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Early Release for Exceptionally Talented Personnel


The Army has established a new program which allows enlisted members and officers to apply for early separation in order to participate in activities with recruiting and public affairs beneficial to the U.S. Army.

As part of the Army's ongoing recruiting efforts and to enhance the Army’s public affairs efforts, personnel meeting the eligibility criteria may request for excess leave or early separation under the provisions of this new program.

Exceptional personnel with unique talents and abilities may be released from active duty when there is a strong expectation they will provide the Army with significant favorable media exposure likely to enhance national recruiting or public affairs efforts. Personnel will be expected to use their talents primarily within the United States in a manner that generates interest for service in the United States Army.

There are two options under this program:

Excess Leave Option

Personnel may apply for excess leave, after serving 24 months of the current obligated period, not to exceed a period of 1 year, for the purpose of pursuing an activity with potential recruiting or public affairs benefits for the Army.

    1. While in an excess leave status, personnel remain subject to recall and must maintain current contact information (e.g., e-mail, current address, phone number) with their commanding officer.

    2. Personnel are not entitled to pay and allowances while in an excess leave status. Personnel who incur a physical disability while in excess leave status are not entitled to receive disability retired pay.

    3. Personnel on excess leave for purposes described in this message must sign an agreement acknowledging that time served in excess leave will not be used to satisfy an existing Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) or other service obligation.

    4. In the event the individual fails to achieve the desired benefit for the Department of the Army, he or she will immediately return to active duty no later than the termination date of excess leave.

Early Separation Option

Personnel may request early separation if they have secured a contract or similar binding commitment that guarantees an opportunity to pursue an activity providing potential recruiting or public affairs benefit to the Army. In all cases, the contract must reflect the intent of the parties to employ the individual in a way that brings credit to the Department of the Army, and in a manner that would have potential recruiting or public affairs benefit for the Army. Early release shall be conditioned on the execution of a written agreement as follows:

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