NAT, DPEP and Direct Appointment Entrance Programs

Those with no prior military experience will enter the Navy Reserve through either an Enlisted or Officer program – depending on qualifications and the type of position sought. Enlisted programs are for those with at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Officer programs are typically for those with a four-year college degree.

Enlisted Programs

The Navy Reserve depends on Enlisted personnel to carry out a broad range of critical job responsibilities in more than a dozen different fields.

If you’re a high school graduate (in rare instances, GED certificates can be accepted) who is driven to do more and be more, you may be eligible to become an Enlisted Sailor in the Navy Reserve through the New Accession Training (NAT) Program. If you also have vocational/ technical training and/or professional experience beyond high school, you could qualify to enter through the Direct Procurement Enlistment Program (DPEP).

New Accession Training (NAT) Program

Whatever career area interests you, here’s how the NAT Program works:

Initial Active Duty for Training (IADT) Period: You will need to first attend Recruit Training – also known as Boot Camp – to prepare you for the Navy Reserve. From there, you will go on to receive more initial training – this time in your occupational specialty.

Selected Reserve (SELRES) Inactive Duty Training (IDT) Status: Within 30 days of completing all initial training, you will report to the Navy Reserve drilling location nearest your home. From this point on, you can expect to serve a minimum of one weekend a month and two weeks a year – with opportunities for additional service and pay.

For the NAT Program, a minimum eight-year enlistment is required – six years of IDT status in the Selected Reserve with the final two years being spent in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

Questions? Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details.

Direct Procurement Enlistment Program (DPEP)

Civilian training and experience is highly valued in the Navy Reserve. DPEP allows you to make the most of yours and to potentially enlist at a higher pay grade – anywhere from E-3 to E-6 – depending upon your background.

To be eligible, you must meet all the basic entry requirements for enlistment, meet the program standards for your interest area and have documented proof that you have:

  • Completed qualifying postsecondary vocational or technical training at an accredited institution – training comparable to the position you will be serving (enlistment at E-3 pay grade available)
  • Completed qualifying postsecondary vocational or technical training at an accredited institution and/or have one or more years of significant work and supervisory experience – with all training and experience directly relevant to the position you will be serving (enlistment in critical-need areas at pay grades ranging from E-3 to E-6 available)

For the DPEP, a minimum eight-year enlistment is required – six years of IDT status in the Selected Reserve with the final two years being spent in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

Questions? Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details.

Officer Programs

If you're a college graduate who is interested in exceptional leadership and management opportunities, you may be eligible to become an Officer in the Navy Reserve through the Direct Appointment Program.

Direct Appointment Program

The Navy Reserve relies heavily on its Officer ranks for leadership at every level of operations and management. U.S. Navy Officers are some of the most respected men and women serving our country.

If you’re a student or graduate of a four-year U.S. college or university who possesses leadership skills and determination, you may be eligible to become an Officer in the Navy Reserve through the Direct Appointment Program.

As an Officer in the Navy Reserve, you will lead others who have pledged to defend our nation – an honor of the highest order. Officers must typically complete an initial commitment of eight years of service.

Questions? Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details.

General Career Focus Areas for Officers

Direct Appointment is available to U.S. citizens with professional expertise in the following fields:

Questions? Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details.

Health Care Specialty Focus Areas for Officers

Positions in various fields of health care are some of the most highly sought-after careers in America's Navy. If you are a civilian physician, dentist, nurse or specialist, you can enter the Reserve as an Officer in the community associated with your profession – and you may be eligible for advanced rank and pay.

Professionals working in health care already know what it’s like to make a difference in the lives of others. By serving part-time in the Navy Reserve, you can add a new dimension to your own career as you proudly care for those who defend our country and serve global humanitarian causes. You’ll be able to take your medical expertise to new levels with experience in progressive academic, clinical and/or operational settings.

Learn more about working part-time in any of these areas of Navy Health Care in the Navy Reserve:

Questions? Contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter for details.