Six-Year Requirement for Reserve Members

Six-Year Requirement for Reserve Members

Members of the Reserve are eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan if they meet the eligibility requirements.

6-Year Requirement: A veteran who completes a total of 6 years as a member of the Selected Reserve (the veteran doesn’t need to be ordered to active duty) is eligible if he or she either:

  • Received an honorable discharge;
  • Was placed on the retired list;
  • Was transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service in the Selected Reserve characterized as honorable; or
  • Continues to serve in the Selected Reserve.

The six years of service do not have to be continuous or in the same Reserve or National Guard unit. However, active duty regular military service cannot be combined with Reserve service to reach the 6-year minimum.

Example Bill served 12 months of a 2-year enlistment in the Army.  He did not meet the 2-Year Requirement for eligibility and his separation was not due to any authorized exceptions.  He also served 5 years in the Selected Reserve.  Bill is not eligible.  He must serve all 6 years in the Selected Reserve.
Example A member of the Selected Reserve mobilized during the Persian Gulf War served less than 90 days on active duty, but continues as a Reserve member.  She will be eligible once the total of her Persian Gulf service plus additional time spent in the Selected Reserve totals 6 years.
Applicability of Other Exceptions The exception to the General Rule for Eligibility for a veteran discharged or released for a service-connected disability or an un-remarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability also applies to the 6-year requirement.  However, the exception  for the spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or prisoner of war is not an exception to the 6-year eequirement.