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Reservists receive more benefits with annual DoD mobilization authorities

Photo of Airmen returning home from deployment

U.S. Air Force Airmen return home from a six-month deployment on March 20, 2017, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. It is imperative for Reserve Citizen Airmen to understand benefits attached to their deployment status (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele)

Photo of Airmen returning home from deployment

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Amber Cutchall is welcomed home by Lt. Col. Warren Crabtree, 707th Maintenance Squadron commander, after returning home from a six-month deployment on March 20, 2017, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Deployed Reserve Citizen Airmen need to work with unit deployment managers to understand benefits attached to their status. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Greg Steele)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

The United States Federal Code details mobilization authorities for Reserve Component support to Combatant Commanders. Currently, the Secretary of Defense and delegated civilian leadership utilize three authorities for Air Reserve support to Combatant Commanders, according to Air Force Reserve Force Generation Center officials.

The authorities are, Title 10 U.S.C. 12301(d), voluntary; Title 10 U.S.C. 12302, National emergency (Partial Mobilization) based on the annual release of a Presidential Document regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks; and 12304(b), pre-planned missions in support of Combatant Commands.
Each authority comes with specific benefits and entitlements unique to the purpose of activation and the deployment location.

For example, Reserve Airmen involuntarily mobilized under 12304b may now be able to receive the following benefits:
• Post 9/11 GI Bill Credit
• Vocational Rehabilitation
• Voluntary Separation Pay Recoup Protection
• Pre-Mobilization Health Care
• Federal Civilian Differential Pay

An Airman involuntarily mobilized under 12304b does not receive reduced age for retirement, unless he or she voluntarily converts to 12301d to receive reduced retirement, but forgoes dwell protections and most other benefits including differential pay.

Reservists should understand the activation statue to which orders them to active duty to ensure receipt of applicable benefits and entitlements.

The benefit added to 12304b in the fiscal year 16 National Defense Authorization Act for mobilized reserve members, which exempts them from the five-year limit on reemployment rights, also known as The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) rights, is still in place.

As always, all who serve in the uniformed services have return rights to their civilian employment, but there will not be a five year cap.

For more information, Reserve Citizen Airmen should contact their Force Support Squadron (Installation Personal Readiness office), Air Force Reserve Command A1R, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Affairs Policy, Air Reserve Personnel Center or the Force Generation Center at afrc.fgc.workflow@us.af.mil.