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Shipmates' Symposium 13 Association of the United States Navy deploy (whether in the United States following a hurri- cane or overseas in support of security operations) as a military police officer. At one point, IT, YN/PS, LS and OS ratings were the most commonly "involuntarily mobilized" ratings in the Navy Reserve, with some BM, MA and OS aboard ships. However, most recalls to active duty are not shipboard, but rather ashore or expeditionary. Deployment possibilities also can depend upon cross-assignment even if you do not drill with that unit. You may have to train to both the cross-assigned and the "drill with" billets in order to fulfill your Reserve requirements, but hopefully being ready on one or the other account will lead to mobilization opportunity, should you want that. It certainly provides for addi- tional retirement points much faster than annually accruing Reserve points, and leads to the discharge document of choice — the DD 214. Clearly, this is not easy. e speed of modern life requires that our families also be ready, that we work with our employers, hostile or friendly to our desire to serve. While two-year mobilizations are no longer common (most are for three to 12 months), they remain a hardship for Reservists who worry about loss of jobs or the effect the absence has on family. It requires that we use our Navy Operational Support Centers (NOSCs) to help with pre-deploy- ment. We must ensure we are trained, medically screened, have family plans in place, have all prescribed uniform items and have all documents filed with the Personnel Support Detachment. If we are Reservists, we are expected to be ready at a moment's notice, but our active-duty counterparts have both the time and the on-base support to ensure everything is in place before they deploy. BUPERS Online gives us the ability to check on our individual medical readiness and working with our unit Training Officer and Electronic Service Record (through the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System) will ensure that we are otherwise up to speed. NOSCs and unit leadership should assist with things such as changing an MAS code (mobilization readi- ness) so that you are looked at favorably for opportuni- ties for which you may volunteer. In the Navy of yesteryear, Reservists were nearly always the first called to respond to contingencies, including war. is is still true, although instead of unit mobilizations, which still occur, (such as Construction Battalions), the method is via individual augmenta- tion. at means that if you are a Reservist, enlisted or officer, you are the equal of your active-duty counter- part in the eyes of the Navy's mobilization process. In other words, you must be the equal. Being willing to try, because it is not easy to deploy, can lead to that "Navy adventure" we used to tout in advertisements. From the adventure, you gain the DD 214 and a door opens for future benefits. While unfair to those of us who will serve as Reservists who may never be placed on active duty for more than 90 days, this is the system in place. However, it is a system that you can learn and use to your short- and long-term advantage. In the long run, even without 90 days or more of active duty, Reservists will enjoy virtually every benefit as someone with a DD 214 upon retirement. For example, burial in a national cemetery is available if all you have is the "Retirement Order and Transfer Authorization to Retired Reserve Status With Pay for Non-Regular Service" (officers) orders (yes, that paperwork is actually your final orders), or your "Final Authorization/Statement of Service" (enlisted transfer to the Fleet Reserve which can upon request be followed by a transfer to the Retired List). is latter document is as important as a DD 214, since it takes the place of the DD 214 and is oen over- looked by NOSCs and Personnel Support Detachments when a Reservist begins the retirement process. Reservists are called "twice a citizen" for these very reasons: We serve when called and maintain skills and readiness while awaiting the call. Wait no longer — pursue it. CAPT Marylynn Marrese, MSC (Ph.D.), USN (Ret.) and MMCM (SS) Michael Niblack, USN (Ret.) are co-directors, Military and Veterans Benefits Department, at AUSN.

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