Active duty and reserve service


Q: I served 15 years of active service in the Marine Corps. I was discharged and for the past three years I have had a job as a civilian in the federal government. I would like to buy back my 15 years of active-duty military time to have it count toward my FERS retirement. I am also planning to join the Marine Corps Reserve. If I buy back my 15 years of active service and then serve in the reserves for five years, am I then eligible to receive a retirement check from the reserves and also have that same 15 years count toward my civilian government retirement? In short, can I receive two separate retirement checks using the same 15 years of active service? On a related note, does my time in ROTC also count toward my military reserve retirement?

A: Since this is a site for civilian employees and retirees, I don’t know if you’ll be eligible for a retirement check from the reserves. However, if you are and you make a deposit for your active-duty service, you will be able to receive both benefits.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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