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Early retirement program ends, Soldiers have until Jan 15 to apply

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Early retirement program ends, Soldiers have until Jan 15 to apply

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — The Army is terminating the use of
temporary early retirement authority, or TERA, for Soldiers with less
than 20, but at least 15 years of service.

“Since 2012, temporary early retirement authority has served as an
effective tool for drawing down the Army’s end strength,” said Secretary
of the Army Mark T. Esper in a memorandum released Dec. 15.
“However, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017
increased Army end strength and we have ceased the drawdown.”

With the drawdown ended, the Army has put in place a process to end
the use of TERA earlier than originally planned, in a way to ensure a
smooth transition, said Hank Minitrez, with the Army’s Office of the
Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1.

Soldiers eligible for TERA must submit a request through their chain of
command no later than Jan. 15. Commanders are required to expedite
the applications, as the authority to approve TERA requests will expire
on Feb. 28.

One exception is for Soldiers whose results from the fiscal 2017
promotion selection board will not be released until after Jan 15. They
must submit a TERA request no later than 30 calendar days from the
release of the board results. Once the request is received, authorities
will have 45 calendar days to approve or deny the Soldier’s request.

Results from four fiscal 2017 officer boards have not yet been released,
Minitrez said.

Along with ending TERA, the secretary’s memo also terminated
temporary changes to the minimum years of active commissioned
service Soldiers must have to retire as an officer. Since 2014, Soldiers
have needed only 8 years commissioned service to retire as an officer,
and now that minimum goes back to 10 years commissioned service
(with a total of 20 years active federal service.)

Soldiers approved for TERA must retire no later than Sept. 1. Any
changes in the effective date of retirement beyond Sept. 1 are not
authorized, according to the memo..

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