I'm a Staff Sergeant with a little over 11 years in, currently on indef reenlistment. Single, no dependents, 29 years old, good health. Now, for various reasons, I've been seriously considering filing for early separation. My questions have to do with transferring to a federal job.
Now, I know that no federal job will keep me on my 20 year retirement like the Army, but if I were to switch over, what benefits would I keep? I heard once long ago, granted from a barracks lawyer, that your time in service rolls over in some way. How does that work? I'm not considering a GS job with the Army, but some other type of job. What would I be looking at as far as downgrades? I know I would lose my full Tricare coverage. How does retirement time work after? What are good websites to find listings for government jobs?
Personally, I would recommend finishing your 20 years. I came back on active duty to finish my 20 and switched to Warrant Officer from being a Staff Sergeant. I have 3+ years (I am eligible for TERA now if I run into a promotion SNAFU) left before I hit 20.
Now, I work with GS employees, GS employees who are still serving in the Reserves and contractors under Northrop Grumman. As a GS, you can go into the buy back program and some of the contractors have similar programs as well. I would have to ask them this week but it depends on the company and their benefits program.
If you do get your separations approved, you can always get this information during ACAP/Transition office for more details.
But why would you want to leave?
I tell you this, every civilian that I met in my organization, is now wanting to hit the Reserves and become a Signal Warrant. They still want some sort of military benefits and retirement package. So trust me, you may regret it, if you decide to leave.