The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“Am I correct in understanding that my agency should also credit my two-week annual training periods in the Marine Corps reserves (prior to my federal employment, both in SCD date)? Must it also allow me to buy this time back? It should total another couple of months if so.

And if so, how do I go about demonstrating this service? Since it isn’t a DD214, it just shows up on my annual retirement points document from my USMCR time.

Am I also correct in assuming that my later two-week AT drills in the National Guard do not qualify? I was activated post 9/11 on NG time that looked like it would be under Title 10 overseas, but ended up being a detail to Guard airports/power plants under Title 32. This was again prior to my federal employment.

Is there any mechanism of law to get this time credited? Is there any process that generally credits reserve time from drills, especially in USMCR time?”

Reg’s response:

Credit is never given for weekend drills, whether they occur before or after you become a federal employee.

On the other hand, you can make a deposit to get credit for any periods when you were called to active duty in the armed forces (not the National Guard) that occurred before you became a federal employee, including two periods when you were called to active duty for training.

To find out what you would owe, complete Form RI-20-97, Estimated Earning During Military Service, and mail it along with a copy of any documentation you have to the following address:

DFAS-Indianapolis Center

Attn: Verifications Section

(Estimated Earnings)

8899 E. 56th st.

Indianapolis, IN, IN 46249-0865

A completed form showing your estimated earnings will be returned to you. Take that letter and Standard From 3108 to your local personnel office and and request an estimate of the deposit required. Your payroll office will compute the amount you owe, including interest, and arrange with you to make the payment in a lump sum or on a schedule of regular payments.

Any two-week period when you were called to active duty for training in the service of the United States while an employee are considered to be creditable service, and no deposit is required. On the other hand, if your call to active duty was longer, any time that exceeded the amount of annual leave you used will require a deposit.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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