Editor’s note: This story’s final paragraph was edited at 2:39 p.m. EST on Dec. 14, 2023 to clarify attribution.

After months of uncertainty, Army officers who commissioned through a specialized enlisted-to-officer pathway can sleep easier — they will not have to repay the Army or put off retirements due to the service’s administrative error, a spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

The saga began in September, when the Cadet Command inspector general office quietly announced that a review of federal law determined that officers who used the Green to Gold Active Duty Option pipeline for their ROTC years can’t count their two cadet years as time-in-service for pay or retirement benefits. But for nearly two decades, the Army had been crediting Green to Gold officers for their cadet time, during which they also received their full active duty pay and allowances.

More than a dozen former Green to Gold active duty cadets who spoke to Army Times — which first reported the administrative error in September — said the service promised them their years would count toward retirement and pay calculations.

Now the Army is making good on that promise, despite their own administrative errors. Brig. Gen. Hope Rampy, the Army’s director of military personnel management, notified a handful of impacted officers via phone Wednesday evening.

“Any currently serving officers impacted by this will be credited with the period of their active-duty enlisted service during their participation in the [Green to Gold Active Duty Option] program in computing length of service for any purpose, including pay and retirement,” confirmed Maj. Shahin Uddin, a spokesperson for the Army’s top personnel officer. “Also, our retired service members will not be affected by this and will continue to receive any benefits awarded at the time of their retirement.”

Uddin said the Army reviewed the personnel files of all Green to Gold active duty officers commissioned between 2006 and 2023. He said officials found “they did not have a valid contract in place to be enrolled as a Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC) member.” Such contracts likely would have blocked them from receiving time-in-service for pay or retirement.

But the fate of currently enrolled Green to Gold active duty cadets — slated to commission in spring 2024 and spring 2025 — remains unclear. Army officials have notified the future officers that their time won’t count toward pay or retirement, Uddin said. But impacted officers told Army Times that they continue to lobby lawmakers to change the law for current cadets who believed their time would count.

Jaime Moore-Carrillo contributed to this report.

Davis Winkie covers the Army for Military Times. He studied history at Vanderbilt and UNC-Chapel Hill, and served five years in the Army Guard. His investigations earned the Society of Professional Journalists' 2023 Sunshine Award and consecutive Military Reporters and Editors honors, among others. Davis was also a 2022 Livingston Awards finalist.

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