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Coast Guard Personnel Service Center

Officer Personnel Management Division

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

Retired Recall Information

The Officer Separations Section administers the retired recall program.  This program is for retired regular and reserve USCG officers desiring to serve on active duty in active duty billets.  Those Reserve Officers who desire to be recalled from retirement for drills, ADSW or title 10 billets should contact the Reserve Personnel Management Division or their local Integrated Support Command.

The Retired Recall program is governed by the Officer Accessions, Evaluations, and Promotions COMDTINST M1000.3, Article 1.A.10.  It is a system by which retired officers are recalled to active duty with their consent to fill critical billets or other specialties.  In an ideal world, all Active Duty billets would be filled by active duty personnel.  This is not always the case.  If there are no suitable active duty applicants for the position, reserve officers are considered.  If there are no reserve officers available, recalling officers from retirement is an option.

The applicable sections of the Officer Accessions, Evaluations, and Promotions COMDTINST M1000.3 are quoted below:

"1.A.10.a. General

If Service needs require, the Commandant may recall a retired Regular officer to active duty for a specified time in accordance with Articles 1.A.10.b. and c.

1.A.10.b. In War or National Emergency

In time of war or national emergency, the Commandant may order any Regular officer on the retired list to active duty (14 U.S.C 331).

1.A.10.c. Recall with Officer's Consent

1. The Service may assign any retired Regular officer, with his or her consent, to duties he or she is able to perform (14 U.S.C. 332(a)).

2. The number of retired lieutenant commanders, commanders, or captains on active duty shall not exceed two percent of the authorized number of officers on active duty in each grade. This limit does not apply to retired officers in these grades recalled to serve as members of courts, boards, panels, surveys, or special projects for periods as long as one year (14 U.S.C. 332(b)).

3. The following application procedures will be followed:

a. Officers desiring recall to active duty from retirement should apply by submitting a letter to Commander (CG PSC-opm-1) via their current commanding officer or directorate if on active duty, or directly to Commander (CG PSC-opm-1) if already retired. The request will constitute consent to recall.

b. The application should specify:

(1) The duration of the recall agreement desired,

(2) The desired date recall should commence,

(3) Whether they are available for worldwide assignment. If not, indicate the specific assignment criteria desired (whether a specific unit, geographic area or job position number).

(4) Other useful information or a resume describing such things as qualifications and experience which may meet a Service need.

(5) Contact information including mailing address, e -mail address and daytime telephone number.

c. If an officer is on active duty when they apply, the commanding officer's endorsement should provide a specific recommendation concerning how this officer's recall will meet a Service need and why the recall is in the best interest of the Service.

d. Retired officers recalled to active duty will not be eligible for selection for promotion to the next higher grade.

e. An approved physical examination is required per the Medical Manual, COMDTINST M6000.1 (series), Article 3.A.7.g prior to executing orders for recall to active duty.

f. The decision to be recalled to active duty is a serious one as it affects assignment actions which, if reversed, could cause hardship to other officers. Officers accepting recall to active duty incur obligated service for the period of the agreement and should expect to fulfill that service. Hardships arising after a recall agreement has begun and which cause an officer to request early release from their agreement will be evaluated on their individual merit."

Request Processing

Using correct terminology for retired recall requests is extremely important for proper processing.  Requests should specifically address "retired recall", "recall from retirement" and/or "resumption of retirement" as appropriate.  Do not use "extended active duty", "recall contract" or "release from active duty".  Those terms are used when dealing with non-retired Reserve Officers brought on active duty.  Using these terms in a request could delay processing as it will be routed to a different office. 

When retired recall requests arrive at CG PSC, they are processed in the following manner:

1. CG PSC-opm-1F reviews the request, ensures it does not contradict current laws and policy, that the member is eligible according to laws and policies, and potential implications as far as the count of officers.
2. The request is forwarded to the Officer Assignment Branch (CG PSC-opm-2) and reviewed by the appropriate detailer(s) and the Chief of Officer Assignments.  They assess the service need for a particular applicant and recommend approval and for which positions.
3. The Chief of the Boards, Promotions and Assignments Branch (CG PSC-opm-1) reviews the package and input from opm-1F and opm-2 and a final review of the officer count is made if approval is considered or may disapprove.  CG PSC-opm-1 may also mandate additional review by other offices in CG PSC or may forward to the Chief of Officer Personnel Management (CG PSC-opm).
4. A letter outlining the results of their request is sent to the applicant from CG PSC-opm-1F.  If approved, this letter will serve as the official orders.  If PCS orders are necessary, they will be issued separately by the Officer Assignment Branch.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What determines the availability of Retired Recall jobs?  There are three major constraints with respect to recalling a retired member to active duty:

-The member must be physically qualified to perform the duties assigned.
-If they are a regular officer that retired from the USCG in the grade of LCDR or above, the service can only have 2% of its officers in that grade made up of retired recall officer.  This does not apply to Reserve Officers or officers brought on retired recall status for special boards or projects of a unique nature that last less than one year.
-There must be a billet available for the officer throughout the period they are recalled to active duty.

2. Are there any jobs open for my specialty or my rank?  The Officer Separations Section facilitates requests to come on retired recall but does not have a list of jobs available.  The detailers will evaluate each request depending on the nature of the request (jobs requested, background of the individual).

3. Are their any age restrictions for retired recall?  No.  The member only has to be physically qualified to perform the duties assigned.

4. Are their physical screening requirements for retired recall?  An approved physical examination per the Medical Manual Article 3.A.7.g is required prior to coming on active duty.

5. What happens once I submit a retired recall request?  The request is forwarded to CG PSC-opm-1 where it is initially processed.  The member's record is checked, if in a controlled grade the impact of another officer is evaluated and a package is forwarded to the appropriate detailer(s).  From there they will evaluate the service need and determine if a billet can/should be filled by the member requesting and for how long.  It is then returned to the Officer Boards, Promotions & Separations Branch for approval/disapproval.  For O-6s or special circumstances, it may be further routed through the Chief of Officer Personnel Management.

6. What reply will I receive from my request?  If you submit a request, you will receive a letter after it has been processed that states the results.  If approved, the letter will serve as your orders and outline the specifics of your assignment.

7. How does recalling retired personnel affect officer promotions for those on active duty?  There is no impact on the ability to promote an Active Duty Officer because someone was recalled from retirement. 

8. Am I eligible for promotion once recalled from retirement?  By USCG policy, those recalled from retirement are not eligible for promotion.  The law and policy have established procedures that can be exercised if the Coast Guard desires to promote retired recall officers.  Officers recalled from retirement will have a clause in their orders stating if they are eligible for promotion or not.

9. Are retired reserve officer in a RET-2 status eligible for 18 year lock?  Yes. The term "18 year lock" refers to the law that allows reserve officers who reach 18 years of active duty service to remain on active duty until they reach 20 years then retire with an active duty retirement. 

10. I was a temporary officer that served as a LT for several years then reverted back to my permanent CWO rank at my request and retired as a CWO.  Can I ask for LT billets for retired recall purposes?  Normally officers will be considered for billets appropriate to the rank that they left the service as.  The experience as a LT may be included in a resume to increase the marketability of the applicant.  Per 14 U.S.C 422, a person recalled to active duty from retirement must be recalled to the grade they retired at.

11. Are retired recall officers restricted to the rank of the billet?  No, retired recall officers may be placed in any billet that is suitable for their skill sets but are generally no more than a one rank difference. 

12. How much advance notice is the member required to give to cancel a recall from retirement?  Normally between 30-60 days to accommodate administrative out processing at PPC and the SPO.  As much advance notice as possible is desirable.

13. How often should I reapply if my request was denied?  Requests for recall from retirement are held for one year following their denial.  If a service need develops, these requests are reviewed to determine if they can fill the billet.  New requests or inquiries should not be made until a year passes from the reply from CG PSC.

14. Who can I contact about leave questions pertaining to retired recall?  PPC OD separations branch.

Last Modified 1/12/2016