No love for the Reserves or National Guard folks. Thousands have served in Iraq so far. Some of them taking cuts in pay to do so. At one point in the war about 40% of the active force on duty was made up of the Guard and Reserve.
I think your memory is dis-serving you, it's always been 20 as far as I know.
20 is correct...
How you retired pay is computed depends upon when you entered the service. If you enlisted after 8 Sep 80 you retired pay is based upon your high three years average.
Marines and the Navy have to make 30 years to be retired. After 20 years they are part of the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps and draw retainer pay. Only after 30 years do they draw retired pay.
for the folks who came into the service after 1 Aug 1986 there is a third system. At 15 years you can elect to stay with the high three method or you can elect to go with another method and get a $30,000 bonus. Your retired pay would only be 47% of the high three average with a 1% reduction in cost of living increases until age 62. At Age 62 everything goes back to the after 80 method.
Thanks to the Vets and those serving Active, Reserve and National Guard.