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Airline to ANG and USERRA


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I am currently at an airline and in the process of applying to the Air National Guard.  From all I've read Officer School, UPT, B-course, and seasoning are exempt from the 5 year USERRA rule. My main question is are there any loopholes in the system that could become problematic later on? Such as being forced to switch from part time to full time? Possibly medically DQ after getting wings and needing to transition to another job in the ANG for your 10 year commitment? The list of scenarios could go on, but I just want to be absolutely sure I  am not putting my civilian career at risk by pursuing this dream.  

Thanks so much!

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Good to think about things, but you're overthinking. You won't be forced from part to full time without activation orders. NGB is very aware of USERRA and good commanders make sure orders are written to keep everyone in compliance. If you lose your military medical but keep your Class 1, your new Guard job will demand way less time than your pilot job did, so no worries there. If you want to go fly for the Guard, go apply and get after it. Your airline will be there when you get back - maybe.

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USERRA is also written that the 5 year limit doesn't apply if you are forced by the military to stay longer than 5 years. Also, initial commitments exceeeding 5 years (e.g. pilot training) are exempt from the 5 year limit. So you'll be fine. However, be aware that it is up to you to keep track of everything.

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As far as I know, lately all orders state specifically whether or not they are USERRA-exempt (and therefore do not count cumulatively against the 5 year limit). You'd have to be both blessed and stupid to run out the clock on USERRA as it's rare there's enough days to keep you on for 5 years running. You'd need to do something like hire on for an extended AGR tour after seasoning and not bother to go back to the airline for a few months to reset the clock. They can fill that billet temp AGR while you're gone. If you do end up in that position, obviously you're a good fit for the unit and the unit is a good fit for you.

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When I read through the paperwork (15+ years ago) my commitment to the ANG was tied to me actually finishing training.  So if I had washed out of pilot training, I could have left the service with no issues.  After seasoning you won't be forced into anything unless it's a non-vol activation, which are protected indefinitely under USERRA.    Bottom line, your job will be protected. 

Now, every unit does tend to have their own internal scheduling policy which can vary wildly.  I've seen a fighter squadron that required you to attend every squadron TDY, and if you don't want to go, you better have a good excuse.  While others are much more chill and may only force you to go on TDY (maybe even half time) if it's for a pre-deployment spinup type thing...and even then you'll likely have the option to go half time.  In my 19 years in the ANG, aside from trining, I've never been forced into any trip that I didn't want to go.  

 

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1 hour ago, kona4breakfast said:

You'd need to do something like hire on for an extended AGR tour after seasoning and not bother to go back to the airline for a few months to reset the clock.

This is something I've always been unclear on as an AD guy. How exactly does USERRA "reset"? If you go back to your civilian job for one day, do you get another five years of protection? Does it come back on a rolling one day for one day basis? Some other more complex way?

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52 minutes ago, mcbush said:

This is something I've always been unclear on as an AD guy. How exactly does USERRA "reset"? If you go back to your civilian job for one day, do you get another five years of protection? Does it come back on a rolling one day for one day basis? Some other more complex way?

None.  There is no reset.  Exemptions notwithstanding, it's 5 years in your entire employment with the same employer.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/38/4312

Quote

(a)(2) the cumulative length of the absence and of all previous absences from a position of employment with that employer by reason of service in the uniformed services does not exceed five years; and

 

Edited by nunya
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  • 9 months later...
On 6/21/2020 at 2:13 PM, Checksix said:

From all I've read Officer School, UPT, B-course, and seasoning are exempt from the 5 year USERRA rule.

How does that work exactly? If they are exempt from the 5 years USERRA rule, are they still considered USERRA protections?

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7 minutes ago, JKA360 said:

How does that work exactly? If they are exempt from the 5 years USERRA rule, are they still considered USERRA protections?

From my understanding being “exempt” just means that time spent doing those things don’t count towards your five year USERRA  “clock”. However you still have full USERRA protections. 

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Careful guys - lots of people throwing around WOMs here.  I'm an airline guy and I was a commander so I've dealt with both sides.  Only specific types of orders are exempt and they will say "These orders are exempt from USERRA" right on them.  There are waivers for anything but in general:

Training orders (UPT, SERE, B-course, FWIC, etc)

Seasoning orders (post b-course or TX course if unit is transitioning)

Involuntary mobilization

 

That's it.  Your 10 year UPT commitment is most definitely NOT USERRA exempt.  You can't stay full time for 10 years and come back to your airline job without working a bunch of non-standard stuff.  You have a 10 year commitment, but don't have to be full time.  Most guys go back to the airline post-seasoning orders.  

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