For those who are planning on reenlisting in the military, it is important to make the right choices. Your decision to reenlist can be as life transforming as joining the military the very first time.
Reenlisting in the US Army takes a lot of effort in terms of gathering the right information, keeping up with the latest trends and conducting a thorough research before making the decision. The best source for latest news and trends is your local Military Service Career Counsellor.
Aspects to consider before you make the decision to reenlist
Even before you decide to reenlist in the US military, conduct a thorough career assessment in a realistic manner. Carefully analyze your feelings on how you feel enlisting. Based on your personality and personal preferences, determine if you love to travel to places, do rigorous physical fitness at the crack of dawn and follow a disciplined regimental life and so on.
Your decision is yours alone. Keep in mind the MOS or Military Occupational Specialty you are a part of at this moment. It is imperative to make the right choice as this would be a lifelong decision. If you make the right choice, you are happy for life. If not, you are committing to a miserable life you do not enjoy.
What your superiors think of you and how they rate you plays a major decision. As a standard practice, a regular statement of performance must be provided by your superiors on a monthly basis, usually by the first line supervisor. This constant assessment will tell you realistically how your superiors perceive you. Carefully study the way your superiors relate to you in real time. If they do not give much attention to you, this means, they do not see any useful potential in you. If, on the other hand, they do give a lot of attention, pushing you to do better, this means they are happy with your capabilities.
There is a fine line between the military and civilian life. Crossing the line can sometimes be traumatic and life changing. Unless you have something concrete in place in the outside world, it does not make sense leaving the military for any reason whatsoever. If you have decided to pursue higher studies, make sure that you are enrolled in the school or college of your choice. If, on the other hand, you are planning on getting a job after leaving the army, be sure you have a job on hand before leaving.
Getting a job in the army requires soldiers to have a good GT score. For any army soldier to get a decent job, the minimum GT score required is 110. This ASVAB or Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery score must be carefully considered before you decide.
If you have decided on taking up a particular job, find out the current situation. For instance, check if the job is presently downsizing or consolidating. To find this, check your MOS or Military Occupational Specialty. You can obtain more information regarding your score from the S-1 or Educational Services at your base. In case your GT score is lower than the threshold, you can improve your ASVAB scores by enrolling in BSEP or Basic Skills Education Program.
Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it. Even though at this stage, you may find advancing to an E-4 specialist rank impossible, it is not really so. If your aim is to advance to becoming a Non-Commission Officer or NCO, you must be thinking it is practically impossible to advance further in your career. This, however is not so.
Those who have been in the specialist rank for a couple or more years and are looking to advance your prospects further by taking up correspondence courses or attending night college, you place yourself at a better position. If you have been making all this effort and still do not get promoted as you would expect, it is time to look for another job.
The best place to look for authentic information regarding military reenlistment is with career counsellors. In fact, many of them are as good as recruiters. Whatever information you need will be provided by them. The best place to find out what exactly can be offered by the army is from them. You must immediately contact one of the counsellors to learn as much as you can. Before you do so, it is imperative to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and credentials to be marketable. Counsellors will simply brush aside soldiers who have not been sincere and dedicated in their overall performance. They will however go all out to keep you in if you have been exemplary in your service.
All soldiers are given sufficient time called the “reenlistment window” to decide on whether they wish to be relegated to the Fort Living Room or continue in the army. In order to make their reenlistment decision, soldiers usually have a time of between three months to one year. If you are not sure about reenlisting, it is not a good idea waiting for more than three months as after this period; the decision will go to the authority. Your reenlistment request may not be accepted unless you have an extremely good reason for waiting so long to decide.
All you need to know about reenlistment bonus
MOS Change – As a soldier, you can decide to change your job or MOS. In order to be eligible to shift to a new MOS, your ASVAB score must meet the criteria set by the MOS you wish to transfer to.
Location of transfer – Soldiers have the freedom to pick the choice of duty station they wish to relocate to. PCS or Permanent Change of Station is possible again depending on your MOS. Your ASVAB score and current MOS will determine if you will be accepted at the desired base.
Needs of the Army – Not a very popular choice among soldiers, this is an option reserved for those with low ASVAB scores. Soldiers also make this choice if their MOS is all set to be disbanded soon and they have no other option.
Soldier might get more money if they re-enlist in certain places where the Army needs you.
If the Soldier wants to continue in the Army, the Soldier would give free reign to Uncle Sam to put the Soldier where the Army needs them. The Army can put them anywhere they are needed in whatever job in where ever place.
Bonus offer – Depending on your level of service, your current MOS will offer you an incentive to compel you to continue your service. If you have served in an exemplary manner and depending on how critical your MOS is, you will be offered a lucrative bonus by your career counsellor to retain you at the job.
Days Leading to Re-enlistment
• Be sure to continue to be physically, mentally and legally fit for duty till the day of re-enlistment. The last thing a soldier can do is to have a Suspension of Favorable Action (FLAG) on your record. This type of action is given to soldiers who have not conformed to military standards, (ie. fail a Physical Fitness Test, have done a punishable crime, etc).
Decide on the date of re-enlistment. This date should be a special date for you. Be warned, if you decide to place your date further into the future, you run the risk of having things happen. (see #1)
ENSURE that your contract is place in writing. Do not accept anything Handwritten or White-out. Question anything that seems odd to you. The Army expects 100% success from you, you best expect 100% success from them too. THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
• You decide on where the Re-enlistment Ceremony takes place. The Ceremony must be within reasonable travel and convenient for you and the witnesses. Some ceremonies are given at their place of duty or at some places, unusual areas. (See video for an example of Unusual places.)
Also, you decide on who will administer your “Oath of Enlistment”. The oath must be given by a commissioned officer. It can be given to your Platoon Leader (a 2nd LT) to a General Officer (i.e. Army 4 star General). If you choose someone higher than your immediate Chain of Command, I suggest you plan in advance with a letter to the commission officer. Make sure you have a back-up plan, too.
Finally, you choose the uniform you want to wear during your ceremony. If you choose to have your Class A uniform, be sure your uniform is pressed and correct. This is your time to shine.