Options for Prior Service

How Can
I Qualify?

after spending time
in the military, some
may choose to take
a break from it for
a while after their
contract is up, or
even transfer to a
different branch. Despite
having the experience
of already going through
military training,
sometimes it may be
harder to re-enlist
after time off.
One reason it may be
harder is because a
soldier that has prior
enlistment can come
back in with similar
pay as when he left,
making it a different
level of enlistment
than other new recruits.

What is Prior Service?
Depending on the different
branches, the requirements
may differ. The Air
Force defines “prior
service” as
anyone who has served
24 months or more
as an active duty
soldier. Anyone who
has served less than
those 24 months are
classified as “previous
service” and
can undergo a separate
enlistment procedure.
The Air Force has
the right to accept
or turn away any
applicants, and it
often depends on
the needs of the

How many can re-enlist?
Each branch can limit
the amount of soldiers
they accept as prior-service
each year. It may
be tricky to get
in, because the military
will sooner allow
someone currently
enlisted to re-enlist
before they accept
a prior-service that
can take up additional
space in their quota.

How hard is it to
get in to the Air Force
with prior service?

While each branch may
be hard to get into,
the Air Force can be
selective when choosing
prior-service enlistments.
Having skilled qualifications
within a specialized
field may increase
the chances of being

Can I choose a new

Most of the time, the
candidate must enlist
in the job they had
when the contract ended,
unless that job has
been modified or moved.
Despite what branch
of the military a soldier
was involved in, chances
are they would put
them in the field that
best represented their
skills and knowledge.
Do I need to complete
basic training again?
Each service varies
on this, but the Air
Force may send all
accepted prior service
to an Air Force familiarization