Active or Reserve

Let’s Take a Look

joining any branch
of the United States
Military, deciding
how long to serve is
one of the most important
choices a soldier will
need to make. There
are many benefits to
going either through
Active duty or reserves,
and each branch offers
the choice. The Air
Force can be one of
the hardest branches
of the military to
get into, because of
the educational and
Armed Forces Vocational
Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
score requirements.

What is the difference?

Active Duty
After going through
Basic Military Training,
life in the Air Force
begins and choosing
an enlisted career
is the next important
step. Mechanical, Administrative,
General and Electronic
careers are the different
fields in which a soldier
can apply valuable
knowledge and learn
skills to carry them
through life. There
are many benefits to
going Active Duty including:

Yearly pay increases

Living expenses and

Food allowances

Retirement benefits
and Savings Plans



Vacation allowance

Upon completion of
both the basic training
and required service
for job training,
members of the reserve
units continue with
regular drills until
the end of their
contract. There are
two ways reserve
members can operate:

Traditional Reserve

Individual Mobilization
Augmentee (IMA)
Traditional reserve soldiers continue with drills one weekend per month, and
two full weeks out of the year. IMA’s are more flexible however, having
prior service in the Air Force Reserves or Air Force service in addition to
qualification within a job is needed. Reservists benefit from bonuses based
on skill level as well educational assistance like tuition for colleges and
trade schools.
It is important to make this decision, because once the contract is signed,
there is no going back. A soldier cannot transfer from Reserves to Active duty,
since they are both separate enlistment procedures. Wishing to enlist in Active
Duty requires a form to be approved by the Reserves, and an acceptance is needed
for further action.
The Air Force also offers a chance to not only build a better future, but allows
all soldiers to get valuable career training and life experience.