Question 34: I was in the army before I started rail work. Can I use my military service in my rail retirement?
Answer: Under certain conditions, military service in a component of the one of the United States military services (including the Coast Guard) can be counted under Railroad Retirement.
There are two very important conditions. First, any military service must be proceeded by rail service in the same or preceeding calandar year.
If the first requirement is satisfied, the entry into military service must either involuntary (i.e., through the draft or recall from the reserves) or voluntary in a "war service" period. Those "war service" periods are exact dates written into the Railroad Retirement Act but they generally conform to the declared wars or periods of national emergency.
You can find out the exact "war service" periods by contacting the Railroad Retirement Web site at http://www.rrb.gov.
From the information you furnished in your inquiry, you did not have the required rail service before you went into the service, so your military service cannot be used in your Railroad Retirement benefits.