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WOFT and civilian reemployment

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Hello everyone,


The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act provides for a 5-year period during which a person can be absent from a civilian job in order to serve in the military, and still be eligible for reemployment in their previous position upon their return.


There are certain exceptions which allow an employee to enjoy these rights even if the absence for military service exceeds 5 years. One exception is for "initial obligations" of more than 5 years, and another exception is for those "unable to obtain release" until after the 5-year mark.


Does anyone have experience returning to a civilian position after flight-school ADSO is up? Of course, this would take more than 5 years. Do either of the above exceptions apply to an Army aviator? The initial enlistment is 3 years AD, but with the contractual expectation that WOCS and flight school will be completed, thus automatically incurring additional ADSO.


Any insight on this issue from anyone with experience (or an opinion) would be welcome. I suppose I could also contact the Department of Labor and ask them.



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I can speak to this a little bit. The way it worked when I did it, started with submitting a letter to my HR department specifically stating I was taking a leave of absence for military service. They were actually pretty good about it. WOFT confuses everyone paperwork wise because the inital obligation on your DD93 only states 3 years if I remember correctly. So I had to explain why I was taking the full 5. When it was all said and done, my old job became a fallback in case I was injured along the way for some reason. At the 5 year mark it will just expire and I will no longer beon their books. However, I worked for a very large corporation so putting my postion on hold and still hiring a replacement wasnt an issue for them. If you work for a small company it could become a problem for them, not so much you.

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From my understanding, the ADSO associated with being a military pilot in any branch definitely qualifies as an exception. Technically, the employer would have to honor it for the full 8 years or so (up to 12 years for Air Force pilots). I'll be sending my employer my new orders and ADSO each time it renews to 6 years until that last time after graduating flight school.

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I never knew such thing existed... I will definitely be looking into this. However, I do work for a fairly small municipal agency. I'm sure they'd hate me for it lol. But yeah as StockTrader said, it'd be good to have a fallback in case of injuries.

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