(BPT) - Family obligations, changing career aspirations and personal commitments are many of the factors that discourage Sailors and civilians from pursuing active duty service in the United States Navy. Did you know that Navy Reservists are able to serve their country while also working as professionals in their respective career fields?
For nearly 100 years, Navy Reservists have been integral to helping keep our nation safe. Navy Reservists are highly motivated men and women who are dedicated to the defense of our nation and who reflect the diversity of our nation in so many ways. They are individuals of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. People with high school diplomas and people with college degrees. Men and women who've never had military experience and men and women who have previously served. Currently, more than 60,000 Sailors serve part-time in the Selected Reserve, representing about 20 percent of the Navy’s total force and supplementing the Navy’s active component. They serve on all fronts – from conflict prevention to conflict support, combat to peacekeeping, disaster response to humanitarian relief.
Navy Reserve service conveys many benefits, for active duty Sailors transitioning into the Reserve and for civilians who have never served active duty, but who choose to serve part-time as a Reservist.
Transitioning into the Reserve allows current active duty Sailors, and those who have already left active duty, to enjoy the best of both military and civilian life. Reserve participation allows Sailors to retain military ties, pursue career opportunities and continue their Navy benefits, including paid training, a monthly income, health care coverage, retirement incentives and educational assistance.
Civilians can also find opportunities to serve and build professional skills in the Navy Reserve. Career opportunities for Navy Reservists encompass hundreds of different jobs in dozens of dynamic fields, from chaplains to nurses. Because the Navy Reserve is especially interested in candidates with military experience, career professionals and those with special skills and training, people with experience in certain fields, such as health care, may be eligible for advanced rank and pay.
Reserve service can also contribute to financial security later in life. At age 60, following 20 years of creditable service (either active duty with Reserve or Reserve alone), Reservists become eligible for retirement pay. Retirement benefits vary depending on individual pay grades and total active duty and reserve time, but few civilian careers offer such retirement benefits.
You can serve in the Navy Reserve if you are a U.S. citizen (born or naturalized) or legal permanent resident alien; pass a physical exam; are between 5 feet and 6 1/2 feet tall; have at least a high school diploma; and can commit to drill one weekend each month and train two weeks each year.
For details on specific opportunities in the Navy Reserve, visit navyreserve.com to find a Navy Reserve Recruiter near you.