I've read through Frumby and 46Driver's threads on the Reserves several times over the last few weeks, and there's good information in both of them. I've also picked skidkid's brain on PM and Flash Chat about the reserves (since he's currently at a reserve squadron). I'm starting this thread, because I've started down the road of coming back into the Reserves, and my buddies are asking me questions. I figure that if I chronicle what I'm doing while it's fresh in my mind it might make it easier for someone else who might be considering the jump. First a disclaimer similar to Frumby's - I am not trying to recruit anyone or suggest that they should/must come into the Reserves when they decide it's time to leave active duty. I'm just putting the information out there, along with my personal opinion based on what I've experienced to this point. The first thing that I'm going to recommend is that when you separate, don't blow off the reserve recruiter if they come to your SEPS/TAPS class. I had tunnel vision because of the whole burned out/just returned from deployment/USCG DCA board thing. I was ready to be done with the Marine Corps and didn't give the reserve recruiter the opportunity to talk to me about anything. I don't have any regrets about getting out, but if I had it to do over again, I would have done a couple of things differently. First, I would have accepted the reserve commission rather than declining it. Second, I would have kept the reserve recruiter's contact info rather than throwing it away. More on this later. So there you are, with Lejeune/Pendleton/New River/Miramar/what have you in your rear view mirror thinking "Fuck The Suck, I'm free!" and wondering why you feel melancholy. You convince yourself that the melancholy feeling will go away once you start working. Then you find yourself in a job that entails a cubicle without a view, overpaid and underworked and you're bored. Not to mention, your "peers" in this new job are almost 10 years younger than you and have nothing that even comes close to your life experiences. You come home every night - tired, frustrated, not feeling like you've done anything worthwhile all day, and you end up getting in fights with your wife because she thinks you're dumping on her. You think you're venting. You miss the Marines, maybe not the Marine Corps, but the Marines. You realize (as you end up spending your days swapping emails with your buddies, some still in and some out) that you're never going to experience that level of camaraderie again. That melancholy feeling you felt never went away. Am I being melodramatic? Nope. The previous paragraph is word for word what I experienced. Your mileage may vary, but the buddies from my squadron that I keep in touch with that are out are feeling something very similar. What can you do to rectify it? I got a letter from the CO of a reserve shitter squadron nearby, and after doing some soul searching, talking to my wife, and talking to the guys on here - I attacked the idea of the reserves like a man dying of thirst would attack a glass of water. I spent days on the MARFORRES website, and with skidkid's help got in touch with the head shed of HMM-774 in Norfolk, VA. The minute I got off the phone with them, I called my wife and told her we had made the right decision because I felt like I was coming home. So, the long road started. I can help guide you along this path, because near as I can tell - there are no monitors in the reserves and it's pretty much up to you to get to where you want to be. Step 1: Did you accept a reserve commission? If not, you have to start here. If you start straight off with the reserve squadron (as I did), no worries - they're going to let you know if they want you, but ultimately they're going to direct you to a prior service recruiter. Since you turned down a reserve commission, you have to request to reinstate your commission from HQMC. Step 2: The Package. What a giant pain-in-the-ass. I'm sure that most of what I'm submitting and have been running around to get are things that are archived somewhere in the annals of HQMC, especially since I started this process a whopping 4 months after getting out. Whatever, you've gotta do what you've gotta do, right? Here's what the package needs to contain: *Reserve Qualification Summary (essentially a resume) *Minimum of 2 LOR's from O-4 or above. I was told that they'd take civilian employers LOR's but I didn't risk it. Mine are from two O-6's. *Full length photo in business attire (no jacket) - think promotion photo. *(2) Fingerprint cards (FD-258). Local cops can do this, but if they require you to bring your own cards it's tough to find them. If your job entails a security clearance, check with your FSO/SSO - they should have some. *SF-86 (yup, even if you have an active security clearance) *Physical. If it's for flight, ask for a long form flight physical. If no flight surgeons are available, no worries - you can wait until you get picked up and then get it done at your reserve unit. Step 3: Pledging the frat. Your package requires an endorsement by the reserve CO, as well as you have to send a letter to 4th MAW requesting to join the unit (which also requires their endorsement). This is where the pledging comes in. This is also where my advice (for now) comes to an end. I'm heading down to Norfolk for the upcoming reserve weekend to meet everyone and go to the birthday ball. I still have to send the letter to 4th MAW and do a phone interview with the reserve CO (although face time is good time!). I'll keep you appraised of progress and tips/tricks along the way.