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How Long Can You Serve In The Military

Are You Considered A Veteran After Basic Training

What It’s Like To Serve In South Korea’s Mandatory Military Service

If a member of the armed forces was discharged during basic training for medical reasons they are still considered a veteran for Federal student aid purposes so long as they served at least one day before being discharged. To be considered a veteran the student must have been released from active duty.

Deployments Range In Length

Navy pilots make their way to a simulated casualty during a flight deck drill on the Navys only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.|Photo credit DVIDS/Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel Martinez

The average military deployment is typically between six and 12 months long. However, deployment lengths vary greatly from branch to branch, are situational and depend on several factors specific to each individual service member.

For example, some Navy submarine deployments are less than a month long, while some ship deployments can be more than a year. On the other hand, some members of the Air Force can undergo several shorter deployments with very short breaks in between each.

How Long Do You Have To Be Off Adhd Medication To Join The Military

Recruiters generally tell applicants that they must be off medication for a considerable length of time by far the most important measure to take and show that they are able to function properly while off medication prior to starting the enlistment process and to be considered for a waiver.

The time frame required to be off medication differs across the branches and even among recruiters within the same branch. Some also recommend different approaches to demonstrating proper functioning without medication.

In the Army, Navy, and Marines in particular, recruiters largely advise applicants with ADHD to be off any and all stimulant or nonstimulant medications for at least one year.

Some recruiters, notably within the Air Force, tell applicants they must be off medication for 15 months or more . The Coast Guard which represents just 3 percent of active armed forces members is widely considered to be the most difficult branch to successfully petition for an ADHD waiver.

The time spent off medication should be noted by a doctor in the applicants medical and pharmacy records, and handed in as part of the waiver process. The records should also describe the applicants ADHD history, diagnosis, treatment, and stability while off medication.

Apart from medical documentation, recruiters may also recommend that applicants submit transcripts and letters of recommendation to showcase evidence of successful academic and work performance while off medication.

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Extra Training And Education While Reserve Status

There are other training options you can do as a former Army active duty member while in the National Guard to advance your career. There is an Army Special Forces program that allows for a National Guard member to attend the various schools in the Special Forces pipeline and actually become an Army Special Forces soldier earning the Green Beret. Once you are a member of the 19th and 20th Special Forces Groups you will continue to train and can deploy when needed as an augmentee into an active unit.

Active Reserve and National Guard enlistments are usually for a minimum of six years .

If you are commissioned as an officer through the ROTC or Service Academy college programs, you owe the military five years of active duty service with a two-year option of Reserve Duty or IRR.

Exemptions And 3 Exclusions

Straight From The Source

Federal agencies are required by law to disclose any information that is requested by U.S. citizens under the FOIA, unless it falls under one of nine exemptions.

These exemptions are in place to protect things like personal privacy, law enforcement, and national security.

Certain pieces of information related to the military may not be made available because it is a matter of national security. The exclusion protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records that are classified.

However, if you are simply looking to verify the identity of someone that claims they served in the U.S. Military, this information is made readily available to the public.

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Need To Know Terms For Joining The Military

Before we get started, there are some terms and abbreviations you need to understand:

  • Military Service Obligation : The military service obligation is the total required years of service that each person who becomes a member of a Military Service must serve under the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the respective military branch.
  • Active-duty service obligation or Active Duty Service Commitment : The active-duty service obligation or active-duty service commitment is the time that must be completed before you can think about getting out of the military.
  • Individual Ready Reserve : A reserve component where military members who have an unfulfilled portion of their initial 8-year Military Service Obligation or other service commitment are assigned. Members transition here because of recent separation from active duty or a participating guard/reserve program.

For example, whatever amount of time is not spent on full-time active duty, or spent in the Reserves or National Guard is spent in the IRR to complete your time of the military contract.

Now, well move on to the ways you can join the military, which includes:

How Long Do I Have To Serve If I Join The Military

Raising your right hand to support and defend the Constitution of the United States is a task that should not be taken lightly. Joining the military is a commitment on the part of two parties the service member and the government. If youre contemplating being a part of the best and most dominant military force in the world, you may be asking, How many years do I have to serve in the military? The Department of Defense lays out the terms to fulfilling the military service obligation.

Every person who enters military service by enlistment or appointment incurs a military service obligationof 8 years, no matter whether its for active-duty or reserve components. But other factors can shorten or lengthen your time in service such as the way you enter the military, the service branch, and the job you choose. Today, Empire Resume will simplify the military service obligations or MSO for short.

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Military Benefits At A Glance

So you are considering your options for the future and thinking about the military. Joining the military is unlike any other option, because there are benefits you won’t find anywhere else. An important step is understanding the many tangible and intangible benefits of joining the military:

  • A guaranteed paycheck and cash bonuses
  • Education benefits
  • 30 days of annual paid vacation
  • Option for full-time or part-time service
  • Tax-free room, board and allowances
  • Health and dental care
  • Use of commissary and military exchange stores
  • Special home loans and discounts
  • Unparalleled sense of patriotism, duty, honor and selfless service
  • Highly sought-after skills, leadership and training experience.

Air Force Active And Reserves High Year Of Tenure

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These guidelines apply to active personnel and members of the Reserves.

  • E-8 – 27 yearsE-9 – 30 years

An E-5 who has been passed over twice for promotion to E-6 may be separated at the end of their current enlistment, even if they have less than 13 years of service. An E-6 who has been passed over twice for promotion to E-7 may be separated at the end of their current enlistment, even if they have less than 20 years of service.

An E-7 or E-8 may exceed 20 years of service only if they have not been passed over twice for promotion.

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How Long Will I Be Away From Home

Sailors rotate between sea and shore duty. You may spend three years assigned to a ships command and then rotate to serve three more years at a shore command. You will not be at sea during your entire Navy career. During your sea tour, you may live off-base nearby, but must be available to travel with the ship for deployments or training.

A typical sea deployment on a Navy ship can last anywhere from six to nine months. Ships typically deploy once every 18-24 months. In preparation for deployment, Sailors should be prepared to go to sea for 10 to 14 days each month for training.

Ask To See His Or Her Dd

Another way to find out if someone is a veteran or not is to ask him or her for a copy of their DD-214.

The DD Form 214, or DD-214, is a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. It is provided to every service member of the U.S. Military upon discharge.

The document is provided by the United States Department of Defense and is presented to the service member when he or she retirees, gets separated, or discharged from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

It includes every branch of the U.S. Military including the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy.

A DD-214 is available in two different versions for review. The short version, or redacted copy, provides basic information like the nature and type of discharge, as well as a re-enlistment code.

The Member Copy 4, or long version of a DD-214 contains far more information that details the type of service as well as reason for separation. The U.S. Military only provides one copy of this form, and offers no replacement copies.

For authentication purposes, a legitimate DD-214 can prove that someone did in fact serve in the U.S. Military. However, you need to ask the individual directly for this documentation.

Furthermore, it is not always crystal clear to the untrained eye to notice the difference between a legitimate DD-214 and one that has been falsely created.

For this reason checking a DD-214 is usually not your best option for doing a free military background check.

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If You Disagree With Dd Form 214

If you disagree with information on your DD Form 214 that prevents us from using your military wages to qualify for benefits, you can apply to your branch of service to change the DD Form 214 information. To request changes, submit a Department of Defense DD Form 149, Application for Correction of Military Record, to the appropriate address on the back of the form. You can from the National Archives web site or get one from your local Workforce Solutions office.

While you are waiting for a decision from the military, you must continue to request payment as long as you are unemployed. If you have questions about a military appeal, ask your branch of service.

Does Adhd Disqualify You From Joining The Military

Given how important tabs are in the Army, should a prior service Marine ...

According to Department of Defense guidelines last updated in 2018, ADHD is considered a disqualifying condition if any of the following exists alongside the diagnosis:

  • A recommended or prescribed Individualized Education Program , 504 Plan, or work accommodations after the 14th birthday
  • A history of comorbid mental disorders
  • Prescribed ADHD medication in the previous 24 months or
  • Documentation of adverse academic, occupational, or work performance.

Other potentially disqualifying conditions under the DODs Learning, Psychiatric, and Behavioral Disorders section include dyslexia, autism, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder , and anxiety.

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How To Make A Foia Request

Below is a simple step-by-step process for obtaining a valid FOIA request:

Step 1: Fill Out A FOIA Request Letter

There is no official government form that you need to fill out to make a FOIA request.

You can literally just write or type it out on a sheet of paper, however, it should contain some pertinent info.

We here at OMK have made a couple sample FOIA request letters for your convenience, see them below:

if youre a member of the news media looking to verify someones military records.

if youre an individual that is simply seeking information regarding someones military status or past.

if youre affiliated with a private corporation and are seeking to verify someones military service for employment purposes.

if youre affiliated with a college, university, or educational institution.

Step 2: Snail Mail / Email Your Request To The Appropriate Agency

After filling out and printing your FOIA request, you will then simply send it to the appropriate agency.

Each branch of the military has their own FOIA department, whereby you can either send it via Snail mail , or via email.

Ive presented both options below for each branch of the military:

Air Force FOIA Request Details

JoAnne Collins FOIA ContactDepartment of the Air ForceSAF/AAII Washington, DC 20330-1000

Telephone 693-2735

If you would like to email your request, send to the following email address:

Alternatively, you can submit your FOIA request via this link.

Army FOIA Request Details

Step 3: Wait

Posthumous Citizenship For Military Members

Generally, individuals who served honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces during a specified period of military hostilities and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by that service may be eligible for posthumous citizenship under section 329A of the INA.

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Is It Worth Pursuing A Military Career If I Have Adhd

It is easy for applicants with ADHD who want to serve in the military to feel discouraged by these guidelines. Its important to remember, though, that recruiters do take an interest in helping applicants, especially those who advocate for themselves.

Recruiters want to, and will, work with applicants to determine their best fit in a specific branch. Recruiters can spend hours interviewing and taking questions from a single applicant. Many engage in non-binding dialogue to gauge an applicants eligibility before asking them commit to any processes or formally submit documentation.

Some recruiters, for example, are known to have applicants fill out a slightly modified version of the medical pre-screening report one that will stay between the recruiter and candidate prior to filling out the official version of the report. The recruiter may explain to an applicant that reviewing the modified questionnaire lets them to gauge whether a candidates medical history requires more documentation, and allows applicants to decide if they have the time and willingness to proceed should any red flags appear.

Hopeful service members must conduct their own research prior to joining, which means speaking to a doctor about the plan for and ramifications of getting off medication, and finding a branch and career that accommodates and accentuates strengths while minimizing weaknesses.

Dont ever stop fighting to get in if thats what you want to do, he said.

Freedom Of Information Act Request


One of the most accurate ways to check proof of military service is via a FOIA request.

Public military records are available to citizens just like other pieces of government documentation.

Our founding fathers established public records to offer full transparency between U.S. citizens and the U.S. government, which is why matters of public health and safety are made readily available.

Most public records request require no personal information or explanation on your part.

If youre an American citizen that would like to search a military public records database, you have that right.

Public records availability is still supported through pieces of legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act. Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act has provided the public with the opportunity to request access to records for any federal agency, including the U.S. Military.

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Search The National Personnel Records Center

The National Personnel Records Center is located in St. Louis, Missouri. For those that are not able to attend NPRC in-person, the national archives are also available to request online.

The repository contains millions of military personnel, health, and medical records of discharged as well as deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century.

According to the website, records that were prior to WWI are located in Washington, D.C.

NPRC also hosts medical treatment records related to retirees from all services, and records for dependent and other persons treated at naval medical facilities. The site is provided to anyone that would like more information regarding military personnel, medical, or health records.

The information is made available upon written request to the National Personnel Records Center.

Staying In Touch During A Deployment Can Be A Challenge

For many service members, staying in touch with loved ones while deployed can be quite the challenge. In some cases, it can be nearly impossible.

While some deployment locations offer Wi-Fi or phones to connect back home, many others are too remote for service members to have access to any reliable communication.

More than 160 members return from a nine-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

For example, submariners serve in a part of the Navy nicknamed the Silent Service, and theres a reason for that. Submarines stay hundreds of feet underwater for months at a time. Though there are ways to email and deliver letters to these service members while they are underway, it is difficult for them to maintain consistent communication with their loved ones while they are deployed.

Additionally, since deployments across all military branches can take service members all over the world, time zones can make it hard to coordinate with their loved ones back home.

An airman hugs her loved one upon return.|Photo credit DVIDS/Staff Sgt. Tony Harp

If a service members family lives on the East Coast, and their service member is in South Korea, there would be an 13-hour time difference. Timing and lack of access to means of communications can force many families to go weeks, sometimes months, with little to no connection.

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How Does An Army Base Salary Compare To Pay In The Private

When you consider affordable health care for part-time Soldiers and free health care for full-time Soldiers, plus access to bonuses, allowances for housing, food, and clothing, opportunities to get a college degree without incurring debt, and more financial benefits, the Army offers a more competitive choice to similar civilian careers. Your Army base salary is just one part of the total compensation Soldiers receive. While civilian jobs may pay higher base salaries, the Army offers a starting salary above the federal minimum wage for a 40-hour work week, 30 days paid leave every year, plus a variety of benefits on top of your base pay that add up.

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