Volunteer or mobilized? Most benefits are the same for Reservists whether they volunteer or are mobilized: but there are a few exceptions.
Since Operation Desert Storm Noun 1. Operation Desert Storm - the United States and its allies defeated Iraq in a ground war that lasted 100 hours (1991)
Gulf War, Persian Gulf War - a war fought between Iraq and a coalition led by the United States that freed Kuwait from Iraqi invaders; , the Air Force has increasingly relied on Reserve and Guard forces to meet combatant commander requirements. Demand for forces dramatically increased after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
The Air Force initially met this demand primarily through partial mobilization of forces. Although Reserve and Guard forces are still being mobilized--particularly in stressed career fields like security forces, civil engineering and operations--the Air Force Reserve has subsequently strived to meet these requirements through volunteerism.
To accommodate this greater reliance on Reserve and Guard forces, Congress and the Department of Defense have revised law and policy, improving benefits in some cases and outlining accessibility to Reservists in others. The range and conditions of benefits--when they apply, when they don't--can be confusing: Do Reservists get a particular benefit when they meet a contingency requirement by volunteering as opposed to being mobilized?
For the most part, the answer to this question is yes. However, there are some cases where the benefits for volunteers as opposed to people who are mobilized are different.
As Reservists are only mobilized in support of contingencies, this article examines the applicability of benefits for volunteers only in the context of contingencies. Moreover, since mobilizations in almost all cases last longer than 30 days, this article doesn't address the applicability of benefits for volunteers in situations involving 30 days or less.
This article focuses on 30 benefits or categories of benefits available to Reservists and Guardsmen that include pay, allowances and leave, retirement, health care, legal protections, education, insurance, survivor benefits, privileges, and small business support.
Of the 30 benefits or categories of benefits reviewed, 25 are the same for both volunteers and people who are mobilized. Five are different, depending on whether a Reservist is placed on active-duty status by way of volunteerism or mobilization for greater than 30 days. These five are legal assistance, income replacement, the 1095 rule, post-deployment/mobilization respite absence and follow-on mobilization. Following is a brief explanation of these five differences:
Although legal assistance is available to Reservists and their dependents whenever on active-duty orders, mobilized Reservists are eligible for continued legal assistance after demobilization de·mo·bil·ize
tr.v. de·mo·bil·ized, de·mo·bil·iz·ing, de·mo·bil·iz·es
1. To discharge from military service or use.
2. To disband (troops). . This entitlement is available when mobilized for more than 30 days and provides legal assistance to Reservists and dependents after release from active duty, for not less than twice the length of active duty, subject to the availability of legal resources. See 10 U.S.C. [section] 1044, as amended, Public Law 110-181, section 541; 122 Stat. 114.
In order to qualify for income replacement of up to $3,000 per month, a Reservist must be involuntarily mobilized (not on voluntary orders) for any full month after the date on which the member completes 547 continuous days of active duty under an involuntary mobilization order or completes 730 cumulative days of active duty under an involuntary mobilization order in the previous 1,826 days, or is involuntarily mobilized for a period of 180 days or more within 180 days of release from a period of 180 days or more of active duty.
This income replacement is only the difference between the member's average civilian income and the total military compensation, when the member's civilian pay was more. This entitlement is not applicable to federal employees and is set to expire at the end of the 2008 calendar year. See 37 U.S.C. [section] 910, as amended, Public Law 110-181, section 604; 122 Stat. 145.
The 1095 rule
Reservists may serve on active duty orders for 1,095 days (three years) of the previous 1,460 days (four years). If Reservists serve in excess of this limitation, then they must be counted against active-duty or active Guard and Reserve National Guard and Reserve members who are on voluntary active duty providing full-time support to National Guard, Reserve, and Active Component organizations for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the Reserve Components. Also called AGR. end-strength limits, unless these Reservists serve on active duty under certain excluded categories.
Days spent on mobilization orders are excluded, as are days on annual tour, days spent as an AGR AGR advanced gas-cooled reactor , duty performed before first entering the Selected Reserve and certain training tours. While the secretary of the Air Force may waive certain Reservists to count against active-duty or AGR end strength according to established criteria, waiver is not guaranteed.
These criteria, in order of priority, are members deployed to the area of responsibility; members directly supporting Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom or Noble Eagle; members supporting approved contingencies; members on operational support orders; and members backfilling for active-duty members who are forward deployed in support of OEF OEF Operation Enduring Freedom (US government response to September 11, 2001 terrorism attacks)
OEF Oxford Economic Forecasting
OEF Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum
OEF Optimal Extension Fields , OIF OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom
OIF Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (French: International Organization of Francophonie)
OIF Office for Intellectual Freedom (American Library Association) or ONE. In the past year, more than 2,200 Reservists applied for waiver, while more than 1,600 were approved. See 10 U.S.C. [section] 115, as amended, Public Law 110-181, sections 403(h), 416(b), 417; 122 Stat. 87, 91, 92.
Secretary of defense policy establishes the post-deployment/mobilization respite absence (PDMRA) benefit. Department of Defense and AFRC AFRC Air Force Reserve Command (formerly AFRES)
AFRC Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (Sierra Leone)
AFRC Agricultural and Food Research Council (United Kingdom) guidance further delineate the policy. Essentially, PDMRA provides for paid days off after extended time spent deployed (minimum of one cumulative year within the last 72 months).
When mobilized, all time is credited toward PDMRA, whether deployed in side or outside the continental United States. By contrast, for volunteers, the benefit applies only when serving in certain designated locations and only if the member is subsequently mobilized within the next 72 months. See Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 19 Jan 2007; OSD/PR Policy Letter, 15 Mar 2007, as amended 18 Apr 2007 and 24 May 2007; and HQ AFRC/A1 Policy Letter, 21 Feb 2008.
Another difference between volunteering and being mobilized that could affect most Reservists is a secondary or follow-on mobilization. Current policy strives to minimize the disruption to a member's commitments outside the military.
Accordingly, the secretary of defense has established a desired ratio of time Reservists spend mobilized to time not mobilized. This ratio is currently 1 to 5, which means that a Reservist who spends a period of time being mobilized should expect five times that period at home station, not being mobilized.
A member who volunteers does not establish a new dwell period at home station by virtue of volunteering for a contingency.
He or she can still be mobilized upon his or her return from voluntary duty, per the established ratio, based on his or her last mobilization.
It is also important to point out that this dwell rate is a planning objective and, as such, can be changed by the secretary of defense when the needs of the military require. See Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 19 Jan 2007; OSD/PR Policy Letter, 15 Mar 2007, as amended 18 Apr 2007 and 24 May 2007; and HQ AFRC/A1 Policy Letter, 21 Feb 2008.
In order for the Air Force Reserve to continue fulfilling combatant commander requirements by way of volunteerism, while minimizing the disruptive effects of mobilization, it is imperative that Reservists have the facts.
The fact is a large number of benefits are the same, regardless of how the Reservist is placed on active duty. Where differences do exist, in most cases the benefits only become available after extensive time on mobilization orders or time spent in designated countries.
However, volunteerism may offer the Reservist greater flexibility and control since orders will be produced and amended (if necessary) locally. References are available to help clarify any misunderstandings about Reservist benefits.
Since benefits for Reservists are always subject to change, Reservists should keep abreast of the latest information available on the Web at http://www.defenselink. mil/ra.
(Information for this article was provided by the Air Force Reserve Directorate of Strategic Communications at the Pentagon.)
Benefits: Same or Different?
Pay, Allowances, Leave end Accessibility
* Basic Pay
* Basic allowance for housing (BAH)
* Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS BAS
1. Bachelor of Agricultural Science
2. Bachelor of Applied Science )
* Special and incentive pays
* Tax benefit for combat zone
* Family separation allowance (FSA FSA Financial Services Authority
FSA Food Standards Agency (UK)
FSA Farm Service Agency (USDA)
FSA Financial Services Agency (Japan) )
* Hostile fire/imminent danger pay
* Hardship duty pay (HDP HDP High Density Polyethylene
HDP High Density Plasma
HDP Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme
HDP Hazardous Duty Pay
HDP Hurricane Destruction Potential
HDP Hydrocarbon Dew Point
HDP Hard Drive Password )
* Payment for unused leave (in support of contingency)
* Leave accrual
* Post-deployment reconstitution
* Income Replacement
* Follow-on mobilization
* 1095 Rule
* Reduced retirement pay age
* Retirement or separation for physical disability
* Medical and dental benefits (in support of contingency)
* Transitional assistance medical program (TAMP)
* Employer-sponsored health care plan--COBRA
* Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA USERRA Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 )
Return to work
Employer pension benefit plans
Civilian employment retention
Assistance with a reemployment issue
* Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA SCRA South Carolina Research Authority
SCRA Sprint Car Racing Association
SCRA Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003
SCRA Securities Contract Regulation Act (Indian law)
SCRA Scottish Countryside Rangers Association )
* GI Bill
* Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI SGLI Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance
SGLI Servicemen's Group Life Insurance (now Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance)
SGLI Smart Growth Leadership Institute )
* Family SGLI
* Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (with 20 years satisfactory service)
* Base privileges (commissary COMMISSARY. An officer whose principal duties are to supply the army with provisions.
2. The Act of April 14, 1818, s. 6, requires that the president, by and with the consent of the senate, shall appoint a commissary general with the rank, pay, and emoluments , BX, MWR MWR Morale, Welfare and Recreation
MWR Ministry of Water Resources (China)
MWR Monthly Weather Review
MWR Microwave Radiometer
MWR Multiple Worksite Report (US Department of Labor)
MWR Microwave Radiometry services)
* Space-A travel
* Legal Assistance
Smell Business Support
* Military Reservist Economic Injury Loan Program