Updated: January 27, 2016
With the Army recently announcing a reduction in force, and due to the fact many have inquired over the years how an other service Veteran (OSVET) of another service can join the Navy, it is time to put the very basics out there on how to accomplish that. The information is taken from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Instruction 1130.8J (Change 8), and as new policy updates occur, the information in this post will be updated to match it.
For the purposes of Navy enlistment, what exactly is an OSVET? According to OPNAVINST 1100.4, an OSVET is an applicant whose last tour of active duty or active duty for training was in a branch of service other than the United States Navy. The applicant has been discharged or released for more than 24 hours and completed a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks of active duty and active duty for training (including boot-camp). If the applicant has less than the minimum 12 weeks, they are considered to be non-prior service for this purpose.
An OSVET must meet the basic eligibility requirements for general enlistment to include passing the physical to the accession standards.
An OSVET must qualify for a rating or program that is critically undermanned per the most current Career/Reenlistment Objectives (CREO) listing. The qualification is based on ASVAB line scores that are less than two years old.
An OSVET’s prior service must be properly documented on an original or certified copy of the Department of Defense Form 214 (DD Form 214) copy 4. The applicant must meet the Reenlistment Code (RE) eligibility requirements. Many RE codes do require a waiver, and some are outright ineligible for consideration.
OSVETs discharged in paygrades E1 through E3 cannot have more than five years broken service; those discharged in paygrades E4 through E6 cannot have more than six years broken service.
Applicants who were discharged in pay grades E-1 through E-4 must have six or fewer years of prior service. Those discharged in pay grade E-5 must have 10 or fewer years, and if discharged in pay grade E-6, 14 years of prior service is the maximum. Navy High Year Tenure (HYT) limits do not apply for E-4 and below OSVETs unless the OSVET has served in the Navy previously.
For E-5 and above, all prior active military service will be used to compute the HYT limit.
OSVETs separated with severance pay, whether voluntary or involuntary, are eligible for reenlistment and will have their severance pay recouped from future retirement monies.
OSVETs are not required to attend Navy boot-camp but are required to complete a Naval Orientation Course at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes in Great Lakes, Illinois.
Those are the very basics for enlisting into the Navy as an OSVET, but keep in mind, the process can be cumbersome, and the Navy MUST also have an opening for one with prior service — these openings are limited, so have patience. See your local Navy recruiter for greater details about the program requirements and availability and how they would affect you specifically.