Buying back military reserve time


Q. I have 24 years of reserve military service (Army, not National Guard). I have not retired. I have never been deployed, nor have I been activated for more than 90 consecutive days. I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and upon hire, I was told by human resources that there is a formula to determine how much reserve time I can buy back. The representative said it would be either 4 to 1 or 6 to 1 (every 4/6 years reserves will equal 1 year of buyback-eligible time). I transferred stations and went to my current HR and was told they were not aware of any buyback for reserve time and pretty much shut down my questioning. Is this true? And if it is not true, where can I go to begin the process so I can buy back my eligible time?

A. While reserve time is never creditable, you can receive credit for periods when you are called to active duty. However, if you were called to annual active duty for training (ANACDUTRA) while an employee, that time isn’t creditable because you were granted time off for that purpose.

Further, no credit is given for training that occurs on weekends.


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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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