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Exemptions from Combat Duty


It is Army policy that assignment to combat or duty in a hostile-fire or areas must be shared equitably by all similarly qualified Soldiers. There are however, some notable exceptions to this policy:

    a. Soldier who acquires Sole Surviving Son and/or Daughter status;

    b. Other Service Members of a family where a family member was killed, wounded, or was missing in action or captured, or who has been officially designed as 100 percent disabled.

    c. Wounded Soldiers hospitalized 30 days or more outside a hostile-fire area

    d. Assignment of Conscientious Objectors.

The following briefly outlines each policy and where applicable includes some procedural guidance. Refer to the appropriate references for specific eligibility rules and processing procedures.

Sole Surviving Son and/or Daughter Rules

A sole surviving son and/or daughter may not be assigned to a permanent change of station (PCS), temporary duty (TDY), or duties involving actual combat with the enemy if he/she, or one of his/her parents, or spouse submits a written request for non-combat duty. On approval of such a request, a sole surviving son and/or daughter shall not be assigned to any overseas area designated as a hostile-fire or imminent danger area or to duties that regularly may subject him/her to combat with the enemy.

A sole surviving son and/or daughter is the only remaining son or daughter in a family where the father or mother (or one or more sons or daughters) served in the Armed Forces of the United States and because of hazards with such military service was killed; died as a result of wounds, accident or disease; or is captured or MIA status, or is permanently 100-percent physically disabled (including 100-percent mental disability), as determined by the Veterans Administration or one of the Services, is hospitalized on a continuing basis and is not gainfully employed because of disability.

Sole surviving son and/or daughter, upon request for non-combat duty by the Soldier or the Soldier’s immediate family, may not be assigned to duty normally involving actual combat or duty where they might be subjected to hostile-fire. Unless acquired status is waived, Soldiers will not be assigned to combat and hostile-fire areas; duties that require travel within the limits of the hostile-fire zone; a command where combat conditions exist, unless the area is not physically located in the geographical limits of the hostile-fire zone.

Applications submitted by the Soldier will be forwarded to the commander exercising general courts-martial convening authority (GCMCA), who will authorize the assignment limitation when reasonable evidence has been presented and it can be established that the Soldier is the sole surviving son and/or daughter.

Members of the immediate family may submit requests on behalf of the Soldier directly to HRC (AHRC-EPO-A), 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22331-0450, for enlisted personnel, or HRC (AHRC-OPD-M), 200 Stovall Street Alexandria, VA 22331-0450 for officers. Requests will include substantiating evidence and identification of all personnel involved.

When the parent(s) or spouse of a qualified sole surviving son and/or daughter requests protective assignment under this subparagraph for the Service member, the Service member will be afforded the opportunity of waiving the parental request before a final determination is made by the approving authority.

Soldiers who have a pending or approved request for exemption (under sole surviving son and/or daughter status) from deployment to a hostile-fire area and/or combat duty, may request the status be waived in order to deploy with their unit.

If a Soldier acquires or retains sole surviving son and/or daughter status, then the Soldier is ineligible for assignment to an area designated as hostile-fire/imminent danger or where duties involve combat with the enemy, unless the Soldier waives the assignment restriction.

References: AR 614-200, paragraph 5-9 and AR 614-100, Chapter 6, Section VII

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