The Enlisted Involuntary Early Separation Program has been in effect for some time for Soldiers whose units
are deploying and their ETS date is during that deployment.

In those cases, Soldiers would be offered the chance to re-enlist, extend or choose a different unit or military
occupational specialty, said Bragg. If they didn't, they would be involuntarily separated up to one year before
their ETS. That remains in effect.

The big change is that besides deploying units, the policy now also covers units that are going to be
deactivated, he said.

For Soldiers in units that will be deactivating, they'll be given 45 days to extend or re-enlist from the time
they're notified, Bragg continued. If the Soldier chooses not to extend or re-enlist, the Soldier's ETS would be
reduced up to a year's time -- depending on the date his or her unit is deactivating -- but not less than 90
days for the transition/separation processing.

The policy would not apply to units that are deactivating but are then reactivating as a different unit, at the
same location. In that case, the Soldiers would remain with their unit until their ETS dates, he added.

Although no Soldier has yet been affected by the change, Bragg said he expects there will be involuntary
separations for those in units deactivating as the drawdown continues.

"We always give the Soldier the opportunity to stay with the team first," he added.

The policy for involuntary early separations can be found in All Army Activity message 339/2013 and
Military Personnel 13-375.

Whether nor not Soldiers choose the voluntary separation route or the involuntary, they are afforded, as
always, the opportunity to speak with a reserve-component career counselor for possible offerings in the
National Guard or Army Reserve, said Col. Charles A Slaney, program manager for reserve component
career counselors, HRC.

"We want to ensure all Soldiers are treated with dignity and respect, and that when they leave the service,
they're ambassadors for the Army," he emphasized.

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Changes to enlisted separation policy aim to provide Soldiers options

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 13, 2014) -- The Enlisted Voluntary Early Separation Program
and Enlisted Involuntary Early Separation Program have some important changes that took effect Jan 1st.

The Enlisted Voluntary Early Separation Program is designed for Soldiers who have employment offers
and want to separate prior to the expiration of their term of service, or ETS. They can now request
getting out up to 180 days prior to their ETS.

Soldiers can request the separation through their local commanders, if they can show adequate salary
or compensation from their potential civilian employers, and that the separation won't hurt their ability to
support their families, said James R. Bragg, branch chief for Retention and Reclassification -
Involuntary/Voluntary Separation program, Human Resources Command, at Fort Knox, Ky.

Bragg added that of that 180-day maximum period, the Soldier would need a minimum of 90 days for
normal transition/separation processing.

The previous voluntary separation policy was for Soldiers planning to attend college. That policy allows
them to separate up to 90 days early, so they can begin their semester work, Bragg said. That policy
remains in effect. Nothing has changed with that policy.

The new policy allowing for early separation for a job opportunity can be "good for the Soldiers and their
families" as they transition, Bragg said.

Further details of the changes can be found in
All Army Activity message 340/2013
army separation program