. Pregnancy or childbirth
l Surviving family member
l Separation of aliens
. Separation to accept public office
Regular Navy officers may usually submit a
resignation after they have completed 4 years
commissioned service. If their commissioned service is
less than 6 years, they maybe required to join the Naval
Reserve to complete a total of 6 years. Section 651, Title
10, United States Code (USC), provides, among other
things, that all persons who become members of the
armed forces on or after 10 November 1979 must serve
in the armed forces for a total of 6 years. Each person
under 26 years of age at the time of entry in the armed
forces between 1 February 1978 and 9 November 1979
must serve in the armed forces for a total of 6 years.
Approval of an unqualified resignation is not
automatic; it is governed by the needs of the service,
including availability of qualified relief. Favorable
consideration for resignation normally will be given to
an officer who will have no active duty obligated service
remaining on the requested detachment date.
An unqualified resignation must be submitted by
letter in the format specified in the MILPERSMAN,
NAVPERS 15560C, in order to be accepted by
An unqualified resignation, once accepted by
SECNAV, carries with it an honorable discharge.
Reserve officers who are on active duty for the
purpose of fulfilling their military obligation may
submit a request to the Bureau of Naval Personnel
(BUPERS) for early separation.
There are various reasons for this type of request.
One officer may desire early release for timely school
enrollment; another may do so because of a personal
hardship. Requests for early release under any
circumstance must be accompanied by documented
evidence to substantiate the reason for the request.
Some of the reasons for which early separation is
not authorized are as follows:
l Attendance at night school
. Summer school (part-time sessions)
. Part-time school
Courses that prepare one for a hobby
The officer is serving a period of active duty in
return for schooling received after being
Release of an officer to inactive duty varies from
time to time and as the needs of the service dictate.
Therefore, you should consult the latest instructions and
notices for up-to-date requirements.
An officer or enlisted member of the Regular Navy
has a vested right to retire voluntarily upon completion
of at least 30 years of active duty. Requests for voluntary
retirement with less than 30 years of active duty will be
considered on the basis of the overall needs of the
service and the individual cases. Final approval of
requests for retirement rests with SECNAV. If an officer
qualifies for voluntary retirement by virtue of meeting
the time in service, the officer must have a medical
examination to determine if any nonincapacitating
disabilities exist. If some disabilities do exist, the officer
then receives a disability retirement. If no disabilities
exist, the officer is voluntarily retired without disability.
An officer may put forth his or her best efforts, but
simply not be able to handle the responsibility of a job.
The harder the person tries, the more the person bungles.
In spite of rigid entrance requirements, it sometimes
happens that a person who is not capable of performing
the duties receives a commission. This, in many cases,
is no direct reflection on the officer; the person is simply
in over his or her head. Some fail academically despite
their best efforts and others have a personality or
physical deficiency that prevents them from doing the
job as well as required. Officers who fail to meet the
standards of their fellow officers are involuntarily
A qualified resignation is an involuntary separation.
A qualified resignation is one that indicates there is some
stigma, however slight, attached to the resignation that
prevents the awarding of an honorable discharge
certificate. A qualified resignation, if accepted, usually
results in separation with a general discharge certificate.