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US Navy Reservist called to serve his country.


How the Reserve Component Works

The Navy Reserve is the Reserve Component (RC) of America’s Navy. And within the structure of the Navy Reserve, there are organizational categories that further define a member’s service responsibilities and commitment status. Each has its own way of contributing to the overall mission – some regularly and others only in special circumstances.

As a Reservist, you will fall into one of these categories based upon details such as your military experience, your military status and your individual situation.

Ready Reserve

The Ready Reserve provides a pool of trained servicemembers who are ready to step in and serve whenever and wherever needed. It is made up of the Selected Reserve – which includes Drilling Reservists/Units as well as Full-Time Support personnel – and the Individual Ready Reserve.

Selected Reserve (SELRES)

This group – the largest and most relied upon of the Ready Reserve – consists of:

  • Drilling Reservists/Units – These are designated Reservists who are available for recall to Active Duty status. They serve as the Navy’s primary source of immediate manpower. They typically fulfill the traditional service commitment of one weekend a month and two weeks a year. And they receive many of the same benefits and perform many of the same duties as their Active Duty counterparts. This includes persons on initial Active Duty for training.  
  • Full-Time Support – These are designated Reservists who perform full-time Active Duty service that relates to the training and administration of the Navy Reserve program. They may be assigned to shore activities and commands or operational units. They typically are not reassigned to different locations as often as those on regular Active Duty. And they receive the same pay, allowances and benefits as Active Duty members.

Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)

This group consists of individuals who have had training or have previously served in an Active Duty component or in the Selected Reserve.

  • Inactive status – These members of the Individual Ready Reserve do not drill, are not obligated to take part in military activities, and receive no pay or benefits. 
  • Active status – Individuals assigned to the Individual Ready Reserve may be eligible to receive pay or benefits for voluntarily performing specific types of Active Duty service
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There are hundreds of Navy recruiting offices around the country. Locate one near you to learn even more about serving in America's Navy.


Standby Reserve

The Standby Reserve is made up of Reservists who have transferred from the Ready Reserve after fulfilling certain requirements established by law. Most common Standby Reservists are those who have been deemed key civilian employees by the government or those suffering through personal adversity or disability.

While they are not required to perform training and are not part of any specific unit, they do create a pool of trained individuals who could be mobilized, if necessary, to fill manpower needs in specific skill areas.

Retired Reserve-Inactive

The Retired Reserve-Inactive is made up of Reservists who are drawing retired pay or are qualified for retired pay upon reaching 60 years of age.