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Coast Guard Personnel Service Center

Officer Personnel Management Division

Officer Boards, Promotions, and Separations Branch CG PSC (opm-1)

Separations Section






The Officer Separations Section handles all of the following:


Helpful Information:

Separations FAQs:




Retired Recall - See the Retired Recall Page

Reservists on Extended Active Duty (EAD)

Officer Waivers

Temporary Separation


1. I see the term 'separations' used throughout the web pages and in documents.  What does it mean?  A separation in the context of this office is the act of terminating your service as an officer in the Active Duty Coast Guard.  There are various types of separation including resigning a commission, retirement, releasing reserve officers on Active Duty (RELAD), and discharge from the service.

2. Where are my separation orders?  Your separation orders are drafted from two different elements by your Servicing Personnel Office (SPO).  The first is an entry on the Direct Access airport terminal at your command which will have the TONO.  The second is a separation authorization which will have the date of separation, reason for separation, and any clause for your orders.  The separation authorization is accessible by your Servicing Personnel Office and they are normally emailed to the member upon approval of the separation by CG PSC (OPM).    If your business email address is up to date in Direct Access, your orders should be emailed to you immediately upon processing.  To view orders issued to you within Direct Access, see the help section on "My Peoplesoft Orders" on the PPC Website

3. How long does it take to process a resignation/retirement request?  It can take 30-60 days to process a separation request.  Factors that lengthen the process are special/unique requests, improperly completed separation requests, workload of the assignment officers and impact on the assignment process.  We work to complete the requests as quickly as possible.

4. Should I fax, mail or FEDEX my resignation request?  If the request is time critical, it should be faxed to OPM-1F at (703) 872-6429.  There is no need to use FEDEX if the fax is operating properly.  If tracking is a concern, use registered first class mail.  All separation requests should have the command endorsement and any other necessary endorsements faxed/mailed along with it.  Personnel in an office at Ballston Common Mall or at CGHQ should Guard Mail the request to CG PSC (opm-1F).  Requests/endorsements may be scanned and emailed to the separations section.

5. What is the process for approving resignations/retirements?  When CG PSC (opm-1) receives a resignation or retirement request, it is processed in the following manner:

a. OPM-1 reviews Direct Access to determine if the member has any obligated service remaining and is eligible for what they are requesting.  It is also checked for Command endorsement and the member is contacted if there are procedural mistakes.
b. The applicable detailer and Chief of Officer Assignments review the request, determine service impact, and make necessary adjustments to the assignment shopping lists.
c. The package is returned to the Chief of the Boards, Promotions, & Separations Branch and a separation date is assigned based on feedback from the Separations Section, the Assignments Branch, and Command Endorsements.
d. The Separation Sections makes appropriate entries in Direct Access issuing orders. 

6. What are frequent mistakes in retirement/resignation letters?  Here are some of the most frequent problems that we encounter:

a. No command endorsement attached.
b. For resignations, no reason given for resigning or incomplete reasons.  If there is a particular date requested that is critical, include the reasons why.
c. Requests not signed or dated by the member.
d. Submitting amendments to separations without reference to the original separation request or separation orders.
e. Not submitted in the format outlined in the Military Separations COMDTINST M1000.4, Chapter 1

7. My Commanding Officer just endorsed my separation request by signing next to the "Thru:" line.  How is this interpreted by CG PSC?  CG PSC would view this a favorable endorsement for the content of the letter without comment or qualification.

8. Can I submit a separation request without a command endorsement directly to CG PSC?  No, all initial requests and amendments require command endorsement. 

9. I am slated for mandatory retirement.  Why would I request a voluntary retirement in lieu of a mandatory one and how do I do it?  Those members slated for mandatory separation may request a voluntary separation instead. What this will do is change the code listed on the DD 214 to reflect voluntarily leaving the service. If you are slated for mandatory separation and desire this be listed as voluntary, you can email the separations section and changes will be made. If you desire this AND an earlier separation date, you need to route a request for retirement on the new date through your chain of command to CG PSC (opm-1). Requesting voluntary in lieu of mandatory separation generally does not apply if you are separating instead of going through some disciplinary action. There will be no harm to retirement benefits for doing this, but if you are facing discharge, requesting a voluntary separation in lieu of a mandatory one will cause you to lose any separation/severance benefits.

10. Could I request a voluntary separation if I am facing mandatory discharge?  In cases of resignation in lieu of board action or court martial, you cannot.  You could in cases like nonselection for promotion but would have to give up severance/separation pay.

11. Why are retirements scheduled at the beginning of the month?  5 U.S.C 8301 requires that retirements that are not covered by some other statute are to be executed on the first day of the month.  Retirement situations that are not required to be at the beginning of the month are disability retirements and resuming retirement after a recall to active duty.

Obligated Service

1. I'm an Academy graduate who has completed my five years of Active Duty service and desire to resign my commission.  How come I have to take a Reserve Commission even though I don't want one to finish my eight years of obligation?  Eight Years - I thought it was five?  10 U.S.C 651 states that any person entering military service will serve a period of six to eight years as set by the Secretary, either on Active Duty or in a part of the Reserves for the remainder of the obligation.  14 U.S.C 182 outlines obligated service for Academy graduates as five years of Active Duty with a total obligation of six to eight years.  The Commandant, as delegated by the Secretary, has set the full obligation out to eight years per chapter four of the Recruiting Manual.  This means that to resign at the five year point, an Academy graduate would have to take a commission in the USCG Reserve for the remaining obligation.  The officer does not have to request a Selective Reserve Commission and can request one in the Individual Ready Reserve (non-drilling component).

2. What are my obligations for flight school?  Flight school obligation was five years for those who were selected before and up to 01 Aug 1999.  Selection for flight school between 01 Aug 1999 and 30 Oct 2000 incurred six years.  Selection after 30 Oct 2000 incurred eight years service.

3. Can I pay back tuition assistance to eliminate the obligation?   Voluntary separation requests are not approved if the member has a tuition assistance obligation.  A system to pay back the money would need approval of the Tuition Assistance program manager prior to requesting separation.

Reserve Service

1. I have made a request in my resignation letter to go into the reserves.  What's next?  Your request will be forwarded to the Reserve Personnel Management Division CG PSC (rpm) who will review your options and make a determination as to what is available for you.  Your separation orders will contain a clause that advises you to contact CG PSC (rpm) to discuss your options.

2. I want to change my mind about my Reserve intentions that I submitted in my resignation to CG PSC (opm).  Is my initial choice binding? No.  You may latter change your mind until you accept some form of reserve commission.  You should contact CG PSC (rpm) if ASAP after your resignation has been approved letting them know of your modified intentions.

Reservists on Extended Active Duty (EAD)

1. I have a question about my EAD contract.  Who handles that?  EAD contracts are handled by the Promotions Section of CG PSC (opm-1).

2. I do not desire Reserve Extension or Integration.  Is there anything I have to do?  If you do not desire reserve extension or integration from a separations aspect, there is no action required on your part.  Orders will be cut for your release from active duty 3-4 months before the scheduled date.

3. Can I get  my orders earlier than 3-4 months before the scheduled Active Duty Termination Date?  Submit a request via email to the Separations Section (no command endorsement is required).  Separation orders will not normally be issued earlier than 6 months before the RELAD date.

4. I haven't received my separation orders.  Does this mean I have been involuntarily extended on active duty?  You would receive more formal notification if that happened rather than the absence of orders.  If you have not received it, please email the Separations Section since it is most likely an administrative oversight.

5. I have signed a new EAD contract and my Separation Orders have not been cancelled.  What do I need to do?  Email the Separations Section and we will ensure they are cancelled or flagged.  There is a possibility that the new contract has been signed but not processed at CG PSC.

Officer Waivers

1. I see CG PSC (opm) handles waivers for officer programs.  Who should I contact in CG PSC about this?  CG PSC (opm) facilitates and approves the request.  Commissioned Officers may contact the Separations Section for an updated status.  For those applying to OCS or other commissioning program, you should contact the appropriate POC in Coast Guard Recruiting Command.

Temporary Separation

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Last Modified 1/12/2016