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3.13. Reserve Affiliation
After your separation from active service, you will have the opportunity to join the Selected Reserve or the National Guard. Doing so will allow you to retain many of your military benefits. If you are voluntarily separating from active service prior to fulfilling your contracted term of service, you can satisfy that obligation by becoming a member of the Ready Reserve in one of the following categories:
Selected Reserve: You may voluntarily affiliate with the Selected Reserve, either with a National Guard or Reserve unit, or a Reserve individual program.
Inactive National Guard: If you served in the Army, you may become a member of the Army National Guard, and request transfer to the Inactive National Guard if you are unable to participate in regular unit training.
Individual Ready Reserve (IRR): If you do not affiliate with one of the above programs, your service department will automatically assign you to the Individual Ready Reserve.
If you have served eight years or more of active duty, you may no longer have a military service obligation and do not have to affiliate with the National Guard or Reserves. You may, however, elect to continue your military service by affiliating with a Reserve component. Before you separate from active service, explore your Reserve options in the geographic area in which you plan to live after separation.
To sign up for Reserve duty while you are still on active service, contact your installation's Reserve Component Transition Office. To do so after you have separated, contact the nearest Reserve or National Guard unit listed in your local telephone directory. Any recruiting office can direct you to the appropriate recruiter. You can also refer to the following Appendix or Reserve websites.