Retirement for Age and Years of Service
There are limitations on the number of years of commissioned service an officer may serve prior to mandatory or voluntary retirement. Military personnel must also serve a certain number of years to be eligible for voluntary retirement.
Unless an officer falls under other separation or retirement regulations that compel earlier retirement, Federal law sets mandatory retirement requirements, as follows:
10 U.S. Code § 631, § 632: Allows officers in the grades of O2, O3, and O4 who are twice failed of selection and are within two years of qualifying for retirement for 20 years of continuous service (YCS) to stay until retirement-eligible.
10 U.S. Code § 633: Mandates retirement for O5s not on a promotion list to O6 after 28 years of active commissioned service, except for certain officers in the Navy or Marine Corps who are either limited duty officers or permanent professors at the United States Naval Academy.
10 U.S. Code § 634: Mandates retirement for O6s not on a promotion list to O7 after 30 years of active commissioned service, except for certain officers in the Navy or Marine Corps who are either limited duty officers or permanent professors at the United States Naval Academy.
10 U.S. Code § 635: Mandates retirement for O7s not on a promotion list to O8 after 30 years of active commissioned service or 5 years in grade, whichever is later.
10 U.S. Code § 636: Mandates retirement for O8s after 35 years of active commissioned service or 5 years in grade, whichever is later; after 38 years of active commissioned service for O9s; and after 40 years of active commissioned service for O10s.
10 U.S. Code § 1251: Mandatory retirement age is age 62 for all officers other than general or flag officers. Service Secretaries may defer the retirement of health professional officers and chaplains until the age of 68.
10 U.S. Code § 1252: Mandatory retirement age for permanent professors at service schools is age 64.
10 U.S. Code § 1253: Mandatory retirement age for general and flag officers is age 64. Officers in O9 and O10 positions may have retirement deferred until age 66 by the SECDEF or until age 68 by the President.
10 U.S. Code § 8323: Regular and reserve officers in the Armed Forces may retire after 20 years of service, at least 10 of which must have been as an active commissioned officer.
10 U.S. Code § 8322: Regular officers in the Armed Forces with at least 30 years of service may be retired upon their request, at the discretion of the President (or the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy for Navy and Marine Corps officers).
10 U.S. Code § 8321: Commissioned officers with at least 40 years of service shall be retired upon their request.
10 U.S. Code § 12731: A reserve officer is entitled to retired pay if that officer is 60 years old, has performed 20 years of service, is not currently serving on active duty, and is not entitled to retired pay from any other branch of the military.
10 U.S. Code § 12732: Reserve officers may count, for purposes of meeting the requirements for retirement eligibility, each year that has been credited with 50 points. Points are given on the following basis:
- One point for each day of active-duty service
- One point for each day of full-time service while performing training duty or instruction at a service school
- One point for each attendance at a drill or instruction
- One point for each day during which funeral honors duty was performed
- 15 points for each year of membership in a reserve component of the military
10 U.S. Code § 12735: Reserve members under the age of 60, but otherwise eligible for retirement, may be transferred to inactive status in the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR). While on inactive status, that member is not required to participate in training or other programs until retirement. Service Secretaries may recall any inactive member to active status.
DODI 1215.07: Service and training connected with civil defense and emergency preparedness and certain professional development activities may count towards the accumulation of retirement points. Retirement credit may be earned in a partial year (such as a year in which a break in service occurs). The amount of partial credit to be given depends on the number of days in active status in any year in which a break in service occurs. This instruction contains a table indicating the minimum points required for different ranges of days spent in active status. Multiple partial years may be combined.
Reserve members are generally eligible for retirement only after the age of 60; if the member is otherwise qualified for retirement that member may transfer to the IRR. Ready Reserve members who have served on active duty after Jan. 28, 2008 or in any two consecutive fiscal years after September 30, 2014, in support of contingency operations, or otherwise ordered to active duty may reduce the retirement age requirement by 3 months for every 90 days of active duty service in any fiscal year, to a minimum age of 50 years.
Air Force Policy
AFI 36-3203: Implements U.S. law pertaining to active duty and reserve retirements.
Implements U.S. Law and DoD Policy.
Marine Corps Policy
Implements U.S. Law and DoD Policy. See MCO P1900.16 CH 2 for details.