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Question:

I am getting the run around from Human Resource Command (HRC) about my Date Initially Entered Military Service (DIEMS).  I entered the US Military Academy 2 July 1979 and HRC is putting my Date of DIEMS date at the end of my Academy time.  I have looked up several references in United States Code, DA Regulation etc. and found stated in the law that cadets are under the UCMJ and are part of the Army. As defined by law the time at the Academy cannot count toward retirement, but in identifying that time the law identifies the start of my military service in my mind and according to other documents, people and United States Code.  I understand that the actual time does not count and have known this for a long time which is what HRC keeps throwing at me as justification for their action, but as you state in your retirement guide the date of entry does not change.  They now claim that I have to put my case before an arbitration board and claim “they have won for their side at these boards.”  Who do I contact to get them to follow what I see as clearly the law to right this problem for me and the service members that entered on the earlier side of 8 SEP 1980 and graduated or were commissioned on the other side and are now given the later date as a DIEMS?

Answer:

Unfortunately, I do not have one contact person who could force them to recognize the correct date. However, rather than use our handbook as a reference, you could show them the information we used as our source: the Military Pay information on Defense.gov (http://militarypay.defense.gov/retirement/). The first unique circumstance they cite (which isn’t very unique) relates to you. “The DIEMS for Academy graduates who entered the Academy with no prior service is the date they reported to the Academy, not the date they graduated.” I’m not sure how they can argue with citations from the Department of Defense itself. Good luck in your fight!

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