Can You Leave The Military Before Your Contract Is Up – This became clear after Sgt. Army Major Michael Grinston opened the floodgates on social media earlier this month when he asked to hear “some of the most preventable reasons” soldiers leave the Army. Hundreds of responses address a variety of issues: racism, sexual harassment, work-life balance, height and weight requirements, an overabundance of bureaucracy, and the lack of control some soldiers feel they have over their lives.
Left the military. And you delivered. While some responses pointed to things like poor leadership – “A senior NCO made the decision very easy for me,” said one man – for others it was much simpler; as one person on Facebook put it, “it got stupid”.
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Can You Leave The Military Before Your Contract Is Up
In short, the responses chart a roadmap that can show leaders exactly why their troops might not be looking forward to enlisting for a few more years and instead consider their next chapter in the civilian world.
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One deciding factor that came up frequently was family: one woman said abuse of family care plans “is a real thing.”
“At 4 pm, leadership will demand that you stay, but if you cannot, you will be publicly shamed among your male colleagues for your ‘lack of family care plan’ or ‘poor teamwork,'” said the woman, who said on her comment that she is an Army veteran. “After eight years, I chose a stable life and future for my son and used the vocational rehabilitation program to prepare for a new career.”
One man said he knew starting a family was one of his goals in life, but after five years of service he “knew it wouldn’t be possible if I stayed.”
“Being a dual military family just wasn’t working anymore,” said another person. “Our family’s demands and abuse of the family assistance plan forced us to make a decision that affected one of us. So I sacrificed my career so he could retire.”
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Balancing family planning with military service has been an issue for military men and women, especially when myths like “women get pregnant to avoid deployment” persist in the ranks. As one enlisted man told Pentagon researchers in 2019, pregnant military women are often “seen as dead weight.”
“As you climb the ranks, your career will suffer if someone else isn’t responsible for your children full time,” said another.
“I stopped feeling important. As if what I was doing was insignificant,” one man said on Facebook.
For others, the deciding factor was exhaustion from multiple deployments and the relentless pursuit of readiness. One person said the demand “for more and more time away from work and family just wasn’t worth it anymore”.
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“I only left because of the constant deployments, with no end in sight… In 1 enlistment I made 3 (2 to Iraq and 1 to Afghanistan) trips, and if I hadn’t left, I was already reassigned to go straight back to Afghanistan again with the next company,” said a former Marine. “It just tired me to the bone.”
And while there are many negative factors that made leaving the military the best choice for many ex-servicemen, there were also several positives – they left because they felt they had done what they came to do or because they retired.
“The Navy did literally everything I needed,” replied one man, who says he is a former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class on Facebook. “Now I’m an expert in my field making good money teaching people how to do my job.”
Keeping service members in the military is more than just a matter of meeting ultimate strength goals — as a 2020 RAND Corporation report says, it’s also a financial matter. Recruits leaving the military before completing their first contract is “an ongoing and costly issue across all branches of the military service,” averaging “millions of dollars total per year,” the report says. And most of the deciding factors for someone leaving the military appear after they’ve already joined, the report says, as opposed to pre-existing issues that prevailed before they joined the military.
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“These factors might be called suitability or zest for military life,” says the RAND report. “And they can relate to the service as a whole, to a specific occupation, or to a specific unit.”
It’s clear that there are a million reasons why someone might leave the military – many of them likely to be avoidable, by addressing unnecessary daily challenges service members face that make their lives more difficult and civilian life more attractive. My personal favorite though: “I don’t like to run. I’m a real American and these colors don’t work. My command did not buy, we parted.
Featured photo: US soldiers from the Indiana Army National Guard fill sandbags for flood control efforts at the Indiana Department of Transportation office in Vincennes, Indiana, June 10, 2008. (US Air Force Photo by Senior Master Sergeant John S. Chapman) About 95,000 soldiers choose to serve their country in the Individual First Aid Reserve. (Master Sergeant Brian Hamilton/US Army)
Did you know that once you join , Uncle Sam might keep you there longer than planned – or that you might be recalled to active duty once you leave or retire?
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As the name suggests, this extension is up to the service member. If you are serving in an assigned assignment, location, or unit, you may voluntarily extend your enlistment beyond the normal expiration date.
If you do, you will be eligible for a Special Assignment Incentive Payment (AIP) of up to $1,500 monthly. The monthly fee, bills, locations, specialties and limitations vary according to the service.
Unlike voluntary extension, this happens whether the military likes it or not. Under a program known as “stop-loss”, the can keep you in business after the expected discharge date. This program has been around since 1984 and has been used a few times.
Although not currently in effect, stop-loss can be activated at any time. It usually requires Congress to declare an act of war or national emergency. However, if Congress is not in session and the President decides it is in the national interest, he can declare a national emergency and keep any or all members in active service for at least six months, or until Congress gets involved.
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If you’re lost, the current rules dictate that Uncle Sam pay you an extra $500 a month for your troubles.
In most cases, not every service member will be stop-lossed. There are skill-based and unit-based stop loss programs. This means that you can be involuntarily retained in the service if you have a certain valuable skill or “in the interest of unit cohesion”.
Most people know that reservists and National Guard members can be called up for active duty and sent to war in certain cases. What they may not know is that many military personnel remain in reserve for several years after leaving active duty.
The minimum length of service anyone can join is eight years. If you read the fine print on his service contract, you can see that he served on active duty for four years and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) for another four years.
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TIR differs from Active or Selected Reserves in that they are not required to drill and are not paid. The IRR remains as an adjunct to the active forces in times of emergency.
Rules vary, but generally speaking, any reservist can be called up for active duty during a declared war or national emergency, plus an additional six months. This declaration of emergency or war must be issued by Congress. If Congress is not in session, the president can use his authority to revoke them immediately.
Generally, the active reservist – those in the Guard and Reserve in drilling status – are called first, then the IRR, then those who have left active duty within the past five years, and then those under 60.
If there is no state of emergency, the president can call up to 200,000 reservists for at least 400 days. When the nation is in a state of national emergency, the president can activate up to one million reservists on his orders.
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The United States has been in a state of national emergency since November 14, 1979, when Executive Order 12170 was issued by President Jimmy Carter 10 days after the start of the Iran hostage crisis. That order was continued by President Donald Trump in November 2017.
You can be recalled for any branch and any specialty; depends on the needs of.
When it comes to retaining and withdrawing retirees and officers, each service handles the situation in its own way.
For example, in the Navy, when an enlisted man retires after 20 years of active service, he is transferred to the Fleet Reserve. They remain in the Fleet Reserve until they complete 30 years of service, when they are transferred to the retired staff. This means that if you are a member of the Navy
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