Compliance Q&A: SCRA and Defining Military Service

Question: We have a customer that is leaving for boot camp for the Air Force. Am I correct in stating that boot camp is not active duty?

Answer: Boot camp is included in active duty. “Military Service” is defined under SCRA as a period of active duty status. For members of the regular Armed Forces, active duty begins the day they leave civilian life; for them, active duty is not synonymous with deployment. For a member of a reserve component, the protections the SCRA offers begin when a member of the Reserves or National Guard receive mobilization orders. It is initiated upon receipt of mobilization orders in order to give the soldier time to put his or her affairs in order.

There may be several active duty periods during a member of the Reserves or National Guard’s career, including the initial active duty for training (“boot camp”) and subsequent call-ups for service, whether or not the Servicemember volunteered for active duty is immaterial. Finally, military service also includes any period during which a Servicemember is absent from duty because of sickness, wounds, leave or other lawful causes.

Our Lending to Servicemembers Policy has great information regarding both the SCRA and MLA:

The term “active duty” means full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. Such term includes full-time training duty, annual training duty, and attendance, while in the active military service, at a school designated as a service school by law or by the Secretary of the military department concerned. 10 USC 101(d)(1)

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