Posted on Jan 4, 2021
SSG Ncoic
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I know it may seem like splitting hairs, but I can't seem to find the authoritative answer. My HR dept. is saying that I am still a Soldier on my ETS date, but I've read elsewhere that the ETS date means the contract (terms of service) is expired and I'm free to be a civilian or enlist in another branch.

AR 635-200 didn't really give me any help. Can anyone answer this definitively with source(s)? it affects my backward planning for terminal leave, outprocessing, and my plans following the Army; only by one day, granted, but still.

Thanks in advance!
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Responses: 8
1SG Fred "SARGE" Bucci
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Your ETS date is your last day in the military. The next day is your first day as a civilian.
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SSG Ncoic
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
I appreciate the response, and this is what I've always assumed/believed - do you happen to have a source that states that? Thanks, 1SG!
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1SG Fred "SARGE" Bucci
1SG Fred "SARGE" Bucci
1 mo
Not right off hand. I have been out of the service for 30 years! Can anyone else answer that question?
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SFC Luis Austin
SFC Luis Austin
1 mo
just look at it like this, your ETS date is the last day your unit can call you in and you have to respond. The next day, once that clock strikes midnight, they cannot. you can contact HRC for more information. https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Enlisted%20Separations%20Process
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SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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Your ETS date is your date of discharge. That day counts for service, the next day you are a civilian
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SSG Ncoic
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
I appreciate the direction; it's not necessarily that I want to prove them wrong (I do, but that's beside the point) - I want to prove them right as well: I just want something definitive in writing that defines the terms explicitly. I haven't found anything in the FMR volumes that does this. The search continues. Oh - the source where I've read otherwise is here: https://hadit.com/ets-stand-army/ - the part that even got me questioning was the line in the preview. Obviously not authoritative, it still served to raise the question which no one seems to be able to answer which, considering how many people ETS every year should be pretty clearly in writing somewhere lol.
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SFC Senior Brigade Career Counselor
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1 mo
SSG (Join to see) the FMR is massive. It's in 7a under computing service
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Cpl Vic Burk
Cpl Vic Burk
1 mo
Exactly my thoughts SPF Jason Boyd! Until midnight of that day you are still military. At 0001:01 you become a civilian.
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Cpl Vic Burk
Cpl Vic Burk
1 mo
SSG (Join to see) - In the Marine Corps we used EAS, Expiration of Active Service. I have not idea what ETS stands for but I know what it mean. Time to become a civilian again!
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SFC Intelligence Analyst
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When I transitioned from Active Duty to Reserves, my civilian employer would not hire me until I was off of terminal leave.
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SGT Dave Tracy
SGT Dave Tracy
1 mo
Really? That's ridiculous. Were there some kind of extenuating circumstances or did they just get panicky imagining you would have to go back to Active right after they hired you (a "stop-loss" type scenario)?

I know people who have had to sign short-term contract extensions prior to their ets/term leave, but those were special cases known well before terminal leave would have begun, so the likelihood of you being recalled from terminal leave to report back to whatever command you fell under when you went into leave would be next to non existent. Therefore I don't get their thinking.

As for myself, I started my new job with 30 of leave built up, which was really helpful when I transitioned out of the full-time Army.
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SSG Ncoic
SSG (Join to see)
1 mo
TSgt Duplin; that's my plan as well :) I can't just sit around for 3 and a half months lol!
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SFC John Wade
SFC John Wade
1 mo
That sounds like a employer preference. I started working when I still had 45 days of terminal leave left.
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Cpl Vic Burk
Cpl Vic Burk
1 mo
What was their problem? That doesn't even make sense. Employers discretion. I was working and going to school full time with over a month of active duty left went I took terminal leave.
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