The Navy has done exceptionally well in recruiting and retention during the past few years, as -- as such -- have found themselves in the unique position of having too many sailors on active duty. To help correct this situation, and to help in the stabilization and aligning of the force, the Navy has announced an early separation program for selected enlisted sailors for the years 2009 and 2010.
Under this program, eligible enlisted sailors may request separation as early as 12 months before their normal date of separation. Requested separation must be no earlier than 12 months prior to the sailor's Expiration of Active Obligated Service (EAOS) or extended EAOS (you can find these dates in your personnel records), and must be no later than September 15, 2010. For example, a qualified sailor with an EAOS of August 12, 2010 may request separation with an effective date as early as August 12, 2009.
As with most separation programs, the sailor's commanding officer has final disapproval authority. In other words, the CO does not have to forward any requests that he/she disapproves. When making their decision, COs are required to carefully weight rating and NEC manning of their unit, the requestor's PRD, inbound reliefs, projected operational and fleet response plans, etc. If the CO does recommend approval, the request is sent to COMNAVPERSOM (PERS-832) for final approval/disapproval decision.
Not everyone is eligible for this early separation program. Early separation requests cannot be approved for sailors:
- With existing permanent change of station orders.
- Identified to fill a Global War on Terrorism support assignment.
- Under a Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) entitlement or in a rating or NEC that is eligible for an SRB.
- In the National Call to Service program.
- In nuclear ratings.
- In the SEAL/SWCC/EOD/Diver programs.
- Assigned overseas who have not completed the required minimum overseas assignment tour length (including overseas tour extension incentive programs for which a benefit has been received).
Separation (Terminal) Leave
CO's may grant separation (terminal) leave in conjunction with early separation since this is an early release policy. However, permissive temporary duty (PTDY) is not authorized since this is a voluntary separation program.
Sailors with extension agreements that become operative between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 (inclusive) may request early separation under this program in conjunction with a request to cancel the extension. Commands recommending cancellation of an extension must include justification on the service member's 1306/7.
Montgomery GI Bill. Sailors enrolled in the Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill, who are honorably discharged under this program may be entitled to one month of MGIB benefits for each month served on active duty, up to a maximum of 36 months.
Those discharged under this program who have served 20 months (on a two year active duty contract) or 30 months (of a three year or more active duty contract) may receive the full 36 months of MGIB benefits.
Post 9/11 GI Bill. Sailors with at least 90 days or more of active duty, beginning on or after September 11, 2001, may be eligible for the GI Bill of the 21st Century program, for education pursued on or after August 1, 2009.
Other VA Benefits. Those serving on active duty for more than 180 days are are separated under honorable conditions are normally eligible for all VA benefits, with the exception of the VA Home Loan program, in which two years of active duty service is required.
Sailors who separate under this program who received an enlistment bonus will be required to repay any unearned portion of the EB. For example, if you received a $4,000 bonus for a 4 year active duty enlistment, then separate under this program after 3 years of active duty, you will be required to pay 1 year's worth of the bonus ($1,000).
For complete details about this early separation program, see Navy Administrative Message 369/08.