Military Reserve Retirement Points and “Good Years”

Can you readers help another reader? I’m stumped on this military retirement question:

“So I have gotten conflicting information. I commissioned in 1994. My Leave and Earnings Statement has 31 October 1994 as my Pay Entry Base Date. I spent three years in the Chaplain Candidate program with Reserve designation 1305. All three years were 50-point years. (My point count is probably correct, give or take a few points. It has correctly given me more than 50 points for each of the three years that I was a chaplain candidate.) In April 1998, I had to raise my hand again and I served 4.5 years on active duty. I left active duty, had one bad year in the reserve, and have since had all good years. I am over 18 for seniority and pay. One person says that my three years as a chaplain candidate count towards pay and seniority, but not towards retirement. Another says that a good year is a good year. Both know policy inside and out. Both are very senior reservists.

Your thoughts? Chapter and verse would be helpful.”

My biggest obstacles to answering this question are ignorance and inexperience– the Navy Reserve Chaplain Corps is legislated from additional sections of federal law that are different from the Reserve line communities. I’m pretty familiar with programs & instructions for surface warriors and submariners but I’m on shaky ground in the restricted line & staff communities.

First I’d verify that your LES indicates you’re over 18 for pay/seniority (from 1994). Or does it show over 14 (from 1998)?

Next, I’d check your Reserve online point count summary for your number of good years.

If you haven’t done so already, you could buy a year’s membership in the Association of the U.S. Navy and e-mail your question to one of their staff. My spouse is a life member of AUSN. We’ve spent a lot of hours researching other questions on their website (and in their magazine), and they’ve probably seen yours before.

You could also ask your local Reserve Center’s personnel office or AUSN when you should expect to receive your retirement Notice of Eligibility. Your NOE should come in 2015 but if they think it’s 2018 then they’d be able to show you the reference.

Are any of you other readers familiar with the Reserve Chaplain program, or have a reference that we could consult online?

Related articles:
Calculating a Reserve retirement
Military retirement from the Individual Ready Reserve
Should you join the Reserves or National Guard?

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  1. You should have your personnel center do an audit of your years, then you will know for sure.

  2. I have 1.8 years in the Air Force chaplain candidate program.
    Similar to what Nords says, look at your points history: next to
    PTS HIST RETIRE should be a column “SATSVC” which should read
    010000 or 10000 for every year you were in the chaplain candidate
    program. They should be good years (mine are, and already show up on the points history). Your second commenter is correct.

    Where the other commenter may be misleading or have gotten slightly confused I can speculate, but not document: During a briefing, we had an O-6 who told us the chaplain candidate years cannot be held against you for limits on maximum time in the service (Again, I cannot document this, sorry). Other than that, they should be good/good years.

    Let us know what you see on your paperwork.
    All the best,

    Comment? Question? What's on your mind?