Requirements to Transition From Navy Reserve to Navy Active Duty


Although reservists might expect that transitioning from the Navy's reserve duty to its active duty would be easy and desirable, current circumstances have complicated the process. Reservists make up a significant portion of America's current fighting force, and so keeping reserve numbers high is valuable to the military as a whole and to the Navy in particular. However, while some requirements are out of a reservist's control, transitioning may not be entirely out of reach.

Adequate Enlistment Numbers

  • According to Denny Schulstad, reserve forces compose more than 40 percent of the United States armed forces currently deployed around the world. If active duty enlistment is high and reserve enlistment is low, then it will be difficult for the Navy to justify moving reservists to active duty. Anyone seeking to transition from reserve to active duty can do little about this requirement.

Contacting a Recruiter

  • A reservist seeking a transition must contact a Navy recruiter in order to initiate the process. Recruiters will have a better idea of how rigid your reserve contract is and how successful your transition may be. In general, the same eligibility requirements that apply to reserve duty also apply to active duty, including age, citizenship, and financial and moral requirements.

Appropriate Paperwork

  • To begin the transition process in earnest, reservists must obtain and complete a copy of Form DD 368, which grants conditional release from reserve duty for the specific purpose of transferring to a different branch or duty status in the military. This form is the final requirement; if it is approved, then you have transitioned successfully.

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