Officer Retirement Laws


 

The summary below identifies the basic criteria an officer must meet to qualify for a Regular retirement from the Active Component or from Full-Time Support (FTS) active service for many frequently encountered situations.  It does not address non-regular or disability retirements or all the specific laws/policies that may apply to a particular officer’s situation.

Officers considering voluntary retirement from active duty should review MILPERSMAN 1810-020 and OPNAVINST 1811.3 (series) for guidance and policy.  Per U.S. Code title 10, officers officially retire on the 1st day of the month with the last day of active duty being the last day of the previous month.

  
Voluntary Retirement for Active-Duty Officers (30 years)
References: 10 USC 8322, 10 USC 1370OPNAVINST 1811.3A
 
For retirement as a CAPT or CDR:
- 30 years of active service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provide policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
 
For retirement as a LCDR:
- 30 years of active service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provides policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.  NDAA 2021 via a change to 10 USC 1370 changed the time-in-grade requirement to 3 years.  An update to OPNAVINST 1811.3A to reflect the change in law is pending.

For retirement as a LT:
- 30 years of active service
- 2 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provides policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
 

 
Voluntary Retirement for Active-Duty Officers (20 years)
References: 10 USC 8323, 10 USC 1370OPNAVINST 1811.3A
 
For retirement as a CAPT or CDR:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provide policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
 
For retirement as a LCDR:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provides policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.  NDAA 2021 via a change to 10 USC 1370 changed the time-in-grade requirement to 3 years.  An update to OPNAVINST 1811.3A to reflect the change in law is pending.

For retirement as a LT:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 2 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provides policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
  

 
Voluntary Retirement for FTS Officers
References: 10 USC 8323, 10 USC 1370OPNAVINST 1820.1B
 
For retirement as a CAPT or CDR:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1820.1B provide policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
 
For retirement as a LCDR:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 3 years time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1820.1B provide policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests. NDAA 2021 via a change to 10 USC 1370 changed the time-in-grade requirement to 3 years.  An update to OPNAVINST 1820.1B to reflect the change in law is pending.

For retirement as a LT:
- 20 years and 1 day of active service
- 10 years active commissioned service
- 6 months time-in-grade
Note: OPNAVINST 1820.1B provide policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
  

Voluntary Retirement for Chief Warrant Officers (CWOs)
References: 10 USC 1293, OPNAVINST 1811.3A
 
For retirement as a CWO2/3/4/5:
- 20 years of active service
- 6* years active commissioned service
- 2 years time-in-grade
 * Service obligation incurred upon appointment as stated in the NAVADMIN for the CWO Procurement Program, released annually, under which the member was selected for CWO.
 Note: OPNAVINST 1811.3A provides policy for time-in-grade and next-lower-grade waiver requests.
  

Statutory Retirement for Active-Duty Captains and Commanders (non LDO)
References: 10 USC 633, 10 USC 634, 10 USC 1370
 
For retirement as a CAPT:
- 30 years of active commissioned service (10 USC 634)

For retirement as a CDR:
- 28 years of active commissioned service (10 USC 633)
  

Statutory Retirement for Active Duty LDOs
References: 10 USC 8372, 10 USC 1370
 
For retirement as a CAPT:
- End of month following the month completing 38 years of active naval service

For retirement as a CDR:
- End of month following the month completing 35 years of active naval service

For retirement as a LCDR or LT:
- End of month following the month completing 30 years of active naval service
 

Statutory Retirement for Active Duty CWOs (30 years or more)
References: 10 USC 1305, 10 USC 1371
 
For retirement as a CWO5:
- 33 years and 60 days of active service
- Continuation per the annual announcement of Continuation Policy via NAVADMIN, normally in December 
 
For retirement as a CWO2/3/4:
- 30 years and 60 days of active service
- Continuation per the annual announcement of Continuation Policy via NAVADMIN, normally in December
  

Statutory Retirement (Age)
References: 10 USC 1251, 10 USC 1252, 10 USC 1263
 
For retirement as other than a CWO or Permanent Professor:
- *Age 62, on the 1st day of the month after birthday month
- 20 years of active service
*May be deferred past age 62 in accordance with law and policy on a case-by-case basis 
 
For retirement as a CWO:
- Age 62, 60 days after attaining that age
- 20 years of active service
 
For retirement as Permanent Professor at USNA:
- Age 64, on the 1st day of the month after birthday month
- 20 years of active service
 

Statutes for Retirement/Separation Pursuant to Failure of Selection for Promotion
 - 10 USC 580 (CWOs)
- 10 USC 631, 10 USC 632 (Regular Officers other than CWOs and LDOs)
- 10 USC 8372 (LDOs)
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