How to Reenlist in the Us Military

Опубликовал Admin
23-09-2016, 22:35
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A crusty old Army Career Counselor back in the days once told me that re-enlisting is much like driving in the middle of the night without any brakes, and you know that there is a fork in the road. It's coming and you have to choose which way to go. Deciding to re-enlist is as life-changing as joining the military. This article can provide some suggestions in making the decisions. Ultimately, it is your decision to decide whether you join or not. Before reading, this article is geared towards re-enlisting in the U.S. Army. As always, confirm with your local Military Service Career Counselor for the latest news and trends.)

Before You Decide

  1. Give yourself a NO-BULL**** assessment on your career so far. What are your feelings in being in the Army. Do you like doing Physical Fitness (PT) early morning at the crack of dawn? Do you like the travel? Do you like the regimental way of life? Consider about the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) you are in right now. Do you like the job? Realize that whatever you decide, you alone decide. If you choice right, it's your reward. If you choice wrong, it's your punishment. You get what you pay for.
  2. Now, how your superiors rate you. In practice, your first line supervisor should provide you monthly counseling statements on your performance. They should give you a realistic assessment of their perspective about you. In the real-world, by now, you can sense if your superiors like what they see in you. If they push you to do better, it might be good thing because they see potential. If they dismiss you, it means they won't invest in you. That is a bad thing.
  3. Constantly check outside "the wire" for a way out. "The Wire" is the fence line between military and civilian life. A lot of soldiers who leave the Army for numerous reasons regret leaving because they do not have anything lined up outside in the civilian world. If you're going to college, check on your school on enrollment. If you got a job, better be sure you have an offer letter in hand before leaving for the Freedom Bird.
  4. Check to see about your MOS if the job is consolidating or downsizing. Case in point, the military is downsizing food specialist positions and would like to move excess people to other jobs. Consider your ASVAB scores as your Frequent Flyer Miles you've obtained coming in. The magic number for any soldier in the Army to get any job is GT score 110. (circa 2000-ish, please consult your recruiter to verify) If you have a lower score, consider enrolling yourself in the Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) to improve your Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) scores. Consult with the Base's Educational Services or your S-1 for more information.
  5. Consider your current MOS's future in promotions. By now, you're probably itching to become a Non-Commission Officer (NCO) yet, somehow, it's seems to be a chore to advance to a specialist (E-4) rank. If you are a specialist for a considerable amount of time (2 plus years in rank), and you are doing everything humanly possible to better yourself like attending college courses at night or submitting correspondence courses up the wazoo and no one in your unit is getting promoted? Better look for another job.
  6. Career Counselors may not consider themselves "recruiters" yet they are. They will give all the necessary information that you need to get what you ask for. So, with that in mind, it's crucial that you learn as much as you can about what the Army can offer. Of course, ensure you are still marketable also. If you are a model soldier, these soldiers can perform feats to keep you in. If you are a substandard soldier or "oxygen thief", they may brush you aside as a low priority.
  7. Soldiers have a "Re-enlistment Window" to decide whether they continue to be in the Army or shuffle off to Fort Living Room. Soldiers have an opportunity of between 3 months and 1 year to make the decision to re-enlist. If a soldier decides to re-enlist after his 3 months expired, you better have a damn good reason you waited that long. By then, it's up to powers to be to decide. Do not wait till the last moment.

Different Types of Re-Enlistment Bonus

  1. Choice of Duty Station-Soldiers can pick where they would like to transfer. This is called Permanent Change of Station or PCS. Depending upon your MOS can dictate if that base can accept you.
  2. Change of MOS- Soldier can decide to change their job. As long as your ASVAB scores meet the new MOS's criteria and other variables, it can be done. (see Tip #1 for help)
  3. MOS Bonus- At times, the Army will provide you an incentive in asking you to continue your service at your current MOS. Depending if your MOS is a critical, the career counselor can provide you an enticing bonus to stay at your job. Soldier might get more money if they re-enlist in certain places where the Army needs you.
  4. Needs of The Army- Not a popular choice for Soldiers but, a choice nonetheless. This is usually reserved for people who either do not have a high ASVAB score AND whose MOS may seem to be disbanded. If the Soldier wants to continue in the Army, the Soldier would give free reign to Uncle Sam to put the Soldier where the Army needs them. The Army can put them anywhere they are needed in whatever job in where ever place.

Days Leading to Re-enlistment

  1. Be sure to continue to be physically, mentally and legally fit for duty till the day of re-enlistment. The last thing a soldier can do is to have a Suspension of Favorable Action (FLAG) on your record. This type of action is given to soldiers who have not conformed to military standards, (ie. fail a Physical Fitness Test, have done a punishable crime, etc).
  2. Decide on the date of re-enlistment. This date should be a special date for you. Be warned, if you decide to place your date further into the future, you run the risk of having things happen. (see #1)
  3. ENSURE that your contract is place in writing. Do not accept anything Handwritten or White-out. Question anything that seems odd to you. The Army expects 100% success from you, you best expect 100% success from them too. THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
  4. You decide on where the Re-enlistment Ceremony takes place. The Ceremony must be within reasonable travel and convenient for you and the witnesses. Some ceremonies are given at their place of duty or at some places, unusual areas. (See video for an example of Unusual places.)
  5. Also, you decide on who will administer your "Oath of Enlistment". The oath must be given by a commissioned officer. It can be given to your Platoon Leader (a 2nd LT) to a General Officer (ie. Army 4 star General). If you choose someone higher than your immediate Chain of Command, I suggest you plan in advance with a letter to the commission officer. Make sure you have a back-up plan, too.
  6. Finally, you choose the uniform you want to wear during your ceremony. If you choose to have your Class A uniform, be sure your uniform is pressed and correct. This is your time to shine.


  • Good Luck on your decision.
  • If you are considering a choice of Duty Station, do some research on the base and units before deciding. Some locations are considered Rapid Defense Forces which means more time in deployment/training areas. Others are considered Training Areas which means less deployment/more training.
  • If you decide to have take a monetary bonus, have your Career Counselor explain to you how much and how it's distributed. Some bonuses are given "half on enlistment and third each year". Some are lump sum bonuses for very Critical MOS. If you re-enlisted during a combat tour, most likely your bonus is TAX-FREE regardless if you are out of deployment area.
  • Consider challenging yourself in another field. Check the "Army Times" for "In/Out" call sheets. The simplest way is this - If the MOS is accepting people with "Y" and not letting anyone out with "N", that job is consider "critical MOS". In re-enlisting to a critical MOSes, you might get a sign-in bonus or other perks.
  • BE MINDFUL- If you do not fulfill your obligation in your re-enlistment and you signed up for a Money bonus, you will have to pay back the Army in full. Most likely, you will forfeit any leave accrued and last paychecks should you leave the Army in bad standing. And even if you still have a debt, the Army will most likely take it out of your income taxes until you paid in full.
  • AS ALWAYS, IT IS ONLY YOU WHO DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT. You signed the paper and you swore an oath of your own free will. If things did not go the way you wanted, blame only yourself for your misery.
  • If you are considering a change of MOS, contact your Career Counselor on the criteria of entering the MOS. At times, the MOS may need a higher ASVAB score. For certain MOS'es like Military Intelligence, you might need a higher security clearance along with a detailed Background Check. For MOSes in the Special Forces field, you must undergo rigorous physical and mental testing in order to gain entrance.
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