Statutory changes in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 07 directed the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to establish different levels of joint qualification, as well as criteria for each level. Office of the SECDEF (OSD), Joint Staff (JS), United States Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), and the military services collaborated to produce the new Joint Qualification System (JQS). The JQS acknowledges joint experiences, introduces a point accrual formula (which takes into account the environment and intensity where an officer works in the joint environment), establishes four qualification levels and provides the opportunity for active and reserve officers to earn joint points and qualifications.

Joint Credit Points Accrual Formula: 
Joint EXPERIENCE Points=Duration (months) x Intensity Factor*
* Combat:3, Non-Combat: 2, Steady-State: 1

OSD has created a website (link below) which will allow members to self-nominate their experiences. When you arrive at the website, you’ll answer several prescreening questions. Based on your responses you may move on to the next module. If you move on, you’ll be asked additional questions to articulate the composition of the organization you belonged to and how your duties met the definition of joint matters. When you’ve submitted the nomination to the service manager (NGB JOM), you‘ll be able to provide documentation which verifies your experience. Substantiating documents include but are not limited to DD 214s, orders, awards, decorations, OERs/OPRs, etc. An NGB JOM representative will extract your information from the system and will ensure the documentation provided fully substantiates/validates the dates of the experience and that the duties met the definition of joint matters. Once your experience is validated, the information will be packaged and forwarded to JCS for a quarterly Review Panel. Once the JCS Review Panel recommendations are approved and published by JCS, NGB JOM will notify the officer.

NGB does not have a timeline on when to submit self-nominations for retroactive credit, but it is something they are pursuing. Educating yourself on Joint Matters and preparing your self-nomination will give you a head start on when the window for Retroactive Credit opens up.

Please contact J1 for any and all questions.

The first path is the standard joint duty assignment (S-JDA); the other path is the Experience-Joint Duty Assignment (E-JDA), or the two can be combined. 

The S-JDA path requires an officer (O-4 & above) to complete a three (3) year assignment in a full-time JDAL position or six (6) years in a part-time JDAL position*. These types of positions are currently located in COCOM HQs, JS, OSD, and Defense Agencies Headquarters. The officer must also complete Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I & II, or Advanced Joint Professional Military Education (AJPME). Once the time and education requisites are complete, the officer may be nominated by their service for the award of the JQO designation. OSD is the approving authority for JQO designations. 

The E-JDA path to a JQO allows officers (O-1 & above) to accumulate joint experience points by completing shorter joint assignments, exercises or training. In the new JQS, a member may start gaining joint experience points upon completion of basic officer education. Once an officer (O-4 & above) has accrued 36 joint experience points and completed JPME Phase I & II or AJPME, they may be nominated by their service for the award of the JQO designation.

  • Level I JQO is earned after completion of OBC for Army Officers and SOS for AF Officers. 
  • Level II JQO is achieved by completing OBC or SOS, JPME I, earning 18 experience points, nomination for Level II JQO and approval by OSD. 
  • Level III JQO is achieved by completion of OBC/SOS, JPME Phase I & II or AJPME, 36 experience points, nomination for Level III JQO and approval by OSD. 

Until September 30, 2010 (AC) or September 30, 2013 (RC), officers may be designated as a LEVEL III JQO without previously being designated as LEVEL II joint qualified as long as the officer has completed JPME Phase I and II or AJPME. Joint experience points are determined by dividing the number of days served by 30.4 and applying the appropriate intensity factor. For example, if an officer served 90 days in a joint combat experience his points would be calculated as 90/30.4*3 which equals 8.8 points. Points are not rounded up.

Joint Experience Points = Days ÷ 30.4 x Intensity Factor Intensity Factor = Combat: 3, Non-Combat Contingency: 2, Steady-state: 1 *Minimum participation is 48 drill periods, 12 annual days, 30 additional days each year in any status.

No. Not all jobs (i.e., positions) in joint agencies or activities will count as a Standard-Joint Duty Assignments (S-JDA). The preponderance of the duties have to meet the definition of joint matters for a position to be included on the Joint Duty Assignment List (JDAL). Once an agency has been designated as a Joint Activity, that agency can nominate any positions that they determine to meet the definition of Joint Matters to be included on the JDAL.

Who decides? 

JDAL positions: Joint activities can nominate positions for inclusion on the JDAL twice a year (Jan and Jul). Positions are evaluated by a panel that includes the services and the JCS. If they determine, the preponderance of duties within a position meets the definition of joint matters they will recommend to OSD that it be added to the JDAL. OSD will make the final decision on whether the position is added or not.

Experience Path: The service (i.e. NGB JOM) is responsible for screening self- nominations by validating the dates of the experience and ensuring there is proper documentation to validate the officer’s duties met the definition of joint matters. The JCS is responsible for reviewing, validating, and approving joint experience points from the services. The OSD has overall policy and oversight of the program and for awarding the JQO designation. An experience may receive joint experience points through the E-JDA process even if it is a service billet as long as the duties meet the definition of joint matters. Service positions do not count as joint through the S-JDA path.

Yes. A Captain (O-3) assigned to a JDAL position, receives joint duty credit and all joint duty provisions will apply, including tour length and early release requirements. Joint credit would start when the Captain is assigned to the JDAL billet. NOTE: Officer must be an O-4 to be awarded JQO.

COS (Critical Occupational Specialty) is a military occupational specialty from among the combat arms in the Army or equivalent military specialties in the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps where a severe shortage of trained officers in that skill exists. COS officers may be released early from an S-JDA if 1) the reassignment is to a COS specific skill held by the officer and 2) the officer is serving in their initial SJDA and has served at leat 22 months in the S-JDA. The Officer must be assigned to the JDAL billet in order to receive the full tour credit.

Although the agency might be joint, or staffed by individuals from the other services, it doesn’t mean the work they perform rises to the level of joint matters.

No. Joint tours are calculated to the day. A full 36-month tour is 1,095 days and you need to depart on or after 23 Jul 2009 for the full 36 months.

No. RC officers serving part-time in a S-JDA position can receive S-JDA full tour credit after serving six years or 72 months with a minimum participation rate of (66 Days a Year – 48 Drill Periods, 12 annual training days, plus 30 additional days in any status) and completing JPME I and JPME II or AJPME. 

Points are not awarded to JPME granting schools. JPME is one facet needed to gain joint qualification it’s a “must have.” The other facet is joint experience which is gained through an S-JDA assignment or an experiential E-JDA. Other education/ training and participation in exercises is a third way, called Discretionary Points, to earn joint experience points. Knowledge gained through Discretionary Points may also provide points.