Entry requirements for current Active Duty members Qualifications & Commitment

Am I eligible to pursue part-time Navy Reserve service? How would the amount of time I’m serving differ from Active Duty? How many years would I be agreeing to serve as a Reservist? Here, get information about Navy Reserve qualifications and the typical Navy Reserve commitment for those who are already serving.

The fact that you’re an Active Duty servicemember suggests that you likely already meet the basic entry requirements for part-time Navy Reserve service. With this background, you may also be granted more options when it comes to Navy Reserve qualifications and the length of your Navy Reserve commitment.

The goal is to make the transition to a part-time military role as simple and clear as possible for Active Duty members. Because there’s really no one better qualified or valued than those who are serving now.

Utilize Your Resources

If you’re on Active Duty, qualifications like citizenship, health and height shouldn’t be an issue. As for age and education:

  • Age: The general age requirement for the Navy Reserve is that you must be between the ages of 18 and 39 and be able to have 20 years of total service by age 60.
  • Education: Just as with Active Duty military qualifications for Enlisted personnel, the minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is required. For Officers, a degree from a four-year college or university is typically required. But any education and/or experience acquired while serving on Active Duty could potentially open up new possibilities for you in the Navy Reserve.

Because qualification and commitment details relate to your specific background and interests, you should utilize the appropriate resources for more information.

  • If you're now serving as an Enlisted Sailor in the Navy: Contact your Career Counselor for details
  • If you're now serving as an Officer in the Navy: Contact the CTO for details
  • If you're now serving (as Enlisted or an Officer) in another branch of the military: Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details

Know the Basic Obligations

Serving in the Navy Reserve traditionally requires a minimum of one weekend a month (drilling) and two weeks a year (annual training). Most of the training can be arranged to take place close to home so relocation is not required. In general, this is what to expect from committing to serve in the Navy Reserve:

Drilling: Your regular training typically amounts to 16 hours each month at a nearby training site. There are hundreds of locations across the U.S. – check the map of Navy Reserve locations to find the site nearest to where you live. And note that you may be able to take advantage of flexible drilling options. This could involve fulfilling the annual commitment in a single, extended mission or serving on weekdays if your civilian career makes weekend service difficult.

Annual Training: For at least two weeks each year, you will take part in advanced training that can take you across the U.S. or around the globe. This is typically a command exercise with your drilling Reserve detachment, but you may also have opportunities to pursue independent assignments that broaden your experience.

Service Commitment: Obligations in the Navy Reserve for those currently serving typically range from two to six years.

Enlisted Basic Training: If you’re currently serving on Active Duty in an Enlisted role in the Navy (NAVET) or any other service branch (OSVET), there’s no need to repeat Recruit Training (Boot Camp) again.

Officer Training: If you’re currently serving on Active Duty as a Navy Officer (NAVET), there’s no need to repeat the prerequisite training for commissioning. You can simply apply and transition through the Direct Commission Officer Program. If you're currently serving on Active Duty as in Officer in any other service branch (OSVET), you may also apply through the Direct Commission Officer Program. However, you will have to complete the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) Course in Newport, RI.

As an Active Duty servicemember, the military background you bring to the Navy Reserve is in great demand. And the advanced skills you can refine by serving part-time will be highly valued in the civilian sector.

Deployment Deferment for up to Two Years

If you're a current Navy servicemember (NAVET), be aware that you can receive guaranteed initial deployment deferment when you transition into the Navy Reserve.

  • Two-year involuntary mobilization deferment available if affiliating within six months of release from Active Duty
  • One-year involuntary mobilization deferment available if affiliating between seven and twelve months after release from Active Duty

Contact your career counselor or the Career Transition Office (CTO) to learn more.