Q & A Session – Can Military Service Factor into Seniority Date or Entrance on Duty Date?


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I previously served in the military. Is there a way I can add my military service on to my seniority date and/or Entrance on Duty Date?


I assume from your question that you were previously an active duty service member and have since become a full-time civil servant. Under such circumstances, prior military service does not count toward seniority per se. However, your prior experience, including your military experience, was likely a significant factor in determining your grade and pay.


With regard to the date of entry, please note that employees who served in the military prior to becoming civil servants do not necessarily receive an enhanced or modified entrance date. They may, however, “buy back” their military time in order to secure an earlier civil service retirement date. While this does not change the date you entered your civil service position, it could allow you to retire earlier than you otherwise would have. However, a “buy back” may not be advantageous in all situations and you should consult a retirement expert before deciding whether to exercise the “buy back” option.

Also, note that your prior military service will count for purposes of calculating your leave accrual.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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