Does Officer Candidate School time count towards severance pay calculation?

nsmartin1980

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I've found a couple threads discussing the particulars of service academy and ROTC time re: severance pay, but those didn't seem to address Officer Candidate School specifically.

I went through ~12 weeks of OCS as my entry point in to the Navy in 2011. I had no prior service, did not attend a service academy, and was not in ROTC. The OCS time is listed on my draft DD214 in block 12.d as "Total Prior Active Service: 2 months, 23 days". Which makes sense, because you're an E5 while at OCS. However, it seems like that should count as part of my total time on AD. Without it, I'm at 8 years, 10 months, 24 days (block 12.c). The difference to my severance pay is upwards of $12K so it's a pretty important distinction.

If anyone can help answer this, especially with a cited source, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks.
 

MilitaryBlake

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Were you active reserve? If so, it will not count. I know many in a similar boat. While in med school, law school, or something similar and under like HPSP program, or something like that. Many medical officers complete OCS in the summer while in medical school. Technically, they receive 2LT pay and everything at that point in time. However, while at OCS they are considered Active Reserve, not same as AD. And it does not count.

I fall in that group I spoke of as well. Was Active Reserve while I completed OCS. 2LT pay and everything. However, that time does not count towards severance.
 

nsmartin1980

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No I was Active Duty the entire time. I was 100% a civilian until I turned 30 (way after college) and then decided to join. No prior military affiliation at all.
 

RonG

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No I was Active Duty the entire time. I was 100% a civilian until I turned 30 (way after college) and then decided to join. No prior military affiliation at all.
Hello,

I worked in OCS pay at Fort Sill, OK '67-'68. Candidates were paid at the E-5 rate unless they were already at a higher pay grade. It was considered active duty. This was a field artillery school and those who did not graduate reverted to their original pay grade and rank. Those that I remember became MOS 13B and soon went to Vietnam.

I did not have any RC accounts.

Ron
 

MilitaryBlake

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Hmmm... then it might apply. I know it gets thorny though. I have the regulation, but I am not in the office right now. I will look it up when I am in tomorrow. Whenever one is in an educational status, it gets weird. For you Navy folks, OCS is tantamount to Army Officer Basic Training - is it not?

Lastly, two months and some change should not make that much difference on your severance pay. Even though it technically puts you over the 9 year mark if it is not counted the 10 months 24 days is prorated. So, you may only have 8 years but they will calculate your severance pay as something like 8.75 for the years (8 months, 24 days is close to 9, 9/12 is .75). So, if they do not calculate the 12 weeks you miss out on only a few thousand, not 12,000
 

MilitaryBlake

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Well, there you go. Ron answered it. Looks like it might be counted after all.
But if it is not, like I said, it is not a huge deal. Even if it is not, your severance will be calculated on 8.75 years or something like that; not just 8 years. Obviously, if what Ron says works, then you will be over 9 years. But 8.75 versus 9 for years is not as big of a difference as you thought.....
 

nsmartin1980

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The current calculation is definitely based on a flat 8 years, so regardless, something is amiss...I responded with that same section from the FMR, 7a chapter 35. I think they 1) didn't round up, and 2) are applying the cadet/midshipman/ROTC bit.

I'll report back when I get a response.

OCS= Officer Candidate School (Navy), and yes, I was paid as an E-5 for that time. The Navy discharges you for about 5 minutes on the date you receive your comission (and take the Officer oath), then "re-gains" you as an Officer. Kind of like we do re-enlistments.
 
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MilitaryBlake

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Okay... yea I am curious. I had finance calculate mine (I am outprocessing so no final out yet) and they included my lingering months....
 

RonG

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[edited]
Hello,

I worked in OCS pay at Fort Sill, OK '67-'68. Candidates were paid at the E-5 rate unless they were already at a higher pay grade. It was considered active duty. This was a field artillery school and those who did not graduate reverted to their original pay grade and rank. Those that I remember became MOS 13B and soon went to Vietnam.

I did not have any RC accounts.

Ron

Added:
The Army is the only service where individuals must enlist first, before attending Officer Candidate School (OCS).

Under the Army's Enlistment Program 9D, applicants enlist with a guarantee of attending OCS, after completion of enlisted basic training. The program is spelled out in the Army Recruiting Regulation, Army Regulation 601-210, paragraph 9-10.

That is the reason that those (that I saw) who did not complete the course were often shipped to Vietnam or elsewhere. They had an active duty commitment.

Without looking at a regulation, I suspect the members of other services who had OCS time would have their creditable service treated the same as those who attended one of the service academies (e.g., West Point, Naval Academy, USAFA). That time, such as four years, does not count toward retirement. The Army is different because of the requirement to enlist.

Military Blake made good points on this issue. I just learned that Gen. Tommy Franks attended OCS at Sill during the time I worked in OCS pay at Ft Sill. I wonder if his records ever passed my desk...

Ron
 
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nsmartin1980

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[edited]
Hello,

I worked in OCS pay at Fort Sill, OK '67-'68. Candidates were paid at the E-5 rate unless they were already at a higher pay grade. It was considered active duty. This was a field artillery school and those who did not graduate reverted to their original pay grade and rank. Those that I remember became MOS 13B and soon went to Vietnam.

I did not have any RC accounts.

Ron

Added:
The Army is the only service where individuals must enlist first, before attending Officer Candidate School (OCS).

Under the Army's Enlistment Program 9D, applicants enlist with a guarantee of attending OCS, after completion of enlisted basic training. The program is spelled out in the Army Recruiting Regulation, Army Regulation 601-210, paragraph 9-10.

That is the reason that those (that I saw) who did not complete the course were often shipped to Vietnam or elsewhere. They had an active duty commitment.

Ron
The Navy does the same thing, or did in 2011 anyway. I was enlisted just before OCS, attended OCS for ~3 months as an E5, then comissioned at the end of OCS and was an AD Officer from Aug 2011 until now.

The only exception I know of is for those who go to ODS (Officer Development School), which is for O's who direct commission - communities like JAG, Medical, Chaplains, etc. They comission first and then go to ODS (their version of OCS...a lot less yelling...another story). All of the Unrestricted Line Officer, Supply, and Civil Engineer Corps (me) go to OCS.
 

RonG

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Ref: https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/current/07b/07b_01.pdf <---LINK
DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 1 * April 2020

010301. Creditable Service and Service Reduction for Retirement Eligibility

E. Service Creditable for Retirement Eligibility. Service creditable for the purpose of determining retirement eligibility varies with each type of retirement. For retirement types and the specific service creditable for each type, see paragraphs 010302 through 010308. See paragraph 010309 for service that is not creditable.

010302. Service Creditable for Regular Voluntary Retirement - Enlisted Members (Table 1-1) The following is service creditable for Regular voluntary retirement for enlisted members:
A. All active service in the Uniformed Services; and
B. Service as a cadet or midshipman at Service academy.

010303. Service Creditable for Voluntary Retirement - Regular and Reserve Commissioned Officers (Table 1-1)
The following constitutes service creditable for voluntary retirement for Regular and Reserve commissioned officers:
A. Active service in the Uniformed Services;
B. All full-time service performed by an officer of the Regular Army or Regular Air Force in the Medical Corps as: 1. A contract surgeon; 2. An acting assistant surgeon; or 3. A contract physician, under a contract to serve full-time and to take and change station as ordered; and
C. All full-time service performed by an officer of the Regular Army or Regular Air Force in the Dental Corps as: 1. A contract dental surgeon, or 2. An acting dental surgeon.

[Note the omission of service academy time for officers.]

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[selected text]
*010308. Service Creditable for Age and Service Retirement - Non-Regular Member (Table 1-4)
3. Each 1-year period after July 1, 1949, in which the member earned at least 50 points on the following basis:
a. One point for each day of active service. Service as a cadet or midshipman at a Service academy is active service for non-Regular enlisted members only;

Ron
 

nsmartin1980

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Ref: https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/documents/fmr/current/07b/07b_01.pdf <---LINK
DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 1 * April 2020

010301. Creditable Service and Service Reduction for Retirement Eligibility

E. Service Creditable for Retirement Eligibility. Service creditable for the purpose of determining retirement eligibility varies with each type of retirement. For retirement types and the specific service creditable for each type, see paragraphs 010302 through 010308. See paragraph 010309 for service that is not creditable.

010302. Service Creditable for Regular Voluntary Retirement - Enlisted Members (Table 1-1) The following is service creditable for Regular voluntary retirement for enlisted members:
A. All active service in the Uniformed Services; and
B. Service as a cadet or midshipman at Service academy.

010303. Service Creditable for Voluntary Retirement - Regular and Reserve Commissioned Officers (Table 1-1)
The following constitutes service creditable for voluntary retirement for Regular and Reserve commissioned officers:
A. Active service in the Uniformed Services;
B. All full-time service performed by an officer of the Regular Army or Regular Air Force in the Medical Corps as: 1. A contract surgeon; 2. An acting assistant surgeon; or 3. A contract physician, under a contract to serve full-time and to take and change station as ordered; and
C. All full-time service performed by an officer of the Regular Army or Regular Air Force in the Dental Corps as: 1. A contract dental surgeon, or 2. An acting dental surgeon.

[Note the omission of service academy time for officers.]

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[selected text]
*010308. Service Creditable for Age and Service Retirement - Non-Regular Member (Table 1-4)
3. Each 1-year period after July 1, 1949, in which the member earned at least 50 points on the following basis:
a. One point for each day of active service. Service as a cadet or midshipman at a Service academy is active service for non-Regular enlisted members only;

Ron
Now I'm confused - I didn't attend a service academy, I went to regular university with no military affiliation. I'm also medically separating, which I don't think is the same as voluntary retirement.

What was it you were clarifying? Thanks!
 

RonG

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Now I'm confused - I didn't attend a service academy, I went to regular university with no military affiliation. I'm also medically separating, which I don't think is the same as voluntary retirement.

What was it you were clarifying? Thanks!
I was trying to point out that time as a cadet or midshipman at a service academy does not count active duty time for (creditable service) unless one is an enlisted person.
Although not specifically stated, I "think" time in OCS is treated the same unless one reverts to enlisted status. Otherwise, the time for creditable service used in computing retired pay would begin upon commissioning. Corrections to my "thinking" are welcome. [And...in retrospect, I doubt the law would leave matters to individual inference.]

How does this concern severance pay? Severance pay

DoD 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7A, Chapter 35
350503. Computation
A. Formula. To compute disability severance pay, multiply the sum of basic pay for 2 months by the number of combined years (but not over 19) of active service and inactive duty points. Do not include as basic pay the 25-percent increase prescribed under certain conditions for a Navy or Marine Corps member retained on active duty after enlistment expires.
B. Years of Service. The member’s separation orders will specify the total combined years of active service and inactive duty points to be counted in computing severance pay. Round this total to the nearest whole year, with 6 months or more rounded up. The maximum number of years of service for computing the disability severance pay will be 19 years.

The minimum number of years for computation purposes will be:
1. Six years in the case of a member separated from the Armed Forces for a disability incurred in the line of duty in a CZ (as designated by the SecDef) or incurred during the performance of duty in combat-related operations as (designated by the SecDef); or
2. Three years in the case of any other member.

Ron
 
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nsmartin1980

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Ron, thanks for the clarification. My separation orders say 9 years, 1 month, and I pointed that out to the clerk. Waiting on a response.

Generally speaking, the service academies are the higher education institutions run by the armed services - Naval Academy, Air Force academy, etc. The FMR doesn't list them by name, though, so that could be interpreted differently by PSD.
 

RonG

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Please keep us posted on developments. As you suggested, the service academies are well-known. It is a confusing issue and dual-status personnel have certain benefits that do not apply to others (my inference).

Ron
 

Usndocgreen

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So if I start at an academy, don’t finish and enlist, time there counts to retirement, but if I finish and get a commission then it doesn’t count....???? Anyone else see an issue with that???
 

RonG

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So if I start at an academy, don’t finish and enlist, time there counts to retirement, but if I finish and get a commission then it doesn’t count....???? Anyone else see an issue with that???
I am not sure, but I think one's status when they begin OCS has a bearing on the creditable service. Speaking only about the Army, during the time I worked in OCS pay, all the soldiers reporting for OCS were enlisted and had been through basic training. Most cadets and midshipmen arrive at an academy without prior service; they do not have a duel status.

With regard to the issue you mentioned, there are many laws that I feel are unfair; non-qualification for CRDP for retirees with less than 20 years AD is only one. (RC retirees and TERA retirees also qualify.)

I hope someone who did get credit for OCS time upon commissioning will report their experience. I might be looking for a unicorn.

Ron
 

nsmartin1980

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I am not sure, but I think one's status when they begin OCS has a bearing on the creditable service. Speaking only about the Army, during the time I worked in OCS pay, all the soldiers reporting for OCS were enlisted and had been through basic training. Most cadets and midshipmen arrive at an academy without prior service; they do not have a duel status.

With regard to the issue you mentioned, there are many laws that I feel are unfair; non-qualification for CRDP for retirees with less than 20 years AD is only one. (RC retirees and TERA retirees also qualify.)

I hope someone who did get credit for OCS time upon commissioning will report their experience. I might be looking for a unicorn.

Ron
Circling back to add that I did receive my severance pay, and that PSD corrected my DD214 to include my OCS time. The start date of my AD time/creditable service towards severance was my first day at OCS, final day was my separation date. 9 years, 1 month. I was not prior-enlisted.

I clarified to PSD that I did not attend a service academy (OCS is not a service academy, it's military training, the officer version of boot camp). Service Academies generally end in a Bachelor's degree of some type and are ~4 years long, so I think that's probably why they don't count.
 

tony292

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OCS counts as enlisted time you should have received a DD214 upon graduating and commissioning.
 
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