May, 21

US Army Prior Service: Your Guide to Joining Again

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The US Army Prior Service is a term that refers to individuals who have previously served in the military and wish to re-enlist. These individuals bring unique experiences, skills, and knowledge acquired during their previous service. They also possess a deep understanding of the military culture, which makes them valuable assets for any branch of the armed forces.

For many former service members, enlisting again in the US Army can provide an opportunity for continued growth and development both personally and professionally. The structure provided by serving in this prestigious organisation enables them to challenge themselves physically as well as mentally while contributing towards a greater cause.

In this article, we will delve further into what it entails to be part of the US Army Prior Service. From eligibility requirements to benefits available for those who choose this career path once more – we’ll cover it all! So read on if you want an insight into this fascinating topic!

US Army Prior Service: How to Join Again

If you have previously served in the US Army and are considering re-enlisting, there are a few things you need to know. The process of joining again as a prior service member is different from that of a first-time enlistee. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about joining the US Army as prior service.

What is Prior Service?

In the context of military recruitment, "prior service" refers to individuals who have previously served in any branch or component of the United States armed forces. This includes active duty, reserves, National Guard, and other components.

Benefits of Joining Again as Prior Service

There are several benefits associated with joining again as prior service:

  1. Simplified Enlistment Process: The process for enlisting again after serving in the military is often faster and easier than enlisting for the first time.

  2. Accelerated Rank Advancement: Depending on your previous rank and experience level when leaving active duty or reserve status, it may be possible for your new unit commander to award an accelerated promotion upon re-entry into military service.

  3. Reinstatement of Benefits: If you left active duty before reaching retirement eligibility (usually after 20 years), re-entering can allow reinstatement not only on retirement-related benefits but also access health care services offered by TRICARE among other benefits.

Requirements for Re-Enlistment

To join again in any branch or component—Army Reserve included—you must meet specific requirements:

  1. Must be less than 62 years old.
  2. Separated from Active Duty within past three years.
  3. Completed Initial Entry Training (IET).
  4. Not been discharged under adverse conditions
  5. Able pass height/weight standards
  6. Pass Physical Fitness Test

Comparison Between First Time Enlistees And Prior Service Members

While both first-time enlistees and prior service members are joining the military, there are some key differences between these two groups.

Firstly, as a prior service member, you may be eligible for re-entry at a higher rank than when you initially joined – depending on your previous experience level and time served. Additionally, many of the benefits associated with serving in the military will already be familiar to you.

On the other hand, as a first-time enlistee – especially if it is right after high school – there is no previous military experience to draw from or use to inform decisions about whether or not this path is right for them.

Tips for Re-Enlisting

If you’re considering re-enlisting in any branch of military service—Army Reserve included—here are some tips:

  1. Start Early: The process can take longer than expected because it's important that all requirements have been met before returning back into active duty.
  2. Get Your Documents In Order: Gather up all necessary documents such as DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), medical records etc.
  3. Stay Fit: Prior Service soldiers must pass physical fitness test which might require months-long training period.
  4. Know What You Want: Research career paths available within your selected component and choose one that aligns with personal goals.


Re-enlisting in US Army Reserves provides opportunities beyond what most people expect. While eligibility requirements differ from those required by initial entry soldiers; simplified enlistment process, accelerated promotion opportunity upon return & reinstated health care services make this an attractive option worth considering if one has previously served & looking forward to supplementing their retirement funds while still serving their country.


What is US Army Prior Service?

US Army Prior Service refers to individuals who have previously served in the United States Army, but have since left active duty. These individuals may be veterans or reservists, and they may have served for varying lengths of time before leaving the military.

For those interested in rejoining the Army after leaving service, there are several options available. Depending on their prior service experience and qualifications, these individuals may be eligible to join as Active Duty soldiers or Reservists.

One important thing to note is that not all prior service members will automatically qualify for reenlistment or enlistment. There are certain requirements and regulations that must be met before an individual can rejoin the US Army.

What are some of the requirements for joining as a US Army Prior Service member?

To join as a US Army Prior Service member, you must meet specific criteria based on your previous military experience and other factors such as age.

In general terms, you must meet basic eligibility standards including being physically fit enough to serve again; meeting enlistment standards (e.g., ASVAB score); having an honorable discharge from your previous military duty; having no more than a three-year break in active-duty status; passing required physical exams and drug tests; meeting height/weight standards etc.

Each branch of service also has its own set of specific rules regarding eligibility so it’s important that interested parties research this thoroughly before beginning any application process.

How does one go about joining back into Active Duty?

If you’re interested in returning to Active Duty with The United States Military after separation from it then there is an application process involved which typically includes submitting documentation such DD Form 214- Certificate Of Release Or Discharge From Active Duty – along with other documents like transcripts if applicable (depending on what job/specialty field they’re looking at).

The first step involves contacting your local recruiting office where you will speak with a recruiting sergeant. They will go over your options with you, help determine whether or not you are eligible for re-enlistment, and provide guidance on the application process.

Once deemed eligible, you can begin submitting paperwork and completing other steps in the process. This may include taking physical exams or completing a background check.

It is important to note that rejoining the US Army as Active Duty can be highly competitive depending on how many slots are available within certain occupational specialties so it’s important to stay motivated throughout the entire process.

What about those interested in joining back into US Army Reserve?

Joining back into US Army Reserve after leaving active duty is similar to applying for Active Duty but there are some key differences:

  • If an individual left Active Duty service after their initial enlistment term then they must have completed all contractual obligations before being able to join the reserves.
  • Prior service members who received a dishonorable discharge from active duty would not be allowed entry into any branch of military service including U.S. Army Reserve.

The first step typically involves meeting with a recruiter and discussing qualifications such as job skills/experience, aptitude testing scores (ASVAB), etc., which will help determine eligibility for entering The United States Military upon separation from it again if applicable based on various factors like age limits set by each branch of military services’ regulations governing prior-service enlistments (PS).

Individuals interested in joining should also consider contacting local reserve units directly since recruitment procedures may vary based on location even though general requirements remain largely consistent across different branches/units nationwide.

Can one still receive benefits if they come back under Prior Service program?

Yes! In fact this is one of great benefits of returning through this program – individuals coming back through prior-service programs may qualify for benefits that were earned during their previous time served such as:

  • Education Benefits: GI Bill – covers tuition/fees/books; Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) – repayment of student loans; Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty program.
  • Healthcare benefits: Tricare health insurance which provides coverage for medical care, dental services and prescription drugs for both service members and their families.
  • Retirement Benefits: Those who qualify can continue to earn retirement points toward eventual retirement.

It’s important that individuals considering this route understand that they may not receive the full range of benefits as someone serving in a continuous active-duty status. Some prior-service members may find themselves ineligible for certain programs or promotions due to time served or other factors related to their previous military experience.

How long does it take before one can rejoin US Army through this program?

The process of joining back into the US Army through Prior Service will vary depending on a number of factors including branch/occupational specialty chosen by interested individuals, location etc., but typically some steps involved include:

  • Contacting local recruiter
  • Submitting necessary paperwork such as DD Form 214 alongside any relevant transcripts from courses/certifications earned while previously serving in the military
  • Completing physical exams and passing drug tests

For those seeking entry into Active Duty positions within The United States Military after separation from it again if applicable based on various factors like age limits set by each branch’s regulations governing prior-service enlistments(PS), there could be lengthy wait times associated with processing applications so patience is key!

For those interested in Reserve positions however, recruitment procedures do tend to move quicker since reserve units generally have more flexibility when scheduling training exercises with reservists than would be possible with active-duty personnel.

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