Active Duty List (ADL) and Reserve Active Status List (RASL)
The active duty list for each service branch is a list containing all active-duty officers in order of seniority for each competitive category. The reserve active status list for each service branch is a list containing all active-status reserve officers (other than those on active duty) in order of seniority for each competitive category.
Federal law establishes the requirement for each military department to maintain an ADL and RASL.
10 U.S. Code § 620: Service Secretaries shall maintain a list of all active-duty officers within their service in order of grade and seniority within that grade. Officers must be on the ADL to be eligible for promotion.
10 U.S. Code § 14002: Service Secretaries shall maintain a list of all active-status reserve officers (other than those on active duty) within their service.
10 U.S. Code § 14003: Officers are carried on the RASL for their service in order of seniority. If an officer's position on the RASL is a result of a temporary appointment, the officer's grade and position on the RASL reverts to what it would have been if the officer had not received that appointment.
10 U.S. Code § 14004: An officer must be on a RASL to be eligible for consideration for selection for promotion.
DoD Policy establishes commissioned officer grades for the four military branches and prescribes the policy for determining officer seniority on the ADL and RASL. The ADL and RASL are to be used to record original appointments, establish seniority within grades, determine eligibility for promotion consideration, provide for promotion timing, determine promotion zones and provide for legal determination of failure to be selected for promotion.
DODI 1310.01: Rank and Seniority of Commissioned Officers
Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps use the same Commissioned Officer Grades on the ADL and RASL. From highest grade to lowest these are: General, Lieutenant General, Major General, Brigadier General, Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Captain, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant. Navy Commissioned Officer Grades from highest to lowest are: Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, Rear Admiral (lower half), Captain, Commander, Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant, Lieutenant (junior grade), Ensign.
Between officers of the same grade, seniority on the ADL and RASL is determined by date of rank (the earlier the date of rank, the higher the seniority). In the active duty military date of rank is generally determined by the date of appointment, unless the commissioned officer has spent time in the Reserves (which may result in a later date of rank) or has a service credit (which results in an earlier date of rank). When an officer transitions between the ADL and RASL a Service Secretary may adjust the date of rank to better reflect an officer's experience or to adjust an imbalance. Service Secretaries may also adjust date of rank for an officer whose promotion has been delayed due to unusual circumstances.
Among Service Academy graduates (who are commissioned with the same grade and date of rank), seniority on the ADL is determined by class standing (higher class standing translates to higher seniority).
Air Force Policy
The ADL determines seniority in grade and eligibility for promotion. Seniority for officers within the same competitive category and the same date of rank is determined by using the following criteria in the order presented: previous grade date of rank; total Active Federal Commissioned Service; total Federal Commissioned Service; Regular officers before Reserve officers; Regular officers based on date of presidential nomination for appointment as a regular officer; Regular Air Force acceptance date; Academy class standing; date of birth, with the earliest date taking precedence; reverse SSN, with the lowest number taking precedence.
An officer on the Reserve Active Status List (RASL) who is on a promotion list as a result of selection for promotion by a mandatory promotion board or a special selection board and, who before being promoted is placed on the Active Duty List (ADL) of the same Armed Force and placed in the same competitive category, shall be placed on an appropriate promotion list for officers on the ADL. The effective date of promotion and date of rank shall be the same as if the officer had been selected to the grade concerned by the promotion board for ADL officers. Promotions by a position vacancy or federal recognition board may not be transferred to the ADL unless the officer is ordered to active duty as a member of the unit in which the vacancy exists.
The Air Force RASL includes a list of all Reserve Air Force officers in an active status, not on the ADL, and in the order of seniority of the grade in which they are serving. Officers serving in the same grade are carried in the order of their rank in that grade. Seniority for officers with the same date of rank is determined by using the following criteria in the order presented: previous grade date of rank, or if the same the date of rank in an earlier grade; previous active duty grade relative seniority if applicable; total Active Federal Commissioned Service; total Federal Commissioned Service; date of original acceptance of commission; date of birth, with the earliest date taking precedence; reverse SSN, with the lowest number taking precedence.
The RASL for the Air Force shall include officers in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. Except as otherwise provided by law, an officer must be on the RASL to be eligible for consideration for selection for promotion, continuation, or selective early removal as a member of the Reserve of the Air Force. Additionally, the officer must have been on the RASL or the ADL or a combination of these for 1 year before the promotion board convenes. An officer removed from the RASL and later placed back on the RASL has his or her date of rank and seniority adjusted to reflect time not spent on the RASL.
When a RASL officer is selected to be promoted, promotion only occurs if the officer remains on the RASL (or transfers to the ADL) until their date of rank. To be promoted, a selected officer must remain on the RASL until their date of rank (DOR) unless the officer transfers to the ADL. If the officer transfers to the ADL before DOR, the officer is still promoted on the DOR. An officer's promotion becomes void if a selected officer receives an assignment to the Inactive Status List Reserve Section (ISLRS) or to the Retired Reserve before the DOR. In this case, no promotion occurs until reconsideration and selection of the officer by another promotion board.
RASL officers who have limited extended active duty (LEAD) orders greater than three years will be transferred to the ADL after three years and one day.
The RASL is a single list that includes all Air Reserve Officers (including Air National Guard Officers) in an active status. The RASL is used to determine seniority in grade, determine eligibility for promotion and determine the sequence in timing of promotion.
AR 600-8-29: The position of officers on the ADL is based on the following criteria, in the given order: current grade in which serving on the ADL, current active date of rank (ADOR), ADOR of commissioned grade in which all previous grade(s) were served on active duty (other than for training), previous active duty grade(s) or relative seniority, if applicable, total active Federal commissioned service, date of appointment as a commissioned officer, date of birth (earlier is senior), alphabetical order. The ADL is used to determine eligibility in promotion and relative position in relation to promotion zones.
AR 135-155: The position of officers on the RASL is based on the following criteria, in the given order: current grade in which serving on the RASL, current date of rank (DOR), previous grade's date of rank or, if the same, the date of rank in an earlier grade, previous active status grade or relative seniority, if applicable, total active commissioned service, total Federal commissioned service or date of appointment as a commissioned officer, date of birth (age takes precedence) alphabetical order.
OPNAVINST 1427.2: The ADL and RASL of the Navy contain names, grades, dates of rank and the precedence numbers for all commissioned officers on active duty or Reserve active status.
The ADL includes all active-duty officers except Reserve officers serving on active duty for training and other special duties; the RASL includes all Reserve officers in an active status other than those serving on active-duty in a non-training capacity.
Relative positions on the ADL and RASL are determined by a precedence number, which is primarily a function of grade, and seniority in rank. Other factors affecting the precedence number include, service academy class standing, date of appointment, regular and reserve status, date of birth, alphabetical order of names. The ADL and RASL are used to determine eligibility for promotion and relative position in relation to promotion zones.
Marine Corps Policy
MCO P1400.31C W/CH 1: Provides detailed information on all aspects of the officer promotion systems. Information is applicable to Regular and Reserve officers.
Active-duty list (ADL): single list of all officers, other than officers described in 10 US Code § 641, who are on active duty in the Marine Corps. Unrestricted officers shall be carried on the ADL in order of seniority by rank and grade. Similarly, Warrant Officers (WO) and Chief Warrant Officers (CWOs) under 10 US Code § 574 are carried on their own ADL in order of seniority by grade and rank. The Secretary of the Navy maintains the ADL. Those officers excluded by 10 US Code § 641, include several subsections, identified on pages 1-4 and 1-5. According to SECNAVINST 1420.1B, an officer's grade and date of rank determine their position on the ADL of the Marine Corps. Officers are carried on the ADL in order of seniority in the grades in which they are serving. Dates of rank determine seniority among officers of the same grade. The relative seniority of officers is indicated by assignment of an eight-digit active duty precedence number. An officer whose precedence number is lower than that of another officer of the same grade and date of rank is senior to that officer. Precedence numbers for Marine Corps officers are not assigned until completion of at least 1 year of active commissioned service or completion of the Basic School, whichever is later. Precedence numbers are based upon grade, date of rank, service academy class standing, Basic School class average, date of appointment, regular officer, date of birth, and alphabetical order.
Reserve Active Status List (RASL): the RASL is a precedence list comprised of Reserve officers, in an active status as defined by 10 US Code § 14002 in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve, the Active Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, and the active-status list of the Standby Reserve. Reserve Warrant Officers and Chief Warrant Officers have their own RASL. Relative precedence among Reserve officers will be based on grade and date of rank. According to 10 US Code § 14306, each officer on the RASL has a running mate who is an unrestricted officer on the ADL to ensure that Reserve officers are promoted in concert with their running mate. More info to found from page 1-9 to 1-11.
MCO P1900.16 CH 2: Provides guidance on the administrative separation and retirement of Marines.