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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34348
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I am a navy reservist that was, as stated in my orders, "involuntarily

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I am a navy reservist that was, as stated in my orders, "involuntarily recalled to active duty" and received orders for over 1 year, including 330 days in Djibouti, Horn of Africa. After my orders expire in just over 1 year, I will be involuntarily released from active duty. Am I therefore entitled to Involuntary Separation Pay?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Can you tell me, do you have 17 or more years of active duty?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No sir, total military 11 years 3 months with 8 years 2 months of that active. Regards, Russell

Thank you sir

As a reservist, if you are under orders and have less than 18 years of active duty, the orders can be terminated at any time by your command. There is no right to separation pay for a person on active duty as a reservist.

It is different for someone on active duty (not a reservist). For an active duty sailor (again, regular contract, not reserve) if they have more than 6 years on active duty, they can not be separated prior to their end of contract without a hearing. And they may be eligible for separations pay if they are separated early or refused reenlistment. But this only applies to a Sailor who is under an active duty contract.

Now...there is one exception to this. A reservist who is activated and is on active duty with over 18 years of active service can not be separated or have their orders terminated prior to reaching 20 years of active duty. This is called "sanctuary". But it only applies to reservists who reach that magic 18 years of active duty mark.

In your case, since you have less than 18 years of active duty and since you are on a reserve contract, they can terminate your orders at any time.

Sorry to have to bear bad news
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Mr. Simmons, thank you for replying.


It's not necessarily bad news, it's kind of what I expected. Just thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. Also, I apologize for my late replies; this is due to the time diff between you and here in Djibouti.


Thanks again,




Russell Farr

Thank you sir.

Best of luck

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