Believe it or not some flexibility does exist in the military but not much. The main two options are called the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and the Split Training Option. DEP is open to nearly everyone as far as I am aware. I only know of split training being given to two types of people: educators and students.
I started this blog with intentions of helping those who don’t know much about joining the military so you could easily know this already.
The Delayed Entry Program just gives a recruit time to get affairs into order and leave at a time more convenient to them. This time frame is usually from a few months to a year but I know some people who were doing DEP with like two weeks and I’ve read it can be up to two years. You process all your paperwork and medical stuff, and meet with your recruiter every now and then until you ship out. You also agree to this with a contract. My roommate from my MEPS visit was DEP and she signed her contract but was leaving about 20 days after to get stuff together. I am utilizing DEP too. I am a teacher who gets loan forgiveness at the end of the 2018 school year and I would like to access this to make my finances better. Since I am in the reserves I’ll start drilling in June 2017 if my packet is accepted, and I will attend my BMT to OCS training back to back starting June 2018
Split training is just what is sounds like, it breaks your training into two different chunks instead of all at once like most people do. If you meet requirements for split training you may also use DEP too. I’ve seen split training be given in three scenarios:
- The first is for students who are still in high school wanting to do active duty or even the reserves, but are legally allowed to join the military. They do their basic in the summer between junior and senior year, and go to AIT after their senior year. Followed by Active Duty or Reserve Drilling.
- The second is for college (or grad students) who are wanting to do the reserves. This allows them to not interrupt their college studies. Completing separate summers for BMT and AIT. They will however drill after signing their contract.
- The third is for educators wishing to join the reserves and works same as it does for college students in option two.
But wait what if you’re a college student wishing to finish your degree but join the military as active duty?! From recruits I have meet along the way this is not an option for them. They may continue their classes again as soon as they are done with BMT and AIT but this time with tuition assistance! I met one Marine Poole who was getting a finance degree and lucked out by getting stationed near his school to finish it so he could put it to use in the Marines. I am sure split training can be granted in other opportunities too, but not many people other than school personnel and students have large amounts of time off.