation past their separation date unless there are extenuating circumstances beyond the members’s and/or the CTO’s control.

5.) What are the benefits of affiliating into the SELRES?

The benefits available to members in the SELRES are substantial. Please review the CTO benefits page for more information.

6.) How much is Reserve pay?

Please refer to the most recent military pay chart. Pay is based on several factors such as pay grade, time in service, and number of drills performed.
Example: An O-3 with six years of service can expect to earn $180.51/drill period or $11,191.62/year in drill pay for 48 drills [one drill period = four hours; calculations are based on four drill periods per  month (morning and afternoon each day)] and 14 days of AT (each count as one day of AD). These figures do not include BAH or any other allowances/entitlements.

7.) What options exist for members who transferred their Post 9/11 GI-Bill benefit to their children while still on active duty (AD), but will not have completed their four-year transferability obligation prior to separating from AD?

It is important to understand that the Post 9/11 GI-Bill transferability requires a four-year obligation that must be met with active participation (i.e., in a paid status) in the Armed Forces (AD or SELRES). A member can continue to serve out their four-year obligation by transitioning immediately into the SELRES from AD. If a member spends one day in the IRR (i.e., non-paid status/no active participation), then the member must restart the four-year obligation from the beginning upon affiliation with the SELRES to regain the transferability benefit. Please refer to the Post-9/11 GI-Bill NPC Site for more information.
Example: A LT with nine years of AD service elected to transfer his unused benefit to his spouse. As a condition of this benefit, the member must serve four years in either the SELRES or on AD with no breaks in active participation, i.e., not one day spent in the IRR. This member has served three of four years satisfactorily and now wishes to transition from AD to the SELRES. He would work with the CTO to ensure he is processed on time to transition seamlessly to the SELRES. Next day affiliation would ensure he does not have a break in active participation in order to complete the remaining year of his four-year commitment. If this member went to the IRR, even for one day, he would be required to sign a new page 13 obligating to serve those four years from the beginning.

8.) How much is a Reserve retirement?

In order to earn a Reserve retirement, members need to have 20 qualifying years of service. What is a qualifying year? Members must earn a minimum of 50 points per anniversary year. The Navy calculates a Reserve retirement paycheck based on how many points are earned throughout a member’s Navy career. For more information, please visit the Reserve retirement page.
Active status members are automatically granted 15 participation points per anniversary year. IDTs counts for one point per drill period (i.e., four hours). ATs count as one point per day (similar to AD). If a member completes 48 drills (24 days) and 14 AT days each anniversary year, plus receives 15 participation points, it will result in 77 points earned towards retirement.

Note: A member must earn a minimum of 50 points during an anniversary year for a qualifying year towards retirement. AT periods are scheduled per fiscal year, which does not always coincide with an anniversary year. It is possible to accomplish two AT periods within one anniversary year (e.g., a member with an anniversary date of May 10th who performs an AT in June and a second one the following April will cross two different fiscal years, but points will count in the same anniversary year. Please reference BUPERSINST 1001.39F for more information.

9.) Where are drills and annual training (AT) performed?

Drills are typically performed at the Navy Reserve Center (NRC) that the member has chosen. AT can be performed within the continental United States, or at many global locations around the world. 

10.) When should a member first report for drill? 

Members are expected to report to their Reserve unit the first drill period after receiving orders from the CTO. Members must NOT report to their Reserve unit until receiving a Welcome Aboard email from the CTO containing their affiliation paperwork, orders and instructions on how to contact their Reserve unit. The Reserve unit receives a copy of the member’s paperwork via the same email that is sent to the member; therefore the unit will not know to expect a new member until then. The email will contain instructions on how the member can arrange their first drill period(s) or arrange for AAs with their gaining command. Refer to question #4 for amplifying information.

11a.) Is there an involuntary mobilization deferment available?

Yes! Per NAVADMIN 145/19, individuals who affiliate with the Navy Reserve within six months (183 days) or between seven and 12 months (184-365 days) of release from AD, qualify for two- and one-year deferments, respectively, from involuntary mobilization.

11b.) I am a 2X FOS Active Duty Officer, is there any information available regarding my transition? 

For 2XFOS active duty officers, the detailer action checklist is available, providing several pieces of information regarding your upcoming transition. Click here Detailer Action Checklist for document.

11c.) Can a member collect Involuntary Separation Pay (ISP) in conjunction with the Reserve affiliation bonus?

Yes. ISP and the Reserve affiliation bonus are two separate payments that can be taken together. However, the affiliation bonus is only available to members electing to serve in the SELRES. Please contact your Transition Assistant for further information. 

11d.) How does accepting ISP affect a member’s Reserve retirement?

The lump sum ISP accepted (the amount received after taxes) must be repaid to the Navy from a member’s Reserve retirement pay. A predetermined amount will be deducted from each paycheck until the full amount of ISP is repaid. If a member does not draw a Reserve retirement, then the ISP will not need to be repaid. Paragraph 12.a of SECNAVINST 1900.7G provides an example of the recoupment process.
Example: A member separated with 15 years of AD service and receives $57,845 in separation pay. If this member subsequently retires with 20 years of service (15 AD, 5 SELRES), the recoupment of separation pay is calculated as follows:
15/20 = .75 (ISP factor based on years of service)
$1,723 (monthly gross retirement pay)
x.75 (ISP factor based on years of service)
$1,292 (monthly recoupment rate)


The TSC/PSD that is processing your DD214 does this calculation and the CTO has no control or oversight to amount or when payment will be processed.

11e.) What options exist for a member who is eligible for ISP, but does not  want to join the SELRES?

Members who do not want to transition to the SELRES may transition to the IRR to meet the obligated service requirements in order to receive ISP. The IRR obligation must be for at least three years. Please contact the IRR Counselor at: 1-800-535-2699 or visit the following website at:  Involuntary Separaton Pay for more information.

12.) Can drill pay and VA Disability compensation be collected concurrently?

Yes! VA disability compensation is paid monthly but it is broken down by a daily amount, (e.g., $1,500/month = $50/day). VA policy states that a member cannot receive both military pay and disability pay for the same day.
Example: YN1 Sailor drilled two days in the month of November, earning ~$860.00. He can still receive 28 days of disability pay (vice 30 days), but he must decide whether he would prefer to receive either Reserve pay or disability pay for those two drill days. Most members will choose to receive their Reserve pay since it is typically higher. Hence, YN1 Sailor would receive drill pay of ~$860 for his two drill days and $1,400 ($1500 minus $100 in this example) in disability pay for the other 28 days (i.e., a total of $2360 for the month). Refer to VA Form 21-8951-2 for more details.

13.) What is TAMP and how do I qualify for it?

TAMP is the Transitional Assistance Management Program (TAMP) which provides 180 days of premium-free transitional health care benefits after regular TRICARE benefits end. Members must affiliate with the SELRES the very next day after separation with no break in participation. Members will be automatically enrolled in TRICARE Standard (however TRICARE Prime can be requested). During transition from AD to SELRES, members will drop out of DEERS for a short period of time and will appear to have no affiliation with the Navy until they are gained back as a Reservist and should therefore postpone any routine appointments until notified by CTO that they have been re-gained into the SELRES. Refer to for more details.

Officer-specific FAQs

1.) How does one become a Navy Reserve officer?

Regular Navy officers leaving active duty on favorable terms will typically be offered a Reserve Oath of Office. PERS-8 processes oaths but CTO typically delivers it to members. Regular Navy Officers who still have MSO remaining must accept, sign and return their oath IAW Title 10 statutes. Those officers who have already completed their MSO may or may not choose to join the Navy Reserve. If they choose not to join, they will no longer be a Navy officer following their separation date. Officers already in the Reserve (e.g., TAR or SELRES returning from recall) do not need a new oath to transition into the SELRES or IRR. The CTO will affiliate officers who initially join the IRR into the SELRES up to six months after their separation date. Any time after six months, officers must affiliate via a Navy recruiter. Officers who do not sign a Reserve Oath of Office have up to 3 years to request reappointment, IAW MILPERSMAN 1131-040 (waivers are considered depending on the needs of the Navy Reserve and the member’s experience since leaving active duty).

2.) How does one obtain a Reserve commission (Reserve Oath of Office) in order to transition to the Navy Reserve?

In order to receive a Reserve Oath of Office, members must first be scroll-approved by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Scrolls are lists consisting of name, rank, and SSN, which are sent to SECDEF requesting appointment approval. SECDEF approval generally takes 9-16 weeks. Most officers leaving AD are screened for the scroll, regardless of whether they indicated an interest in the Navy Reserve in their resignation package. The reason for this is that many officers change their mind and later decide to join the Reserve but end up with a break in service because of the lengthy scroll process, thus losing various benefits. Unless an officer has MSO remaining, there is no obligation to sign a Reserve Oath of Office when offered.
CTO will make every effort to deliver the Reserve Oath of Office to a member before their separation date to prevent a break in service and subsequent loss of benefits. Members may request a Reserve Oath of Office up to three years after their separation date, in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1131-040.

3.)  Is there a difference between a Selected Reserve (SELRES) Oath of Office and an Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Oath of Office?

No. Only one Reserve Oath of Office is offered to a member that can be used to affiliate to either the SELRES or IRR.

4.) What happens after completion of the 8-year MSO in the Navy Reserve?

A member’s Reserve commission will remain in place until a resignation request is made to Pers-91 or the member is discharged.

5.) Is a Reserve commission (Oath of Office) available after a member leaves active duty?

It depends on the officer’s designator and the needs of the Navy Reserve. Officers with a skill not needed in the Navy Reserve will likely not be offered a Reserve Oath of Office at a later later date. If an officer separates from AD with no MSO remaining and does not affiliate with the Navy Reserve, but later decides to affiliate, must do so via a Navy recruiter. See MILPERSMAN 1131-040.

6.) Is it possible to redesignate in the Navy Reserve?

Yes. However, it is subject to the needs of the Navy. Reference BUPERSINST 1001.39F for more information.

7.) Why does PSD require a Reserve Oath of Office to release the DD-214 and process Involuntary Separation Pay (ISP)?

PSDs are responsible for ensuring members complete their MSO or any other obligations incurred by the member. They ensure this by requesting a copy of the member’s signed and administered Reserve Oath of Office to verify that requirements will be met.
ISP is administered IAW MILPERSMAN 1920-050. Officers must have executed a Reserve Oath of Office in order to obligate 3 years of service in the Ready Reserve. If a Reserve Oath will not be issued, then a letter from PERS-97 will be delivered in lieu of an oath. This does not apply to officers being administratively separated from the Navy. Officers must also sign a NAVPERS 1070/613 to process ISP.

8.) If a member is an O-4 select, will the promotion be honored in the Navy Reserve?

Yes. Members entering the Navy Reserve from AD will still promote within the same fiscal year as intended on AD as long as they do not experience a break in service.

9.) If a member is in zone for promotion to O-4, how will the member’s transition to the Navy Reserve affect the promotion opportunity?

A member will receive a promotion opportunity when transitioning to the Reserve; the difference is the member will be competing with their peers on the Reserve Active Status List (RASL) vice the Active Duty List (ADL). Regular Navy officers are afforded two promotion reviews in the Reserve. Regular Navy LTs who twice Failed Officer Selection (2xFOS) transitioning to the Reserve will receive two promotion reviews on the RASL. TAR 2xFOS officers who request continuation will receive one promotion review to O-4 in the SELRES, if granted continuation.

10.) I am a reservist on definite recall orders and was told that the CTO would transition me back to drilling status. Is this still the case?

No, your separation orders from active duty should reflect the following:

Enlisted-specific FAQs

1.) How does a Sailor join the Selected Reserve (SELRES) directly from Active Duty (AD)?

Sailors E3-E6 on AD may submit a SELRES Career Waypoints (C-Way) quota to affiliate with the Navy Reserve. Once approved for a SELRES C-Way quota, Sailors must complete the Reserve Affiliation Screening Checklist (RASC) and CTO Contact Information Sheet and be forward it to the CTO. If a SELRES C-Way quota cannot be attained, Sailors may still be able to affiliate via a Navy recruiter after separation from AD. 
Sailors, E7 and above, must contact the BUPERS-32 SELRES Enlisted Community Manager (ECM). If approved, CTO will affiliate the member provided the RASC and CTO contact information sheet are completed and forwarded to CTO.
Please reference MILPERSMAN 1306-1501 for more information.


2.) What comes next after being approved to transition into the Selected Reserve (SELRES) from AD via C-Way?

Sailors must meet with their Command Career Counselor (CCC) to complete the CTO Contact Information Sheet and the RASC immediately. Sailors should contact the CTO at or if their CCC does not have these documents. The completed documents must be emailed to to begin the transition process. The CTO will provide a signed Reserve contract and PRISE-R/Bonus page 13’s (if necessary).

3.) What is the next step after completing the Reserve Affiliation Screening Checklist (RASC) and CTO Contact Information Sheet and returning them to the CTO?

Sailors will not be gained into the Navy Reserve until the day AFTER their separation date, at the earliest. To ensure Sailors are gained in a timely manner, they must provide their TA with a copy of their DD-214 and notify their separation clerk that they must be lost from the active component immediately after their separation date so they can be gained in the Navy Reserve. Sailors should remain in contact with their TA.

4.) If the completed RASC, CTO Contact Information Sheet, Reserve  Reenlistment Contract, page 13s and DD-214 have been submitted to the CTO, when should a Sailor report to the NRC?

Sailors must NOT report to the NRC until in receipt of an email from the CTO with copies of all their affiliation paperwork and a letter explaining exactly when to report to the NRC. The NRC receives this paperwork via the same email that is sent to the Sailor, so they will not know to expect a new Sailor until then.

5.) How long will it take to be gained in NSIPS-R?

Sailors will not be gained in NSIPS-R until after their separation date, but it could take up to 30 days to reflect in the system. 

6.) When does the SELRES C-Way Reenlistment quota expire?

60 days after a Sailor’s separation date.

7.) Should a Sailor reenlist in the Navy Reserve prior to separating if they are going on terminal leave?

Yes. Doing so will allow a smooth transition to the Reserve and minimize processing time after separating from AD. Sailors should have their CCC contact the CTO at for further guidance.

8.) If a Sailor is frocked and not advanced (getting paid) until AFTER release from AD, will they keep their frocked pay grade in the Navy Reserve?

Maybe. Sailors must be advanced to the next pay grade while on AD before transitioning  to the Reserve. However, once affiliated in the Reserve, Sailors may request a rate determination based on the most recent final multiple in the Reserve for their rating and pay grade to determine whether they will be able to regain the next pay grade in the Navy Reserve. Sailors should contact their NRC ESO for further information. Sailors will be gained in the Navy Reserve based on the pay grade listed on their DD-214. 
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