active duty

noun Military.
the status of full-time service: on active duty.
Also called active service.
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World English Dictionary
active service or esp (US) active duty
 
n
military duty in an operational area
 
active duty or esp (US) active duty
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

active duty

Full-time service, as in Julian is 81, but he still comes to the office every day and is very much on active duty. This term comes from the military, where it stands in opposition to reserve, which refers to troops still in the military but not actively engaged. It is occasionally transferred to civilian matters as well. [First half of 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Keep your leave and earnings statements while on active duty to facilitate your claim.
There are three non-disability retirement plans currently in effect for active duty retirees.
Applies to federal and state active duty, other than for training.
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