Understanding the Individual Ready Reserve

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For many Airmen, once they hang up the uniform after separating from the service they expect to fully transition to civilian life. What many don’t realize is their service commitment may not be complete after they receive their DD 214.

All enlisted military members agree to an initial eight-year military service obligation (MSO) at the time they take their oath. If a member served four years on active duty and separates, they are required to complete the remaining four years in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Additionally, if the service member transfers to a Reserve Component (Reserve or Guard) and separates with remaining time on their initial enlistment, they may also be assigned to the IRR for the remainder of the enlistment.

Officers are a little bit different. Upon the completion of an officer’s initial eight year MSO, members are automatically shifted into the Non-Obligated Non-Participating Ready Reserve Personnel Section (NNRPS) for an additional two-year commitment however, members have the ability to opt out of this by resigning their commission. Officers wishing to resign their commission can start this process by contacting the ARPC Separations section via myPers.

Members who have separated active duty are able to find if they have fulfilled their MSO by checking line 6 of their most recent DD 214. Reserve members’ separation order will provide this information and the NGB Form 22 will indicate if Guard members have been transferred to the AF Reserve and assigned to be managed by HQ Readiness Integration Office (HQ RIO), located at Buckley AFB, Colorado.  

Once an Airman has separated, they will be entered into one of two categories of the Individual Ready Reserve; the non-participating IRR and the participating IRR. The nonparticipating IRR, the category familiar to most, does not report to a unit for duty and are not eligible for either pay or points. The participating IRR, managed by HQ RIO, is assigned to a unit and earn only points toward retirement will fulfilling their service commitment.

Once in the participating and non-participating IRR, members can still be recalled to active duty in the event of a national emergency or peacetime screening and are required to notify ARPC of any contact information or medical status changes. IRR members are also required to attend musters which are held multiple times per year at locations throughout the country.

Contact information for each member assigned to the IRR will be kept on file at HQ ARPC to inform Airmen they hold a current MSO and have been selected to attend an IRR Muster. Those in the IRR and within the 150-mile radius of the muster location will receive a selection letter notifying them of the requirement to attend.

 Airmen residing outside of the 150-mile radius will receive a survey in the mail requesting information on their status should they need to be called during a national emergency.

Members that reside within the commuting distance of the muster but are unable to attend are asked to contact the Personnel Readiness Section at ARPC as soon as possible to be excused or rescheduled to an alternate Muster location. Contact information to reschedule will be listed in the letter.