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Thread: Recruiting Situation and Military Orders

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    Recruiting Situation and Military Orders

    Hi all, I have been trying to become a police officer for about a year now and a Marine Reserve Officer for a year also. I even went back to school for my masters degree for both fields.

    I have just been accepted to go to OCS in October and I was told I will be going to an Academy with the dept of my dreams in October (I had been finally selected for both).

    My dream is to become a police officer and protect my country in the reserves.

    I was told I could maybe get my OCS dates delayed by my BI and my OSO told me in the beginning that legally the Dept I was selected into would have to hold a spot for me at the academy while I am gone, it is a federal law? I asked my BI with the Dept and she said they would drop me from the process.

    I need some advice, this dept is my dream dept, I have friends in it and know of the area very well but again the Marine reserves are a dream of mine also. Was my BI wrong? Can someone with experience in a similar situation chime in?

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    To be clear, we (I) cannot give you legal advice. That said, permit me to 'refer' you to a better source, with a suggestion:

    38 US Code 4301 et seq is known as the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and can be reviewed at the US Dept of Labor (DOL) website or their booklets.

    What I recall is the law covers part-time and probationary employees as well as full-time. No hiring decisions can be made based on current or intended military service for past. present or future obligations. While this sounds a lot like your case, I'm not a labor attorney or any other kind of employment expert.

    So, I suggest you look at the DOL site, make copies of the law, and make sure you have documents to prove you are accepted to OCS and are presently in the Reserves. A letter form your CO would be great, along with orders, etc., etc. Perhaps your First Sergeant can be of help.

    With those in hand, first talk to the BGI. If you get turned down, you should ask to be provided with a written statement why you will be removed from the list and why the agency is exempt from USERRA in your case. It's amazing how fast the decisions change when asked to document the issue. Given this is a federal law, be sure the BGI understands they may not be the final decision-maker and, without being a jerk, encourage them to check 'upstairs' without delay. Don't dawdle, as you really don't have much time.

    If you get stalled or told "hell no!", then ask for the city/county personnel director. Do not be shuffled to minions, who tend to err on the wrong choices. If all else fails, contact DOL and/or consult a labor expert lawyer immediately.
    co809 likes this.

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    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. These are two opportunities that I may not be able to get again so I want both of them to work. Again it would be a dream come true to be a Police Officer and serve my country as a Marine Officer.

    I will def look into what you had posted. If anyone has had experience with this please chime in.

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    Verified LEO Spike126's Avatar
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    Life is tough and sometimes you gotta make the 'hard decisions.' Since you are NOT employed by the PD as of yet they do not have to hold a slot for you. Had you been employed they have to hold your job for you should you go to OCS. Having said all that...tread very lightly when it comes to trying to combine both careers. While "legally" departments cannot hold military obligations against you I can assure you that some will and do...they just learn how to manipulate the system better than the others. I have seen this firsthand in my own agency. If it were me...I would defer on the OCS, take the PD job and then once off probation opt for OCS. But thats me. I wish you the best of luck you sound like a fine young man.

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike126 View Post
    .... Since you are NOT employed by the PD as of yet they do not have to hold a slot for you. Had you been employed they have to hold your job for you should you go to OCS. Having said all that...tread very lightly when it comes to trying to combine both careers. While "legally" departments cannot hold military obligations against you I can assure you that some will and do...they just learn how to manipulate the system better than the others. ...
    Spike-san, I'm not so sure ... which is why I suggested his doing some research and determining if that phrase in USERRA applies [" ... decisions cannot be made on current or INTENDED service ... past, present or FUTURE .." If he's already active Reserve and has an OCS offer, he really needs to confirm his rights. If he discusses it with Dept of Labor and the agency's city personnel director, he'll have a better sense of those rights.

    I. too, have seen many a sly and slick trick pulled but most HR bosses now realize they can get snake-bit by the Feds and really don't want that on their resume.

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    Verified LEO Spike126's Avatar
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    This could get interesting. I wonder if they uttered the magic words "conditional offer of employment?"

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    Thats exactly what they gave me...

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    I agree with spike, although it may not be right to do it, alot of employers have found some pretty clever ways of manipulating the system. I can't say I haven't gotten a rejection letter that simply says they hired a "better qualified candidate" before...

    I'd likely take the PD job and try again with te Reserves after probation. Best of luck to you, and keep us informed.

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    If he made it all the way to a COE, then they knew he was an active Reservist. For me, the wording of the federal law is pretty clear and may be the deal-breaker. I'm looking forward to hearing what happens; live & learn.

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    I chose not to delay my orders. I told my BI and she informed me she was closing my file and I could reapply after my orders.

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    Verified LEO Spike126's Avatar
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    So does that mean you would have to start the process all over again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike126 View Post
    So does that mean you would have to start the process all over again?
    Yes.... Oh well. Ill be a law enforcement someday, just not now. Keep trying, after my orders are up.

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    Sometimes starting over isn't a bad thing.

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper1990 View Post
    Yes.... Oh well. Ill be a law enforcement someday, just not now. Keep trying, after my orders are up.
    So, what was the recruiter/BGI's and/or HR response to the USERRA law? Or did you even ask? Walking away, to start from Square One if you legally don't need to, seems rather awkward ....

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    Verified LEO gr8gator1's Avatar
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    I think you made the right choice reaper...LE will always be here.. With the current downsizing of USMC, I know a TON of officers who are going Reserves from Active, so OCS & TBS classes will probably be a lot fewer in the next few years.... On the other hand, your just what the world needs: A brand new 2nd Lt. who still has get his "salt" from the chow hall!....lol...Semper Fi and good luck!

 

 
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