Active Duty or Army Reserve?
Initial Military Training

Learn the differences between serving on active duty or in the Army Reserve.

Careers & Jobs
Soldiers on Tarmac

Deployment Deferment

Deployment can be delayed for up to 24 months, giving you a chance to pursue your civilian goals.

Earn Extra Money

There are many opportunities to earn extra money in the Army Reserve. These one-time bonuses reward Army Reserve Soldiers who have certain skills and education or complete special Army Reserve training. To learn which bonuses you are qualified to earn, contact your Reserve Component Transition Branch.

Enlistment bonuses

These financial incentives are available to you just for re-enlisting with the Army Reserve: If you have prior military service, you could qualify for a six-year enlistment bonus worth up to $20,000. This bonus is only available for enlistment into the Army Reserve within designated bonus-eligible Military Occupational Specialties (MOS).

NOTE: Bonus amounts, eligibility criteria and qualifying MOS change frequently. To learn more, visit the U.S. Army's Human Resource Command website and click the "HRC Counselor Directory" to find your local career counselor.


Army Reserve Soldiers may qualify for a long list of other benefits and incentives, including:

  • Officer/Warrant Officer Accession Bonus -- up to $10,000.
  • Officer/Warrant Officer Affiliation Bonus -- up to $20,000.
  • Student Loan Repayment -- up to $50,000 to repay student loans.
  • Montgomery GI Bill, with kicker -- You may qualify for over $13,000, plus a kicker of up to $350 per month. Full-time students may receive a monthly payment up to $717 for 36 months with the kicker.
  • TRICARE Reserve Select -- low-cost health care insurance plan available for Army Reserve Soldiers and their families.
  • Continue investing in your military retirement plan.

Employer Partnership Program

Serve in the Army Reserve and continue to advance your civilian career. Through this program, you’ll gain access to thousands of civilian employers who value the qualities that the Army fosters in its Soldiers. To learn more, check out the Employer Partnership web site.

Service Reduction

The Military Service Obligation (MSO) program is available to Officers and enlisted Soldiers who have completed their initial Active Duty Service obligation, but still have a portion of their eight-year MSO remaining. If you agree to serve in the Army Reserve, your remaining MSO will be reduced by half. For example, after completing four years of Active Duty, your MSO will be reduced by two years. You must be able to serve at least one year in the Army Reserve, and the MSO cannot be reduced by more than two years.


The Army AC2RC program allows active duty Soldiers to contract with the Army Reserve one year before they fulfill their current service obligations.

Soldiers with up to 365 days remaining on their Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) will be able to contact a Reserve Component Career Counselor (RCCC) and begin the process of transitioning to the Army Reserve. Soldiers interested in transferring to a duty station with new MOS requirements will be able to attend the required MOS reclassification training or the Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES)* while still serving on active duty. This program is designed to help Soldiers avoid taking a leave of absence from work or school upon separation from the active Army in order to complete the necessary steps to transition to the Army Reserve.

Soldiers who fall within the 365-day threshold may contact a Reserve Component Career Counselor (RCCC) to begin the transition process.

* MOS training must be no longer than 19 weeks.

Career Flexibility

You'€™ll have the ability to change career fields and train for a new MOS when transitioning from Active Duty to the Army Reserve. You will also have the opportunity to receive a commission as a Warrant Officer or Officer. Additionally, Army Reserve Soldiers are able to train close to home, earn an extra paycheck and go to school while serving.