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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 20289
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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I am currently in the Army, and I am at my first duty

Customer Question

Hello, I am currently in the Army, and I am at my first duty station. I am in the midst of in-processing, and I was wondering If i can still transfer from Active duty to reserves.
JA: Are you overseas or stateside?
Customer: Stateside. JBLM.
JA: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?
Customer: Not yet. I am still in reception.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 7 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Unless you have a legitimate reason for an early out, such as a disqualifying medical condition, pregnancy, sole surviving child, etc., you don't have a legal right to get out of your active-duty contract. Whether or not you are released from active-duty and accepted into the Reserves is entirely up to the Army. They would have to want to release you for some reason, like what I mentioned above. Of course, misconduct would also likely get you released, but then you would not be going into the Reserves with misconduct.

You can try speaking to your chain of command about why it is you want to be released, or the chaplain if this is a personal crisis of some kind, and see what they say. But, this isn't something that is routinely approved and the Army really has no reason to agree unless you are disqualified from service for some reason.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I understand that ma'am. It's not a personal crisis, I just thought reserves would be in my best interest due to full-time college, rotc, and other factors. I know this would not be legitimate reason if I take this up to command. I've asked my battalion commander during OSUT if this was possible, and he told me to ask my unit once I get there. Based on your thoughts, it would be very unlikely that the chain of command would allow me under these circumstances?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for your reply. I have to be honest and say that it would be very unlikely. Without what the Army considers a legitimate legal reason, they aren't likely to approve the transfer. The only incident where they might is if they have accessed too many soldiers for the billets they have available, which doesn't happen very often.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you ma'am. I've also heard about Soldiers Leaving a year early from their active duty contracts to the reserves due to furthuring their education. Is this true?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 7 months ago.

Yes, sometimes. Recently, there has been a limited change in regs that has allowed for early outs after completion of a specific length of service and within 12 months of the end of their EAOS, for certain servicemembers. But, that change could be cancelled at any time. I believe that the reason the services have been able to have that change was due to the need to cut back on active-duty personnel because of Federal budget cuts. That may change in the future with a different Congress and President.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 7 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answers I provided to you on the 2nd. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received your rating.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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