Separation Pay

FULL SEPARATION PAY

Beginning on June 20, 1991, full payment of non-disability separation pay has been authorized to Military Service members of the Regular and Reserve Components who have been involuntarily separated from active duty and have met each of the following four conditions:

  • The member has met one of the following criteria for active military service:
    1. The member is on active duty or full-time National Guard duty and has completed at least 6 years, but less than 20 years, of active service. Additional requirements exist for Reserve and Guard members relative to periods of creditable service.
    2. The member (other than a Regular enlisted member) was on active duty or full-time National Guard duty on November 5, 1990, and on that date had 5 or more, but less than 6, years of active service.
    3. Effective December 1, 1993, a member who is a Regular officer and is separated under 10 U.S.C., chapter 36 (except under sections 630(1)(A) or 643 of such chapter or under 10 U.S.C., 580 or 6383) must have completed at least 6 years, but less than 20 years, of active service.
    4. The member, who is a Regular officer and is separated under 10 U.S.C., chapter 36 (except under sections 630(1)(A) or 643 of such chapter, or under 10 U.S.C., sections 580 or 6383) must have completed 5 or more years, but less than 6 years, of active service on November 30, 1993.
  • The member's separation must be characterized as "honorable" and none of the limitation listed below apply.
    • A member who is separated involuntarily through either the denial of reenlistment or the denial of continuation on active duty or full-time National Guard duty must meet one of the following four specific conditions:
      1. The member must be fully qualified for retention but denied reenlistment or continuation;
      2. The member must be fully qualified for retention but involuntarily separated under a Reduction in Force by authority designated by the Secretary of the Military Service concerned;
      3. The member, if a Regular officer, commissioned or warrant, must be separated under 10 U.S.C. 564, 1165, or 6383, or Chapter 36; if a Reserve commissioned officer other than a commissioned warrant officer must be separated or transferred to the retired Reserve under 10 U.S.C., chapters 573 or 861, or, if a Reserve commissioned officer on the active duty list or a Reserve warrant officer must be separated for similar reasons under Military Service policies;
      4. The member must be denied reenlistment or continuation on active duty or full-time National Guard duty under specified conditions, and have accepted an earlier separation from active duty.
  • The member must have entered into a written agreement with the Military Service concerned to serve in the Ready Reserve of a Reserve Component of the Armed Forces for a minimum period of 3 years following the separation from active duty and meet other condition for performance of that service

SOLE SURVIVORSHIP DISCHARGE

A sole survivorship discharge is the separation of a member from the armed forces at the member's request when the member is the only surviving child in a family in which:

  1. The father, mother, or one or more siblings served in the Armed Forces; and who was killed, died as a result of wounds, accident, or disease; or is in a captured or missing in action status; or is permanently 100 percent disabled or hospitalized on a continuing basis (and is not employed gainfully because of the disability or hospitalization); and,
  2. The death, status, or disability did not result from the intentional misconduct or willful neglect of the parent or sibling and was not incurred during a period of unauthorized absence.

A member who receives a sole survivorship discharge shall be entitled to full separation pay even though the member completed less than 6 years of active service immediately before that discharge. The amount of the full separation pay to be paid shall be based on the years of active service actually completed by the member before the member's discharge. These sole survivorship discharge provisions shall apply to any sole survivorship discharge granted after September 11, 2001.

HALF SEPARATION PAY

Military Service members separated under the following circumstances are not eligible for separation pay:

  • The member is separated from active duty at the member's own request. The following are considered to be separations at the member's own request: A member declines training that the Military Service offers to qualify for a new skill or rating as a precondition to reenlistment or continuation on active duty; A member requests separation under regulations established by the Secretary of the Military Service concerned; a Reserve officer declines a Regular appointment at the mandatory integration point.
  • The member is separated from active duty during an initial term of enlistment or an initial period of obligated service.
  • The member is released from active duty for training or from full-time National Guard duty for training.
  • The member is immediately eligible at separation for retired or retainer pay based upon his or her military service.
  • The member is a warrant officer whose appointment is terminated and who then elects to enlist.
  • The member is separated as a result of the execution of a court-martial sentence.
  • The member is being dropped from the rolls of the Military Service concerned.
  • The member is being separated under other than honorable conditions.
  • The member is an enlisted member who is separated for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct, as set forth in DoD Directives, except when half-pay is authorized as above.
  • The member is an officer who is separated for substandard performance or acts of misconduct or moral or professional dereliction, except when half pay is authorized as above.
  • The member is separated under a Military Service-specific program established as a no-payment level by the Secretary concerned.
  • A determination is made by the Secretary of the Military Department concerned in an extraordinary case that the conditions under which the member is separated do not warrant a separation payment. This authority is not to be delegated.
  • A Regular officer having twice failed for selection for the promotion to the next higher grade is not entitled to separation pay if that officer, after such second failure of selection for promotion, is selected for, and declines, continuation on active duty for a period that is equal to or more than the amount of service required to qualify the officer for retirement.
  • A Reserve officer who, is not selected for promotion to the next higher grade for the second time and is to be discharged or released from active duty, and who after such failure of promotion, is selected for and declines continuation on active duty.

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