Frequently Asked Questions
How is COVID impacting the USNA reserve recall program?
No significant change.
How are the new Reserve Fighting Instructions impacting the USNA reserve recall program?
No significant change.
What is the USNA Reserve Recall Program?
The USNA Reserve Recall Program provides The US Naval Academy with Navy Reserve Officers to fill academic department instructor billets that have gone unfilled due to active duty manning shortages. Selected officers are recalled to active duty for three years and assigned to USNA.
Are members of the IRR eligible for USNA Reserve Recall?
In most cases yes; IRR members have been recalled in the past so you should at least apply if you meet the other requirements. IRR(VTU) should not be a problem. IRR (ASP) might present a problem because you are required to affiliate with SELRES or VTU as part of the activation process (see MILPERSMAN 1321-110). So it could be the case that an IRR (ASP) member runs into things like medical issues as part of the activation process since they have not necessarily been maintaining readiness like SELRES and VTU sailors. At any rate, you should not rule yourself our just because you are IRR unless you know that you are ineligible for active duty for some reason.
Are members of FTS eligible for USNA Reserve Recall?
No. See MILPERSMAN 1321-110.
What are the degree requirements?
A Master’s degree is required (no waivers). PhD is not required but certainly doesn't hurt. The one hard and fast requirement, across departments at USNA, is that you must hold at least a master's degree either in the field you're applying for or a closely related field. This relates to requirements from the accreditation and certification bodies that review USNA's majors on a regular basis. There is some variation and flexibility between departments; some have much stricter requirements than others on how close your advanced degree and the subject you're teaching have to be. However, all require at least a master's degree.
Does my Master's degree need to be complete at the time of application?
No. However, you should have a clear path to complete your degree by the start of your orders (nominally in July).
What disciplines are available? How many positions are available in department XYZ?
Recall opportunities will be considered for all ACADEMIC departments at USNA, to include Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) and Leadership, Ethics, and Law (LEL).
No one knows exactly how the reserve recall billets will be allocated until the applications are reviewed. USNA academic departments have active duty manning shortages in excess of the 10 annual reserve recall billets. Part of the evaluation by the board is determining where USNA has the most acute manning shortages. However, another part of the evaluation is the capabilities of those individuals that apply for recall. USNA may select a highly capable individual in a department with a moderate manning shortage over a barely qualified individual in a department with a more acute manning shortage. A full evaluation of the manning situation and the capabilities of the applicants is needed to determine which departments will receive billets. In summary there simply isn't an answer to this question prior to the application deadline so you are encouraged to apply, but also encouraged to understand that opportunities in your discipline may ultimately be limited or non-existent.
What is the typical work day like?
Most reservists find working with midshipmen to be very fulfilling. Typically you will be in the classroom 10-12 hours per week. You will spend a significant amount of your time outside of the classroom working with midshipmen, preparing lesson plans, and grading student work. Most reservists teach two to three sections of the same course; however, occasionally reservists will teach two different course in the same semester. Typical section size is 20 students or less. You can expect to be assigned non-teaching duties (see below) and there are numerous mentorship opportunities. You should expect to be busy, especially during the fall and spring semesters. However, outside of assigned teaching hours most instructors have autonomy in managing their own schedule. Additionally most reservists are able to seek out opportunities consistent with their interests. Although you will be busy, you can expect to have ample time to spend with your family and loved ones and for the most part you will work "standard" hours with only occasional duty days. USNA is a great place to work and there are always plenty of activities such as varsity sports, local professional sports, outdoor activities, museums, etc.
What type of courses will I teach?
The answer to this question is highly dependent on the skill set of an individual instructor and the department to which they are assigned. The vast majority of reservist instructors should expect to start out in a large-enrollment introductory or "service" course that is offered by the department to which they are assigned-think English 101 or Calc 1. Some reservists will continue teaching the same large enrollment course or courses for their entire tour. Other reservists will be asked to teach highly specialized upper-level major electives. The ability to accommodate a preference to teach a particular course can be highly constrained. Teaching something other than a service course can be particularly constrained in departments with a large service course enrollment relative to the number of majors. Again, there is no one answer to this question.
When will I teach?
The Academic day runs M-F 0755-1520. Most departments attempt to accommodate reasonable time-of-day and day-of-week teaching preferences. You will definitely need to put in hours outside the academic day. However, with the exception of the 10-12 hours per week in the classroom, most instructors have reasonable autonomy over when they work. There are occasional fixed-time meetings of course, but for the most part instructors are able to set the times-of-day they work within reasonable limits.
What sort of non-teaching duties can I expect?
There are Yard-Wide duties, School-Wide duties, and Departmental Duties similar to any large Navy command. At the O3/O4 level reservists often take on duties as the lead scheduler for their department or mange a major program (e.g. semester coordinator for a large service course, urinalysis coordinator, etc). At the O5 level, reservists often serve as one of the principal military leaders within the Academic cost center or manage one of the major Yard-wide programs or processes. You will also have direct one-on-one mentoring opportunities with midshipmen as an academic advisor or remediator. Warfare community involvement is also expected in the form of mentoring midshipman considering or selected to your community. Reservists stand various duty positions with responsibility varying by rank. Additionally, there are many sports and Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) - all of which have Officer Representatives. You can find a way to get involved in almost anything you are passionate about.
Are there leadership opportunities similar to reserve unit XO and CO?
Yes. O5s often take on an "Associate Chair" position and O3s and O4s can often take on "EA" positions within their department. These positions have duties and responsibilities consistent with a reserve unit CO and XO respectively. The availability of those jobs for reservists varies a lot depending on the size and makeup of the department so you are not guaranteed to get one of those positions. However, there are many School level and Yard wide level leadership positions available for officers looking for an opportunity to break out.
Is the job the pretty much the same year round?
No. In the fall and spring the vast majority of your time will be spent on teaching activities. Additionally you will spend time on non-teaching activities as described in the FAQ above. The summer is a bit different as most of the students are not on the Yard. Summer at USNA is divided into three blocks. For instructors, typically one of the blocks is reserved for leave while the other two blocks will be spent on some form of teaching, warfare community support, midshipmen training activities, or other activities in support of the USNA mission. The summer teaching load varies significantly by department, but instructors often teach one block of an accelerated summer school course. Occasionally reservists on recall are ordered to fleet concentration areas during one block of the summer in order to provide logistical support for midshipmen cruises.
Will I have any responsibilities directly supervising the midshipmen?
All reserve recall instructors are expected to be good military role models, mentors, and leaders to midshipmen. Additionally, reserve recall instructors often take on roles as officer representatives of extra curricular activities where they work with midshipmen outside the classroom. However, the USNA reserve recall program is only for instructor billets in the Academic cost center. You will not have any responsibilities as a company officer or be involved in the day-to-day decision making associated with the Commandant of Midshipmen.
How are reservists perceived on the Yard? Will I be a second class citizen because I am a reservist?
Navy Reservists have a very strong reputation at USNA. one example of that is the prevalence of Navy Reservists in winning teaching awards at the Naval Academy. Another example is the prevalence of reservists in leadership positions within the Academic part of USNA. Most colleagues quickly lose track of who is a reservists and very few students are even aware of who the reservists are.
I'm not qualified for instructor duty, but I would be great at job XYZ on the Yard. Can I use this program to get into job XYZ?
This program is for academic instructors only. Occasionally USNA looks for reservists to fill other specialized positions. Those positions are advertised through the normal Navy Reserve ZIPSERVE process. You are also encouraged to look at the civilian employment opportunities available at USNA.
I’m a Marine/Air Force/Army/Coast Guard officer, can I apply?
Not to this program; it is specifically coded for Navy Reservists. There are billets for officers from other services at USNA. You would need to contact your service to try to get one of those billets, but be advised that they have not been filled by reservists within recent memory.
What kind of orders are these?
Three year definite MPN recall (ref. OPNAVINST 1320.6 and MILPERSMAN 1321-110)
How many years is the recall?
All recalls are for three years and only three years – shorter tours are not granted except in exceptional circumstances. Even in those cases the orders will not be shortened significantly.
What is the 1825 Rule and how does it affect my potential selection for duty at USNA?
In a 6-year period, reservists can not be on certain types of active duty orders (like USNA reserve recall) for more than 1825 days (effectively 5 years). AT, ADT, and MOB orders do NOT count toward the 1825 limit (nor does recall for recruiter duty). However, ADSW, MPN recall, and possibly other types of orders do count. Selection of individuals requiring a 1825 waiver presents additional administrative approvals outside of USNA since reserve officers on 1825 waivers count against active duty end strength. USNA must provide additional justification as to why no other applicant can cover your duties. So if you require a 1825 waiver be advised that both the criteria for selection and chance of being administratively screened out is higher. If you have more than around five years of active duty that counts toward the 1825 rule and you don't get a waiver, USNA is unlikely to select you for recall. The reason is that USNA would not be able to get 6 full fall/spring semesters during your tour before 1825 causes you to be separated from active duty.
What is the possibility of getting an extension beyond three years?
USNA was recently successful in obtaining a 1825 waiver for a reservist to do two USNA recalls in a row (with approximately a month in between). Per MILPERSMAN 1321-110, the reservist was required to submit an application to the reserve recall board and was evaluated using he same process as all other candidates. No reservist should count on being able to retour right away since, in addition to all the normal barriers to being selected, a specific justification is needed as to why the officer has a skill set that can't be filled by other applicants. On the other hand many reservists have taken a "cooling off" year and then returned to USNA for a second tour after they are outside the 1825 window. Regardless of how you retour, you should speak to a mentor in your community about the promotion implications of multiple long term definite recalls to active duty.
Is sanctuary possible under these orders?
Under no circumstances will a sailor be allowed to reach sanctuary. If a recall to active duty for three years would give you a total of 18 years of cumulative ACTIVE service you are ineligible for service past around 17.5 years of ACTIVE service (see more below). Note that many types of reserve points do not count as ACTIVE service. For example AT, ADT, and IDT do not count toward the sanctuary limit. Consult your point count to check your ACTIVE service time. Good years toward retirement irrelevant; the number that matters is the points on your ASOSH in the column with the header "ACTIVE".
If I completed a three year recall I would go over 16 years of ACTIVE service but nor 18 years of ACTIVE service- am I eligible?
Yes probably, but you may not exceed 18 total years cumulative ACTIVE service. If you will exceed 16 years of ACTIVE, you will need to submit a 16 year waiver and your record will be carefully screened to prevent accidental entry into sanctuary (ref. MILPERSMAN 1321-110 and OPNAVINST 1001.27). Remember that "good years" are not the same as cumulative active service. A good year simply means you met the minimum points (50 points) for a given year. For example you can have 25 "good years" towards retirement and still only have 6 years of cumulative ACTIVE service time.
How close can I get to 18 years of ACTIVE service on these orders? What is the maximum amount of ACTIVE time I can have and still be eligible?
If a 3-year recall will get you near 18 years of ACTIVE service your record will be closely scrutinized and your start and stop dates will be set so that you don't go over about 17.5 years. USNA typically wants officers to do a "full tour" of 6 fall and spring semesters. That takes a minimum of around 2 years 9 months. So if you have more than around 14 years 9 months of ACTIVE time USNA will not be able to get a "full" tour from you. In certain exceptional cases USNA has made the decision to recall individuals short of a "full" tour. If you are below 13 years of ACTIVE, apply and don't worry about sanctuary affecting your chances. If you are between 13 years and 14 years 9 months of ACTIVE, apply and recognize that you will need a 16-year waiver (which has not been a problem in the past since you are being selected for your specific skill set). If you are between 14 years 9 months and 15 years 6 months, you should apply but recognize that USNA will only select you in a somewhat exceptional case. If you are over 15 years 6 months of ACTIVE you can still apply but your chances for selection are slim. Keep in mind that all of this applies to only ACTIVE points (not total points, not good years, not years since commissioned service). Only the points in the "ACTIVE" column of your ASOSH count.
If I completed a three year recall I would go into over the limit for statutory retirement- am I eligible? For example, I am an O5 that would go over 28 years during the three year recall.
Yes probably; you should definitely apply. In the past the way this has been handled is that, assuming the officer is selected by USNA, Navy personnel command holds a special continuation board for the officer covering the entire period of the three year recall. USNA does not control the process so it is always possible the board could deny the continuation. However, in the most recent experience the officer was approved for continuation and was able to execute the recall.
I'm an O6, am I eligible?
O-6's will be considered for these positions and should apply. The vast majority of recalled officers have been O-3 to O-5. However, it is not unheard of to recall O-6's, especially those with degrees and experience in hard to fill departments. Of the thirty recalled reservists on the yard at any time, typically there will be 2-3 O6s. In most cases these are individuals that promoted while on orders. As a general rule, BUPERS requests that we not recall O-6's unless we have nobody else qualified to fill the position. Since by definition the board process is looking to fill active duty vacancies, that standard does not present an insurmountable barrier.
I’m an O2, am I eligible?
O-2's will be considered for these positions and should apply. The vast majority of recalled officers have been O-3 to O-5. Occasionally O2’s have been selected. It can't hurt to apply.
I’m a Warrant Officer, am I eligible?
Warrant Officers will be considered for these positions and should apply. The vast majority of recalled officers have been O-3 to O-5. A Warrant Officer has not been selected in the past, but they have been considered by the board. It can't hurt to apply.
I am a two time failure-to-select for promotion, am I eligible?
This has not been an issue in the past. See MILPERSMAN 1321-110.
I just found out I’m being promoted, will this be a problem for my application or orders?
This hasn't been an issue previously.
How many positions are there?
Ten reservists are recalled per year.
How competitive is the program?
Historically the program is competitive. Typical selection rate is around 10-15%.
That sounds very competitive-should I even apply?
Yes. Keep in mind that the primary propose of the USNA reserve recall program is to fill instructor billets that active duty can't fill. Although the overall selection rate may be ~10%, the selection rate in your discipline may be much higher (occasionally as high as 33%-100%). To use an football analogy, USNA is emphasizing "position of need" and not always "best player on the board". So the best thing to do is get your application in but realize that unless there is a need in your area your chances may be slim.
I am extremely qualified for one of these positions but I wasn't selected-what gives?
See the response to the previous question. Every year extremely qualified and impressive individuals are not selected simply because their department did not have as high a demand signal compared to other departments based on active duty manning. To use an football analogy,
If I apply, how and when will I be notified?
You will receive at least two notifications. Firstly, the USNA Reserve Liaison Officer (RLO) will notify you that your application was received. If you do not receive a notification that your application was received email the RLO at email@example.com. The second notification will go out by late winter indicating that you were either selected or not-selected. Although late winter is the desired deadline, in most years notification was made earlier than that. Typically there will be no correspondence between notification of receipt of your application and the notification of selection or non-section. Occasionally one of the selected members will drop out by choice or due to issues discovered by BUPERS in detailed admin review. In that circumstance USNA will choose another candidate based on the needs of the Navy and the rankings of the board.
Who is reviewing my application?
The USNA Reserve Liaison Officer completes a preliminary scrub to check for alignment between degree and department as well as administrative checks like if the member will reach sanctuary. Individual academic departments are the primary evaluators. The final decision is based on the evaluations by the individual academic departments and the active duty manning situation at the time of selection.
Is there a specific format for the cover letter?
No specific format. Address the cover letter to "U.S. Naval Academy Reserve Liaison Officer"
Can I include letters of recommendation?
Yes. Include them as an attachment to your cover letter and upload all the documents as a SINGLE pdf file.
What if my personal situation changes significantly between applying and the selection board, can I back out?
No problem. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to have your name withdrawn from consideration.
What if I am selected but want to change my mind when I am offered the position, can I back out?
No problem. If you are selected you will be notified and invited to apply for recall to active duty. When the notifications go out if you decide you don't want the orders you may simply decline and the next candidate will be offered the position. Putting your name into the applicant pool is NOT like volunteering for a mob. However, once you accept your selection USNA asks that you make a good faith effort to honor your commitment (see next question).
What if my personal situation changes significantly between the time I accept selection and my report date to USNA, can I back out?
Now we are starting to have a problem. Once you accept selection USNA expects you to make a good faith effort to honor your commitment. Of course it is understood that occasionally life circumstances necessitate a change of plans, but recognize that replacing you becomes more difficult with each passing day prior ot the start of your orders. If you think you are likely to need to back out, the best thing to do is decline the orders when offered.
What if my personal situation changes significantly while I am on orders, can I back out of the orders?
Problem. Changing plans once you are on orders is, at the very least, highly discouraged. Once you come on orders your reserve billet is "spent" and USNA does not get a make up reservist to take your place. If you think you are likely to need to leave active duty, the best thing to do is decline the orders when offered.
Once I accept selection, what happens next?
Once you accept the offer, the USNA Superintendent will send a by-name-request letter to BUPERS requesting your recall to active duty. BUPERS will then initiate a detailed admin review of your record. Once you clear the admin review they will write your orders. Orders will be received in late April or May for a July report date.
Is this a PCS?
Yes – with dependents. Your return PCS is also covered at the end of the orders. You may also be eligible for DLA.
Will my time on recall at USNA reduce my retirement age?
It has for other reservists on these orders in the past. Make sure you save your DD214. Also, consult the instruction for how time is counted. You can miss out on a 3 month block if you don't report close enough to 1 July and/or check out close enough to 30 June.
Do I need approval from my warfare community?
Yes, but that will be taken care of for you as part of the BUPERS order writing process. Assuming you are selected, USNA will send a by-name-request to BUPERS to recall you to active duty. When BUPERS receives that request they will conduct a detailed admin review. Part of the BUPERS process will be to route your name through your warfare community manager at BUPERS.
Do warfare communities ever deny reservists from going on reserve recall to USNA?
Occasionally. In recent memory it has only been an issue twice and both times involved smaller warfare communities.
I'm an aviator, do I get flight pay while on these order?
You might, provided you meet other requirements of the flight pay program. See DODI 7730.67, SECNAVINST 7220.88, and OPNAVINST 7220.18 that delineate the different types of AvIP including “continuous fly pay” which allows members who have met certain “gates” and Months of Flying to continue earning AvIP when serving in DIFDEN (non-flying) tours.
Am I protected by USERRA while on these orders?
How will these orders affect reserve promotion?
Per MILPERSMAN 1321-110 the orders don't work against you and you remain in the pool for reserve promotion. Recant board officer promotion board precepts letters list service at USNA as a positive for promotion consideration. That said, three-years of active duty can make it challenging to have time to check other boxes that can be important to the reserve promotion board. For example, if your community is looking for certain qualifications that require participation in an exercise to complete, you will generally NOT have time to do that. Occasionally, reservists have been able to take no-cost orders to complete quals, but that is the exception and service to USNA takes priority. Another example is that you will not typically be able to take on a reserve unit XO or CO position while on orders without special permission from your Department Chair. On the other hand, there are other opportunities to enhance career progression while on orders to USNA. The Navy War College runs a fleet seminar JPME program in Annapolis. The program allows you to complete JPME and receive substantial progress or even complete a master's degree while on your three year orders. Additionally, our local reserve cadre runs a 2N1 Reserve Unit CO qualification program. You can obtain sailing AQDs and you will earn an instructor NOBC. Bottom line, there are opportunities to complete milestones and take on leadership positions but the time on active duty can make it difficult to execute a "normal" path to reserve promotion. From the perspective of USNA the main reason you should seek out recall to USNA is to educate and mentor midshipmen.
What professional development opportunities are available while on recall to USNA?
-You will earn an Instructor NOBC
-USNA runs a 2N1 qualification program annually
-You are eligible for the JPME fleet seminar program which can lead to a Masters Degree. It is recommended you contact your department chair and sign up before reporting to USNA.
-You are eligible for the USNA Stockdale Center Associate Fellows program to enhance your leadership skills.
-You can earn the Skipper B qualification and AQD.
-USNA as limited slots to send faculty on National Outdoor Leadership School expeditions.
-Many USNA faculty complete the Project Management Professional program while assigned to USNA
-Many USNA engineering faculty complete their PE license while on orders to USNA
-On a not to interfere basis with teaching duties, reservists are often able to participate in research activities,
Am I eligible for Navy tuition assistance while on recall to USNA?
Not in a way that is particularly useful. You must have two years reaming on active duty to be eligible for tuition assistance. So in theory you might be eligible for the first year, but not after that.
Can I be mobilized while on recall to USNA?
No. Per MILPERSMAN 1321-110 you can't be selected or even volunteer for mobilization while on Reserve Recall to teach at USNA.