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Old 06-21-2011, 09:13 PM   #21
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After doing 33 years (4 1/2 active & the rest reserves) I think it was time to go! Thanks though! Now I just have to make it till 60 (6 1/2 more yrs) so I can start collecting my retired pay. I do utilize base facilities regularly now (commissary, BX, fitness ctr, MWR, bowling alley) etc. Once wife & I both fully retire, I expect well take advantage of some of the nicer billeting around the country, when it's convenient to our travel plans. After all these years, I guess I'll always feel like I'm still part of the military community/family. And really, that's what it is...a big family.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #22
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I'm hoping Tomcat or Deserat will chime in shortly with their AF knowledge.

TAP will tell you more about veteran's credits for preferential hiring into the civil service, possibly state civil service as well as federal. Pay close attention to the criteria for medical disability screening for even more points toward hiring preference. And finally, if you're near a major military command then you may just end up making the Reserves your primary job. It's career networking on steroids. When my spouse was on her Reserve AT she was usually getting offers by the third day-- ADSW, contractor, civil service-- they didn't care as long as they could get her to start working for them in the long term.

Keep an eye on your GI Bill benefits, too!
I am not to familaar with the reserve stuff but Deserat can give you all the details. TAP is really good at my base. It really helped me on so many fronts. Also the VA stuff is interesting.

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:25 PM   #23
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Can you transfer to another service to finish out the rest of your active duty? Or stay in as enlisted?
I knew plenty of officers in the Army Guard who didnt get promoted, or failed to meet requirements (a bunch got let go for failing to get a Bachelors degree) and who came back as enlisted.

Retirement is based on your highest rank, so they will all eventually draw their pensions based on the officer payscale.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #24
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Can you transfer to another service to finish out the rest of your active duty? Or stay in as enlisted?
I knew plenty of officers in the Army Guard who didnt get promoted, or failed to meet requirements (a bunch got let go for failing to get a Bachelors degree) and who came back as enlisted.

Retirement is based on your highest rank, so they will all eventually draw their pensions based on the officer payscale.
I can't imagine re-enlisting at this age. I am too old to go through boot camp and tech school, again, especially in the Army. I think it would be better to move over to the Reserves and work full-time at a civilian job. I am praying that my civilian lead will work out because it is a nice pay raise in a cool area with higher responsibilites than the job I was PCSing to as an O-4.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:46 PM   #25
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There was a blue to green program - AF officers could go into Army as officers at the same rank (BTW - the rank progression was quicker in the Army) - had a few colleagues do that when 'separated' involuntarily. That may allow you to get to the 20 and punch - might want to see if it's worth it to you.

Reserves can also end up being paid full-time if you are highly valued and if the orders are for certain types of support you can pro-rate the dates of your retirement up (must have done duty after Jan 1 2008 or so and at least in 60 or 90 day chunks). I just got off the phone with an O-5 who was on 1.5 year orders, has been selected for Air War College and is now on PCS orders there - hope to get a full time job in DC after that and a promotion (turns out he was passed over to O-6 this time but still selected for in-residence).

I just pinned on O-6 and have a new IMA job in the Reserves....had been passed over last time and was going to do my 28 years ending as an O-5 and punch - the amount of increase in retired pay at O-6 versus O-5 Reserves is worth the extra three years of fitness tests, medical tests, crazy emails, yearly changes in personnel software applications and other general buffoonery.

As previous poster said - military is a family and a very distinct part of society. Not many others have the types of experiences you do and the access to the facilities definitely enhances the quality of one's life in the LBYM mode.

Check on the military retirement 'conversion' or plus up to the GS retirement info - knew many of the military retirees being able to move up their civilian retirement dates and plus up the pension amounts.

Lastly, sorry to hear about your situation - it can suck when the military says goodbye versus the other way around. My husband is in a similar situation, but is eligible for retirement - it still hurts. However, one can use this transition time as one of an opportunity to decide what one truly values and work towards making one's life meet those values. So, give yourself some time to think about what's important and move towards that in your life. It will make a huge difference in the quality of your life.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:44 PM   #26
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An interesting thing that was pointed out to me about military promotions. Everybody is going to be passed over for the next rank/thing at some point. Very few make 4 stars, and only one 4 star at a time becomes Chairman of the JCS and seldom if a military man/woman ever become Secretary of Defense. Yes, there have been a few generals, Jackson, Grant, and Eisenhower, to name a few, that were never passed over. Bad part is, if this happens before 20 years, it is a double whammy as you normally lose your job also.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #27
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There was a blue to green program - AF officers could go into Army as officers at the same rank (BTW - the rank progression was quicker in the Army) - had a few colleagues do that when 'separated' involuntarily. That may allow you to get to the 20 and punch - might want to see if it's worth it to you.

Reserves can also end up being paid full-time if you are highly valued and if the orders are for certain types of support you can pro-rate the dates of your retirement up (must have done duty after Jan 1 2008 or so and at least in 60 or 90 day chunks). I just got off the phone with an O-5 who was on 1.5 year orders, has been selected for Air War College and is now on PCS orders there - hope to get a full time job in DC after that and a promotion (turns out he was passed over to O-6 this time but still selected for in-residence).

I just pinned on O-6 and have a new IMA job in the Reserves....had been passed over last time and was going to do my 28 years ending as an O-5 and punch - the amount of increase in retired pay at O-6 versus O-5 Reserves is worth the extra three years of fitness tests, medical tests, crazy emails, yearly changes in personnel software applications and other general buffoonery.

As previous poster said - military is a family and a very distinct part of society. Not many others have the types of experiences you do and the access to the facilities definitely enhances the quality of one's life in the LBYM mode.

Check on the military retirement 'conversion' or plus up to the GS retirement info - knew many of the military retirees being able to move up their civilian retirement dates and plus up the pension amounts.

Lastly, sorry to hear about your situation - it can suck when the military says goodbye versus the other way around. My husband is in a similar situation, but is eligible for retirement - it still hurts. However, one can use this transition time as one of an opportunity to decide what one truly values and work towards making one's life meet those values. So, give yourself some time to think about what's important and move towards that in your life. It will make a huge difference in the quality of your life.
Thank you for your advice and anecdotes! It is a lot to think about. I will look into the military conversion or plus up if I make it into civil service. Right now, I am tying up the lose ends to cross over to the Reserves through palace chase. BTW, congratulations on your promotion!
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #28
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An interesting thing that was pointed out to me about military promotions. Everybody is going to be passed over for the next rank/thing at some point. Very few make 4 stars, and only one 4 star at a time becomes Chairman of the JCS and seldom if a military man/woman ever become Secretary of Defense. Yes, there have been a few generals, Jackson, Grant, and Eisenhower, to name a few, that were never passed over. Bad part is, if this happens before 20 years, it is a double whammy as you normally lose your job also.
Sec Gates was a military officer in the Air Force. He got out when his obligation was over...probably as a captain. His predecessor, Sec Rumsfeld, was also a naval aviator and retired as a Navy captain in 1989. Also Robert McNamara was a lt col in the US Army Air Forces.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:46 PM   #29
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True, but none were promoted to their next rank within the military. If they had stayed in they would have been passed over at some rank. In fact if Rumsfeld, and McNamara most likely were. Gates did not stay long enough. Very close friend, Naval Academy grad., Captain, passed over for Admiral. Shuffled off to essentially a non promotable job.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #30
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Here's a factoid for you military-history buffs.

Remember COL David (Hack) Hackworth? Just over 40 years ago, on his final tour, he denounced the administration's execution of the Vietnam War in a TV interview. He kicked over a hornet's nest of controversy and was threatened with courts-martial on a number of offenses.

His defense lawyer, who managed to negotiate the dropping of all charges, was a rising young hotshot named Leon Panetta...
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:48 AM   #31
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True, but none were promoted to their next rank within the military. If they had stayed in they would have been passed over at some rank. In fact if Rumsfeld, and McNamara most likely were. Gates did not stay long enough. Very close friend, Naval Academy grad., Captain, passed over for Admiral. Shuffled off to essentially a non promotable job.
It seemed to me that Gates and Rumsfeld did their obligation and set their sights on making it in the civilian world. McNamara had to be wooed by JFK to accept the Sec of Defense appointment.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:49 AM   #32
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Here's a factoid for you military-history buffs.

Remember COL David (Hack) Hackworth? Just over 40 years ago, on his final tour, he denounced the administration's execution of the Vietnam War in a TV interview. He kicked over a hornet's nest of controversy and was threatened with courts-martial on a number of offenses.

His defense lawyer, who managed to negotiate the dropping of all charges, was a rising young hotshot named Leon Panetta...
Wow.
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Old 07-03-2011, 02:05 PM   #33
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Here's a factoid for you military-history buffs.

Remember COL David (Hack) Hackworth? Just over 40 years ago, on his final tour, he denounced the administration's execution of the Vietnam War in a TV interview. He kicked over a hornet's nest of controversy and was threatened with courts-martial on a number of offenses.

His defense lawyer, who managed to negotiate the dropping of all charges, was a rising young hotshot named Leon Panetta...
Thanks for posting this. I live next door to one of COL Hackworth's former Company Commanders during Vietnam. A warrior. Leon may have some redeeming qualities after all.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:32 AM   #34
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I was told last week that I will not be selectively continued in the AF after the results of the O-5 board that met in Mar. I was planning on PCSing to a job in Texas early July. A part of me is relieved that I will not be stuck as an O-4 for the next 5 years on active duty. The other part of me is sad/upset that my active duty pension and upcoming position are both completely jammed up. This year started off promising, I was selected for a major command award, my Promotion Recommendation Form looked better than last year, found missing decoration paperwork, etc...However, as fate would have it, to serve the 5 years on active duty in a higher grade, is not in the cards. Even though my professional development would have been limited (decayed), I thought I would be able to finish out my 20 years on active duty.

I will get a severance of about $118,000 before taxes. I've saved about $89,000 in my TSP and $57,000 in my IRA. I have about 3 months of terminal leave and 1 month of permissive TDY. I am pretty sure I will have to pay hefty taxes this year because of the severance. My goal is to not live on that and land a GS job by the end of next year. I have a pretty good lead on one, but do not want to "count my chickens before they are hatched."

I am also planning on joining the Reserves, so I can make up the 5 years for a reserve pension. I am encouraged by what I read in the ATC thread about the Reserves, but would like to get advice/opinions on my overall situation. TIA.
Just an update! I got a GS-13 job in February of this year. I am still trying to get into the Reserves. I had to do a package for a twice passed over waiver (letters of recommendation, last 5 OPRs and fitness report). I have a lot of support from the leadership there at the base (it is only 45 minutes away) to become a traditional reservist. It finally got approved at the Numbered Air Force level and now it is at Air Force Reserve Command. I am told that AFRC will normally concur with the NAF. I have been working this package since Feb, so I am glad there is finally traction! The recruiter had no idea how to go about it for the first three months. Anyway, happy that there is some progress on that front.

Any advice/information for federal retirement would be appreciated. I just got the paperwork back for buying my military time. It will cost me $24,881 to buy my 14.5 years of military time. I have to pay the deposit by 2/12/2015 before it accrues interest.

TIA
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:40 AM   #35
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YG96 in the submarine force is practically guaranteed command, and some of them are going to have to do it twice.
No Perisher in the USN! ;-)
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #36
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Neecy, I'm glad that's working out. It'll be interesting to see whether you promote in the Reserves... I've seen a lot of passed-over Navy active duty earn a Reserve promotion.

This is a federal civil-service GS-13, right? Is there a calculator to help with figuring out the wisdom of buying your service time? If you buy 14.5 years of time with civil service, then what happens to the military pension? If you bought the time then how many good years would you need for a Reserve retirement, and how much pension would you receive?

Then there's the whole issue of the civil service healthcare system vs Tricare and Tricare For Life.

About the only other advice I can think of is to keep maxing out your civil service TSP for the match. And at the GS-13 pay scale, you probably want to max out the TSP instead of the Roth TSP.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:37 PM   #37
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Neecy, I'm glad that's working out. It'll be interesting to see whether you promote in the Reserves... I've seen a lot of passed-over Navy active duty earn a Reserve promotion.

This is a federal civil-service GS-13, right? Is there a calculator to help with figuring out the wisdom of buying your service time? If you buy 14.5 years of time with civil service, then what happens to the military pension? If you bought the time then how many good years would you need for a Reserve retirement, and how much pension would you receive?

Then there's the whole issue of the civil service healthcare system vs Tricare and Tricare For Life.

About the only other advice I can think of is to keep maxing out your civil service TSP for the match. And at the GS-13 pay scale, you probably want to max out the TSP instead of the Roth TSP.
Hi Nords! So glad you came into my thread. That would be awesome if I get promoted in the Reserves. I will be in an overage position, so I do not know how that works when it comes to Definitely Promote/Promote allocations. Yes, I agree with maxing out my TSP. I am loving the match already! Yes, it is a federal GS-13 position. I can't find a calculator. But if I had an active duty pension, I would have to waive it to collect a federal pension. However, I can collect a Reserve pension and a federal one. If I buy my time, I would be able to retire sooner (I think you need 20 years minimum). FYI-- I am forty years old.

The Advantages of Making A Military Deposit
Posted on Sunday, 15th November 2009 by Linda Sherman

If you are a current federal employee with prior military service you should consider making a deposit for your military service. There are two reasons why making a military deposit may be beneficial:
You could retire sooner, or
Your can increase your retirement annuity.
By making this deposit, your years of military service are included in your civilian retirement computation, just as if you performed that service under your current retirement system. Unless you are receiving a military retirement, making a military deposit is usually a great deal, often paying for itself within a year or two of retirement.
Retire Sooner: A military deposit may allow you to retire from your civilian position earlier than with your civilian service alone. If you reach your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) before you attain the required years of service, this may be your ticket to retire earlier than anticipated. For example, if you began your federal civilian career at age 28 as a FERS employee and, you were born in 1955, your MRA is 56, but you will not attain 30 years of federal civilian service until you reach age 58. If you made a deposit for your four years of active duty military service, you could retire at the MRA of 56 – two years earlier than if you did not make the deposit. (Note: If you are covered under the Special Retirement provisions for Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Air Traffic Controllers, and Military Reserve Technicians the military service cannot be credited towards the 20 years of special retirement coverage for retirement eligibility, but will be used in computing your annuity.)
Increased Annuity: Making a military deposit will increase your federal retirement annuity. By making the deposit, you are purchasing a guaranteed monthly annuity payable when you retire. The annuity is paid directly to you in the form of monthly payments for the rest of your life (and your spouse’s life if you elect a spousal annuity). The military deposit is fully refundable if you change your mind and want a refund of the deposit.
To determine if this deposit is advantageous to you, simply compare the total military deposit amount to the increase in retirement income. Then determine how long before the increase in your retirement annuity will pay for the military deposit amount.
For example, let’s say you have four years of military service and five years of federal service as a FERS employee.
High-three Salary: You don’t know what your high-three salary will be when you retire, but you decide to use your current salary of $60,000 as your high-three salary.
Military Deposit Amount: Your payroll or HR office determines your military deposit amount will be $2,600 for four years of military service.
Computation: If you are a FERS employee, your retirement annuity is increased 1% for each additional year of service. So the computation is:
4 years of additional service x 1% per year x $60,000 = $2400 yearly increase in retirement income attributable directly to the one-time military deposit. That is a $200 per month increase in your annuity payable for your entire life.
Conclusion: In this example, it took just one year and one month of retirement income attributable to the military service to equal the entire military deposit amount. This is the break even point. The higher annuity income continues for as long as you live, and will be also used to compute a spousal annuity if applicable. If you plan to spend more than 13 months receiving this annuity, the deposit is beneficial.
If you are a CSRS employee the military deposit amount is higher, but the return is also higher:
X years of military service x 2% per year x high 3 salary = annual annuity increase.
This calculation does not include the time value of money considerations. For those analytical types, TVM calculations would be appropriate, for everyone else, let’s keep it simple since this is normally such a short period of time.
Retired Military: Making the military deposit is not for everyone. If you are retired military and are receiving full military retirement pay, it is usually not advantageous to make a military deposit, because you must waive your military retired pay for the service period to be included in the civilian retirement annuity. Usually the full military retirement is of greater value than the civilian retirement annuity. Use the computation method above to determine if making the deposit would be beneficial or consult with your HR/Benefit Specialist.
Military Disability Retirement & Reserve Retirement: You must waive your military retired pay in order to receive credit for military service in a civilian annuity, unless your military retirement is based on:
A service-connected disability incurred in combat with an enemy of the US;
On account of a service-connected disability caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during a period of war; or
Under provisions of 10 U.S.C. 12731-12739 (retired members of the reserves).

A deposit is still required for the active duty military service to be credited in your civilian retirement annuity.
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:59 PM   #38
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I'm an ex-Air Reserve Technician (ART) who retired from both my military and civilian statuses on 30 Jun 12. I left active duty in the early 90's in conditions much similar to today's drawdown. Like any job, you'll find many views about being an ART...I'll give my experience. I enjoyed my career as an ART at both the unit and HQ levels and found it to be an excellent way to leverage the time already spent on active duty. I bought back my time prior to accruing interest. If you buyback your AD time, it can "count" for both your military and civil service annuities. If you're an AF Academy grad, you can buyback those 4 years in addition to your AD time. Your system would be FERS...no CSRS option. In my case (FERS), I ended up with 36 years and just under 8000 points militarily and (an estimated, still waiting final word from OPM) 39 years for retirement as a civil servant. Together these two pensions form a great foundation for retirement. Each person's situation is unique and you'll have to assess the pros/cons and weigh the options for yourself. Being an ART worked out well for me. The personal, professional and family issues involved are too numerous to lay out in a post of any reasonable length. If you'd like to discuss any specific items, I'll be glad to share my point of view...one guy's opinion. Good fortune on your future efforts.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:16 PM   #39
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Another item...your potential path of civil servant and AF Reservist without having the jobs linked together like an ART retains many of the pros I listed above with the additional plus of not having your civil service job contingent on your military membership. You have some good options to consider for your careers.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #40
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I'm an ex-Air Reserve Technician (ART) who retired from both my military and civilian statuses on 30 Jun 12. I left active duty in the early 90's in conditions much similar to today's drawdown. Like any job, you'll find many views about being an ART...I'll give my experience. I enjoyed my career as an ART at both the unit and HQ levels and found it to be an excellent way to leverage the time already spent on active duty. I bought back my time prior to accruing interest. If you buyback your AD time, it can "count" for both your military and civil service annuities. If you're an AF Academy grad, you can buyback those 4 years in addition to your AD time. Your system would be FERS...no CSRS option. In my case (FERS), I ended up with 36 years and just under 8000 points militarily and (an estimated, still waiting final word from OPM) 39 years for retirement as a civil servant. Together these two pensions form a great foundation for retirement. Each person's situation is unique and you'll have to assess the pros/cons and weigh the options for yourself. Being an ART worked out well for me. The personal, professional and family issues involved are too numerous to lay out in a post of any reasonable length. If you'd like to discuss any specific items, I'll be glad to share my point of view...one guy's opinion. Good fortune on your future efforts.
Congratulations on your retirement! How many military years did you buy back? At 39 years, do you get 39% of your civilian pay for life? My minimum retirement age is 57 years. I have 14 years and 9 months to buy back. If I spend another ten years, that would give me 24 years and 9 months at 50. But I have to be 57 years old to receive a pension, right? Or plan to stay until 57 years old and have 31 years and 9 months (inshallah)? Also, what type of health insurance do you plan on using? Thanks!
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