Green card holders looking to join the Army Reserve can do so once more, after the Trump administration directed the Defense Department in October to suspend enlistments for permanent residents seeking to join the Army.
The Army has created a delayed entry program for prospective reservists, which gets the branch within new policy requiring green card holders to wait to ship to basic training until their background checks were completed, rather than being able to train during the investigation process, under the previous policy.
The program was announced this week in a statement from officials at the Pentagon.
The Army stood up a Reserve DEP in a Nov. 2 memo signed by Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands.
“The Department of Defense has continued to enlist lawful permanent residents who possess a green card into the Delayed Entry Program for entry in the military, and is creating a system to permit enlistment into the Reserve Components and the National Guard,” according to a statement from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The Defense Department updated its accessions policy in October to require that non-citizens seeking to enlist under the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program be enrolled in the DEP while they await a Military Service Suitability Determination.
Officials told Mic that prospective recruits to the active Army would wait in the DEP, but that Reserve enlistments would be temporarily banned, because the component did not have its own DEP.
“The DoD is implementing a Reserve Delayed Entry Program for the Reserve Component and a Recruit Force Pool for the National Guard,” according to the OSD statement.
The policy does not affect soldiers who were already assigned to active- or reserve-component units prior to Nov. 2, the memo said, only those who have not entered initial training.
“The information systems necessary to support these programs are projected to be completed in the next few weeks,” the statement said. “Once fully implemented, these programs will permit lawful permanent residents to enter all military components.”
Legal, non-cititzens residents have been allowed to join the military under the MAVNI program since 2008, while legal permanent residents have been able to enlist in the military services under various programs since the early 1950s.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT