Joining the Reserve means committing to part-time military service with regular training periods and annual active duty for training. Army.mil describes that branch of the military’s Reserve commitment as follows:
“Army Reserve offers you the flexibility to pursue your individual goals and your passion to serve your country. You’ll get paid to train part-time, receive great benefits, and gain experiences you won’t find anywhere else.” There are many options for joining the Reserve, the Army is just one of them (see below.)
Each branch of the military with a Reserve component generally requires the following:
- Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- Be between the ages of 17 and 42 (specific age limits vary by branch).
- Pass a physical examination
- Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
- Meet the minimum ASVAB eligibility standard.
Each branch of service with a Reserve component has unique requirements for joining or transferring into the Reserve. Some join the Reserve with no prior military experience, while others transfer into the Reserve from Active Duty.
2024 Reserve Pay Dates
Here are the 2024 Reserve pay dates for the following categories:
- Army Reserve Pay Dates
- Marine Corps Reserve Pay Dates
- Navy Reserve Pay Dates
- Air Force Reserve Pay Dates
- Coast Guard Reserve Pay Dates
If you serve in the Reserves for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or the Coast Guard, you are typically paid twice a month on the following days.
Scheduled Military Pay Dates for the Reserves
Military pay is typically delivered on a set schedule. However, there may be interruptions in the case of a government shutdown or a failure to pass a Defense Authorization Act for the new year.
- January 15th
- February 1st
- February 15th
- March 1st
- March 15th
- March 31st
- April 15th
- May 1st
- May 15th
- May 31st
- June 14th
- July 1st
- July 15th
- August 1st
- August 15th
- August 30th
- September 13th
- October 1st
- October 15th
- November 1st
- November 15th
- November 29th
- December 13th
- December 31st
Make sure you check your LES to know for sure the exact amount you will be paid and if there are any issues that you will need to address.
Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) Distribution Dates
- Jan 8th
- January 25th
- February 8th
- February 23nd
- March 8th
- March 23rd
- April 8th
- April 24th
- May 8th
- May 24th
- June 7th
- June 24th
- July 8th
- July 25th
- August 8th
- August 23rd
- September 6th
- September 24th
- October 68h
- October 25th
- November 8th
- November 22nd
- December 6th
- December 24th
What to Expect In the Reserve
The Department of Defense identifies several periods of duty for those who want to join the Reserve. These include but may not be limited to:
- Initial training: Basic training in the Reserve lasts between eight to 12 weeks depending on your branch of service.
- Advanced Training: Some will attend a technical school to recieve training in a specific military specialty after boot camp.
- Monthly drill: Reservists drill for 48 units per year, with many training sessions one weekend per month. According to the DoD, a typical weekend drill has four periods.
- Annual training: Reservists train for two weeks per year as part of their annual requirements.
- Activations: You may be activated to full-time service as a member of the Reserve. According to the DoD there are two different options. You may be activated in voluntary or involuntary status. The DoD reminds, “Generally, you cannot opt out of involuntary action. This is because the military has ordered you to active service.”
- Service commitment: Your total contract may last three years or as long as eight years, depending on your branch of military service.
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