Reserve component officers and warrant officers can go on active duty if they apply to be considered within the next few weeks.

The Army is expanding the Regular Army Call to Active Duty program this year to include officers and warrant officers in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard.

The CAD program is part of the Army's effort to reach the end strength growth called for in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The service is slated to grow the active Army by 16,000 for an end strength of 476,000, Lt. Col. Janet Herrick, a spokeswoman for Human Resources Command, told Army Times on Feb. 23.   

The program is open to those in specific grades and specialties, according to a Military Personnel Message released Feb. 3.

The deadline to apply is March 31. Officers who are accepted will be notified by e-mail no later than Aug. 31, according to the release. 

Through the program, "the Army looks to retain the talent, skills and experience of quality officers who are fit, resilient and ready to serve America's Army," said Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Calloway, director of HRC's Officer Personnel Management Directorate, in a Feb. 22 Army release.

"Each year the program is open to varying grades and specialties for officers and warrant officers to match the needs of the Army and keep skilled officers on active duty," Herrick said.

The CAD program is different from a branch transfer program; with its emphasis on skills and experience, it focuses on officers qualified in their requesting branch or functional area, according to the MILPER message.

The selections will be made based on what skills the Army needs at the time officers are selected, officials said. 

Those who transfer to active duty will have a three-year active-duty service obligation, according to the MILPER message.

 Who's eligible

Commissioned officers in these grades and specialties may apply:

  • All basic-branch first and second lieutenants in the Army Competitive Category who successfully completed their Branch Officer Leadership Course.
  • All ACC basic branch captains who completed their Captain Career Course and successfully completed a key development qualifying assignment. Captains in Adjutant General (42B) and Logistics branch (90A) must only complete the CCC.
  • Majors in the branches of Air Defense Artillery (14A), Chemical Corps (74A), Military Intelligence (35D), Finance Corps (36A), Corps of Engineers (12A), Acquisition Corps (FA51), Nuclear and Counter Proliferation (FA52) and Information Operations (FA30).

Warrant officers in these areas may apply:

  • Warrant officers one (WO1) and chief warrant officers two (CW2) in MOS 131A, 140A, 140E, 152E/H, 153D/M, 154F, 180A, 255A, 255N, 311A, 352N, 353T, 420A, 881A, 920A, and 923A.
  • CW3 in MOS 120A, 125D, 150U, 152E/H, 154F, 180A, 255S, 311A, and 352N.
  • CW4 in MOS 120A, 125D, 131A, 150U, 152E/H, 154F, 180A, 255S, 311A, 350F, and 921A.
  • CW2, CW3, and CW4 for Army Special Operations Aviation (ARSOA) assignment in MOS 152H, 152D, 153D, 153M, 154C, 154F, and 155A/E/G.

The CAD program's requirements for commissioned officers and warrant officers include:

  • Hold a security clearance of secret or higher.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree, at minimum.
  • Pass the Army Physical Fitness Test and meet height/weight standards in AR 600-9.
  • All eligible lieutenants must have completed BOLC.
  • All eligible captains must be graduates of CCC.

Who's not eligible:

  • Officers in special branches such as the Army Medical Department, Judge Advocate General Corps and Chaplains Corps.
  • Promotable majors.
  • Officers who have been released from active duty because of a show-cause board, medical board or hardship or compassionate release from duty unless documentation shows the reason for separation has been resolved.
  • Those who resigned for the good of the service in lieu of court-martial.

Majors and captains who have been selected by an Officer Separation Board and who received a reserve appointment may apply through an exception to policy if they meet eligibility requirements detailed in the MILPER message.

CAD applies only to officers. Enlisted soldiers do not have a version of the Call to Active Duty Program, but they do have a Selective Retention Bonus program that is updated periodically, Herrick said.

For details on applying for the CAD program, see MILPER Message 17-052or visit the


Kathleen Curthoys is editor of Army Times. She has been an editor at Military Times for 20 years, covering issues that affect service members. She previously worked as an editor and staff writer at newspapers in Columbus, Georgia; Huntsville, Alabama; Bloomington, Indiana; Monterey, California and in Germany.

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