Prior Service Army Enlistment

There are a lot of different advantages to joining the military, but if you have served in the military before, you can enjoy some advantages to your prior service enlistment. The U.S. Army is offering great benefits and bonuses and making sure that your valuable prior service is carried over into your reenlistment.

You would think there would be one standard Department of Defense definition for "prior service," but there is not. Each military service involves different requirements, commitments and responsibilities. Each of the services define prior service (for enlistment purposes) differently.


The Army defines prior service as any applicant with more than 180 days of military service, or those who graduated from military job-training (MOS/AFSC/Rating), regardless of time-in-service. Individuals with less than 180 days of military service, and/or those who have not completed military job-training are classified as "Glossary Prior Service," and are processed the same as non-prior service recruits, with the exception that they must have a qualifying RE Code (or receive a waiver) on their DD Form 214.

Former members of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, including current and former members of their Reserve Components will have their active duty Army rank determined by the Army Human Resources Command, after an examination of their military records and experience. The US Army’s “Blue To Green” program transitions veterans of these other branches to life in the Army. In only the past few years, thousands of veterans from other services have participated in this program.


For many ex-members of the military, there are many opportunities available to you that first time recruits are not qualified to receive. Many factors have a bearing on just exactly how many and which of these programs and bonuses you may be eligible for, but looking into continuing your military career might be well worth your time.

The U.S. Army offers excellent benefits for you and your family, including a retirement program, commissary and base-exchange privileges, educational opportunities and space-available travel on military aircraft.
You’ll also have access to base/post facilities, low-cost life insurance, health benefits and family support centers and many more. The U.S. Army takes pride in having some of the best benefits available.

If you have prior military service you could qualify for either a 6-year or 3-year enlistment bonus. This bonus is only available with enlistment into the Army Reserve with designated bonus-eligible MOSs.

  • Up to $10,000 with a 6-year enlistment
  • Up to $5,000 with a 3-year enlistment

Prior Service FAQ
Prior Service RE Codes
Operation Blue to Green