Soldiers taking a shot at re-enlisting and staying in uniform will find the Army is offering them a range of options for fiscal 2014. (Cpl. Alex Flynn/Army)
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Soldiers have five options for re-enlistment, now that the fiscal 2014 opportunity window has opened for some active-component soldiers.The window will remain open through Sept. 30, 2014.
Eligibility criteria include two general categories:
■Soldiers with enlistments, or terms of service, that expire Jan. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2014, and
■Soldiers whose enlistments, or service contracts, expire Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015.
The Armyís policy of requiring soldiers to re-enlist at least 90 days before their expiration term of service date remains in effect. The Army also requires that soldiers with contractual ETSs in fiscal 2014 and 2015 be in the rank of specialist or above.
Because the Army is entering a period of large force reductions, the retention program is tightly managed, requiring soldiers to not only be in compliance with service standards but hold an appropriate military occupational specialty.
The management categories continue to be initial-term soldiers with six or fewer years of service, midcareer soldiers with six to 10 years of service, and career soldiers with 10 or more years of service. Staff sergeants and above with 10 or more years of service generally are required to take an indefinite enlistment to remain in service.
The five re-enlistment options for the retention program are listed below. However, soldiers need to contact a retention noncommissioned officer or career counselor to determine their specific options. Retention officials have access to an automated system, called RETAIN, that provides up-to-date information about specific training and assignment opportunities.
In addition to contacting a retention NCO, soldiers should consult the latest reclassification in/out calls, which show the strength status of all MOSs, and the eligibility and payment charts for the Tiered Selective Re-enlistment Bonus program.
The latest version of in/out calls was issued Oct. 1, while the Tiered SRB program was updated Sept. 19. The Bonus Extension and Retraining program was rescinded Oct. 1, and no further applications are being accepted. All agreements entered into before Oct. 1 will be honored upon successful completion of training in a bonus-eligible MOS.
The five re-enlistment options for the regular retention program are:
■1. Regular Army. This option does not guarantee an assignment, training or stabilization. Soldiers will be assigned to the needs of the Army, unless they are re-enlisting to meet a service-remaining requirement.
■2. Current station stabilization. This option generally provides stabilization of one to 12 months for soldiers who re-enlist for three or more years.
■3. Army training. This option guarantees attendance at a school of choice for specialty or language training. Soldiers requesting airborne training must be in an MOS associated with the parachutist special qualification identifier.
■4. Overseas assignment. This option guarantees assignment to such overseas tour areas as Europe, South Korea, Alaska and the Pacific region.
■5. Continental U.S. station of choice. This option guarantees an assignment of 12 months or more to a stateside post for a re-enlistment of three to six years.
Initial-term soldiers. Soldiers who are serving in an overstrength MOS, shown in the in/out calls as N/Y, are limited to Options 1 and 3, except if they qualify for the Commanderís Allocation Process. Soldiers should ask their retention NCO about CAP, which allows limited re-enlistment opportunities in overstrength MOSs. Soldiers who retrain for a new MOS under Option 3 must select a specialty that is understrength or balanced.
Soldiers who are serving in a balanced MOS, as displayed in the in/out calls, are eligible for Options 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. However, if they retrain for reclassification under Option 3, they must select an MOS that is understrength or balanced.
Initial-term soldiers who are in an understrength MOS are eligible for Options 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Midcareer soldiers. Soldiers who are serving in an overstrength MOSs are limited to Options 1 and 3, except if they qualify for the CAP.
Soldiers who are serving in a balanced MOS are eligible for Options 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. However, if they retrain for reclassification under Option 3, they must select an MOS that is understrength or balanced.
Midcareer soldiers who are in an understrength MOS are eligible for Options 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Career soldiers. Specialists, sergeants and staff sergeants with less than 10 years of service who hold an overstrength MOS are limited to Options 1 and 3, except if they qualify for CAP. Soldiers who request Option 3 must select a Tier 4 or higher MOS in the Selective Re-enlistment Bonus program.
Specialists, sergeants and staff sergeants with less than 10 years of service who are in a balanced or understrength MOS are limited to Option 1.
Staff sergeants and above who have 10 or more years of service, must re-enlist under the Indefinite Re-enlistment Program. Soldiers can request Option 3 and retrain for a Tier 4 or higher MOS in the SRB program.
Promotable staff sergeants and above who have less than 10 years of service are limited to Option 1.