USAREC Public Affairs
October 24, 2017
FORT KNOX, Ky. – The Defense Department announced a new policy Oct. 13 that affects the recruitment and shipment of I551 card holders, known as Lawful Permanent Residents or green card holders, into the Army.
This change was effective immediately and delays the shipment of green card holders to basic training in the active component until all appropriate background checks are completed.
Previously, recruits were allowed to head to initial military training as long as their background investigation had been initiated and they had cleared all other entry screening requirements.
"Effective immediately, all green card holders must complete a background investigation and receive a favorable military security suitability determination prior to entering any component of the armed forces," Stephanie Miller, DoD's director of accessions, said in an interview.
The change will mean that green card holders entering the military may be in the delayed entry or training program longer than in the past, due to a backlog for security clearances at the Office of Personnel Management.
The clearance procedure could take up to a year.
Accessions into the Army Reserve are temporarily on hold while U.S. Army Recruiting Command establishes a Reserve Delayed Entry Pool to allow future Army Reserve Soldiers to sign a contract and then wait for completed background checks before accessing. Previously, new Army Reserve Soldiers accessed the moment they were sworn in and before they shipped to basic training.
Current I551 holders who are interested in enlisting are still able to join the active component at this time with the understanding that they will be part of the Delayed Entry Pool until the screening process is complete.
Jim Garamone from Defense Media Activity contributed to this report.