Prior Service (PS) applicants are Veterans of the U.S. Military who desire to serve again. The Recruiting force thoroughly scrutinizes PS applicants to determine their qualifications. Recruiters will review the DD Form 214; specifically the separation code, reentry code, the narrative reason for separation, last rank held and the date of separation. In certain cases, a Grade Determination Waiver will be required to process a PS applicant for enlistment into the U.S. Army.
Understanding your status is important and will have a major impact on your enlistment eligibility. A Soldier that spent three weeks at basic training before being discharged for Entry Level Performance and Conduct, is quite different than a Soldier who completed his initial enlistment.
It would be simple if there was one standard across the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, each of the services defines prior service differently.
For the Regular Army (RA), Army Reserve (USAR) and Army National Guard (ARNG) an applicant is considered to be PS if they meet the following:
On the other hand, applicants with less than 180 days of service or those who failed to complete initial military training are classified as Glossary Non-Prior Service (GNPS). In most cases, they are processed the same as non-prior service applicants.
Note: This is a calculation of the total time served during Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, Mobilizations, Deployments, and Annual Trainings. This information is also displayed on the DD Form 214, under block 12c (Net active service this period).
Periodically the Human Resources Command will issue guidance to the United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) on current critical needs for PS accessions. In turn, USAREC will release a message to the recruiting force outlining the Prior Service Business Rules for enlistment into the RA and USAR or those transferring into the Army under the Blue-to-Green Program.
The most recent business rules were released in September of 2016 and here are the major highlights:
Grade Determinations are automatically triggered for anyone in the rank of E5 or above, regardless of component. The waiver will be submitted electronically to the USAREC Commanding General and a determination will be completed based on several criteria, as described in AR 601-210.
If you’re an E5 or above trying to reenlist into the RA be prepared to provide the following additional documents to support your request:
MSG Washington has served within the ranks of the United States Army since June of 2001. With ten years of recruiting experience, he is an expert on Recruiting Operations, who willingly assists applicants across the Country with their enlistment process.