Tributes & Stories


By LT Mike Cristiano ’13, USN

Calling All Veterans! Join the Navy Reserve Today!

In January 2020, I was at a crossroads many of you know all too well. My resignation was approved and I needed to figure out what I was going to do upon separation from active duty.

For many, including myself, this is a bittersweet moment. You’ve spent 10 years associated with the Navy and while you feel you have completed this part of your life whether it’s due to family, career, or any other reason, the Navy has become a big part of you. Ultimately, I decided to be a stay-at-home dad to my two daughters and provide my wife the opportunity to further her career as she has done so many times for me.

I knew I no longer wanted to go out to sea and miss time with my family, but I was still interested in being part of the submarine and Navy community. That’s where the Navy Reserve came in. I separated in July 2020 and immediately joined the Submarine Reserve Force. The stability the reserves provided during the transition allowed me and my family the flexibility to try something different without worrying about healthcare and money, and I still got to be a submariner (to some extent) a few times a year through drills and annual training supporting CTF-69 in Naples, Italy (paid for by the Navy, of course).

Most active duty members know little to nothing about the Reserve when they separate and it prevents them from even considering joining when they finish their active obligations. That’s what I’m here to share with all of you, readers. Here’s the big picture:

1. The Reserve is hiring VETERANS (that means you to Marines) to join in their previous designators (WITH BONUSES!)

2. The Reserve provides you an opportunity to “choose your own adventure” and do something in the Navy you may not have been able to do on active duty.

3. Benefits include pay at your previous rank, the ability to complete your 20-year retirement (don’t let your years completed go to waste!), Tricare, and a two-year mobilization deferment (Involuntary IA mobilizations are no longer a thing as well).

4. Age limit is based on your ability to complete your retirement before the age of 62, so yes, even if you got out 20 years ago you may be eligible

5. VA Disability rating is not necessarily a disqualifying factor

When it was time for me to go back to work full-time again, I took orders to become a full-time Reserve Officer recruiter where I resided. The Navy Reserve has given me and my family so many opportunities already with many more to follow. If you think you might be interested or miss the Navy even a little bit please reach out to me at (518) 225-5868 or by email

LT Mike Cristiano ’13, USN, is a Submarine Reserve Officer assigned to Navy Reserve Recruiting Command as a Canvassing Recruiter in Albany, NY. Previously in the reserves he was assigned to Undersea Warfare Operations Schenectady and on active duty he was assigned to NPTU Ballston Spa as a Shift Engineer and MARYLAND. He currently resides in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife Jane, and their three daughters Hannah Brooke, Emma Jane, and Hailey Rose.

Source: Shipmate: March-April 2023 - An Ocean Away