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Other Service Veterans Enlisting Navy

OSVET Enlisting Rules

Written by
Published: July 30, 2015
Updated: February 25, 2018

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.

96 Responses to “OSVET Enlisting Rules”

  1. Marcus says:


    1. Do enlistment bonuses such as having a Bachelors degree apply for a prior service veteran? I asked and was told this only applies to new accession recruits graduation from bootcamp. I wanted to verify this was true and not miss out on 8k. (Currently in the DEP program shipping in May)

    2. As an OSVET in the DEP program, is it possible to receive an earlier ship date? Currently set to ship to Illinois for processing May 2020.

    Thank you for your time NCCM!

  2. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The information you received is correct. You must be non-prior service and joining the active component for EBCC.

    Whether or not you can roll up depends on the seats available. I have no way of knowing what might be, but it is possible.

  3. Charles Q says:


    I’m an EAS’d USMC e-5 already through navy Meps, autoqualled the PST’s and awaiting on an EOD contract to come down from big Navy. I have a year and some change in broken service and I have a few questions

    1-will I have to attend the “spec war” version of Boot camp as an OSVET, or will I remain separate from my fellow candidates and only attend the month long refresher?

    2- what pay grade will I go back in as? All orders point toward e-3 but nobody truly knows, even MEPS

    3 – will my IRR time be counted toward my service? I.E. I enlisted in the corps in 2015, it is now nearly 2021, so would I have only 4 years of service or nearly 6?

    Thank you in advance!!

  4. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Charles Q,

    You would attend indoc at RTC like any other prior service member. The paygrade would be determined by the EOD ECM; not recruiting command or MEPS. I think the IRR time may count toward time in service for pay, but I am not an expert on that (there was a time it did not, but I think that changed in the last 10 years).

  5. Kyle says:

    Just a general question but if as an OSVET I want to get into a NSW rate that is overmanned for my year group but everything else in my package would be perfect does that mean it would be automatically rejected?
    also do they update the year group chart and if so how often?

    Thank You

  6. NCCM(Ret) says:


    I was not an ECM, so I do not know the frequency that they update their year groups — I would assume quarterly? If they find a year group overmanned, they would not be able to add to it. Lately, retention has been high — that usually means recruiting command may see an accession cut (shipping goal) on the horizon — when those cuts come, it makes it even more difficult for NAVETs and OSVETs to return to active duty. If you haven’t already, I would recommend looking into the Reserve as an option.

  7. Kevin says:

    I am reaching the last 8 months of my contract and is looking to get into the corpsman position for the Navy reserves. I served as military police in the army national guard and have a bachelors. I wanted to clarify, since I took the ASVAB while joining the military 5-6 years ago I will have to retake it?

  8. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Yes, you would have to retake the ASVAB.

  9. Anna says:

    I got out for failing AF technical school after being in for 9 months including basic training. I previously signed up for AF AD. I received a good discharge. I was told that I would be processed as a non prior service and am required to attend Navy boot camp even though I am taking up a prior service slot to join Navy AD. Am I missing anything?

  10. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You would complete an indoc period; you would not complete the full Navy boot-camp.

  11. Anna says:

    Hi (Ret) NCCM Goering, that is a relief to hear. Thank you for your passionate commitment to the Navy!

  12. Rachel says:

    In 2009 I served from April to September less that 180 days. I contacted a navy recruiter online who said I would not be able to enlist in the navy because I was in over 12 weeks and it has been too long(2009) since I have been out. I reached out to another recruiter and she told me I would be able to get back in and would be processed as a non prior service member but the process would be lengthy. I’m willing to do the paper work and stay with process but I’m hoping the first recruiter wasn’t right and she can help me get into the navy. Any advice?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:


    You are considered prior service. Waiver consideration will depend on your RE-Code, reason for the discharge, and whether or not you are best qualified when you apply. The process can be lengthy and frustrating. I recommend you seek out a recruiter willing to work with you.

  14. Laurence says:


    I’ve been nearly 2 years out of USMC active duty and I’m looking to enlist in the Navy under a 4 year active duty IT-SG contract. I EAS’d with an RE-1 code and I was curious, assuming somebody were willing to work with me, what’s the average time from first seeing the recruiter to ship date for someone coming in prior service? I’ve still got until 2023 until my USMC IRR time expires.

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Apologize for the delay in answering. I have reached out for an up to date answer to your question, and I have yet to hear back. As soon as I do, I will post it here.

  16. NCCM(Ret) says:


    Too many wickets to jump thru — MEPS, CNRC, ECMs, etc. to give a timeframe you can count on. Was told to expect anywhere from a month to four months before you ship if approved and selected. for the rating.

  17. Jeffrey says:


    So far, I have an Re-waiver that’s been at CNRC for over a month and before that, my recruiter asked me for 5 desired jobs. Because I never completed Army AIT after 9 mos of service, and I’m not “rated”, do I have to go through the ECM selection process or can I pick a job at MEPS with the classifier? Thank you.

  18. NCCM(Ret) says:


    What was your RE-Code?

  19. Jeffrey says:


    It’s RE-3, for failing my PT test. I took one with my recruiter to send up with the waiver. Little confused about this process because the 5 ECM jobs were submitted one month before the RE waiver was sent. Thought it would be the other way around but regardless, I’m hoping I can pick a rate at MEPS as that’s much easier.

  20. Darius says:

    What are the reasons why an ECM waiver would get rejected?

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:


    The ECMs are responsible for the health of their rating. When looking at an applicant, they weight a slew of factors such as current and projected manning at all pay grades and year groups. A rating could be undermanned overall but fully manned at specific year groups or pay grades. That is just one example of the detail they use; there are many more — their decisions are not happenstance.

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Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

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