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Some prior-service vets must attend basic again

Those staying out for three years are targeted, the Army says

Mar. 20, 2011 - 10:01AM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 20, 2011 - 10:01AM  |  
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Soldiers who get out and come back into the Army will have to go to basic training again if they stay out for three years or more.

That is among the Army's new policies for the initial entry training of prior-service soldiers entering the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

Policy Directive 2011-02, approved by Army Secretary John McHugh on Feb. 3, requires that Basic Combat Training or One Station Unit Training are the only courses authorized for transitioning former service members into the active and reserve components.

Each year, prior-service accessions account for large numbers of soldiers entering the force. For example, in fiscal 2010, 4,551 prior-service personnel entered the active Army and 3,887 entered the Army Reserve, according to Recruiting Command spokesman Douglas Smith.

Program suspended Jan. 1

The four-week Warrior Transition Course, established six years ago to support the Blue-to-Green program for transitioning Air Force and sea services personnel into the Army, was suspended Jan. 1.

Here is a summary of policy changes to be included in revisions of Army Regulations 350-1 (Army Training and Leader Development) and 601-210 (Active and Reserve Components Enlistment Program):

• Prior-service members entering the active Army with more than a three-year break in service must attend basic training and military occupational specialty training before moving to their first unit of assignment.

• Prior-service members entering the active Army with less than a three-year break in service are not required to attend BCT if they previously completed Army or Marine Corps basic, or training for Air Force or Navy special operations forces, or Air Force security police.

• Prior-service personnel from the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard entering the active Army or reserve components must attend BCT, regardless of the length of their break in service, if they have not attended Army or Marine Corps basic training, or special operations training for the Air Force or Navy, or Air Force security police.

• Prior-service personnel entering the Army National Guard or Army Reserve will go straight to their unit of assignment, regardless of the length of their break in service, if they have completed Army or Marine Corps basic training, or special operations training for the Air Force or Navy, or Air Force security police.

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