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Getting Out of the Military


Military soldier with bag in airport, low section
Mike Powell/Stone/Getty Images

It seems that hardly a week goes by that I don't receive email from someone asking how they can get out of the military. Sometimes the person is disillusioned -- perhaps their recruiter lied to them, or perhaps they had "selective listening," and only heard what they wanted to hear. Perhaps they simply decide, after basic training and/or job training, that they don't like the military, and want out.

If you thought this was an article detailing the "secret tips" to getting out of the military, I'm sorry to have to disappoint you. I can't write such an article, because there are no "secret tips." Joining the military is not like getting a job a McDonalds™. You can't simply quit because you don't like it. You signed a contract, and you took an oath, and you are legally (and morally) obligated to complete the terms of the contract, even if you don't like it.

One can easily get discharged from the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP ), but getting discharged once you are on active duty, before your active duty commitment is up, is no easy task. There are some ways one can be discharged from active duty, but none of them involve "just quitting:"

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