The changes are designed to ensure a seamless transfer from one component to another that is consistent with the continuum of service concept, G1 personnel officials said.
Currently the process requires mobilized RC Soldiers with less than 18 years of service to be demobilized and processed through a Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS, before enlistment into the Regular Army (See Guard/Reserve Transfer to Active Duty article).
Under the new procedures, Soldiers will be able to apply while mobilized, at the demobilization station or while on leave after processing through the demobilization station and in most cases not have to process through the MEPS.
Upon approval by the Army’s deputy chief of staff, G-1, the Soldiers will be demobilized, and separated from the reserve component and accessed into the Regular Army, thus eliminating the MEPS. Soldiers may apply to transfer from the RC to Regular Army within six months of their projected demobilization or release from active-duty date to include time at the demobilization site.
Soldiers who have out-processed from the demobilization site, but are granted leave enroute to their parent unit, may also apply for enlistment in the regular army under this policy prior to the end date of their leave, officials said, as they have not been released from active duty. This limitation does not apply to RC Soldiers with 18 years active service currently serving on active duty, officials said, adding these Soldiers may apply at any time.
All requests for conditional release will be processed through the RC, where recommendations will be made regarding each request. However, the final approval for all requests for release rests with headquarters, Department of the Army.
Once the Soldiers have enlisted in the Regular Army, they will remain with their current unit of assignment until it redeploys to the demobilization station, then he or she will be reassigned to a new duty station.
This is a voluntary program that requires the release approval from the Reserve chiefs or designees, personnel officials said. They said it is purely intended to benefit Soldiers by streamlining the transfer process, and not exacerbate any shortages within the reserve-component ranks.
The Army has also taken steps to offset this policy in a manner favorable to the reserve component, which includes:
1) Office of the Secretary of Defense policy relief to reduce military service obligation at the time of AC to RC transfer for commitment to serve in a Reserve unit;
2) increase of the RC affiliation bonus from $50 a month to $10,000; and
3) a 12-month mobilization deferment for active Soldiers who join a Reserve unit after a recent deployment.