a. This regulation sets policies, standards, and procedures to ensure the readiness and competency of the force while providing for the orderly administrative separation of Soldiers for a variety of reasons. Readiness is promoted by maintaining high standards of conduct and performance.
b. The separation policies in this regulation promote the readiness of the U.S. Army by providing an orderly means to—
(1) Judge the suitability of persons to serve in the Army on the basis of their conduct and their ability to meet required standards of duty performance and discipline.
(2) Maintain standards of performance and conduct through characterization of service in a system that emphasizes the importance of honorable service.
(3) Achieve authorized force levels and grade distribution.
(4) Provide for the orderly administrative separation of Soldiers in a variety of circumstances.
c. Department of the Army separation policy is designed to strengthen the concept that military service is a calling different from any civilian occupation.
(1) The acquisition of military status involves a commitment to the United States, the Army, one’s fellow citizens, and Soldiers, to complete successfully a period of obligated service. Early separation for failure to meet required standards of performance or discipline represents a failure to fulfill that commitment.
(2) Millions of Americans from diverse backgrounds and with a wide variety of aptitudes and attitudes upon entering military service have served successfully in the Army. It is the policy of the Department of the Army to provide Soldiers with the training, motivation, and professional leadership that inspires the dedicated Soldier to emulate his/her predecessors and peers in meeting required standards of performance and discipline.
(3) The Army makes a substantial investment in training, time, equipment, and related expenses when persons enter into military service. Separation prior to completion of an obligated period of service is wasteful because it results in loss of this investment and generates a requirement for increased accessions. Consequently, attrition is an issue of significant concern at all levels of responsibility within the Army.
(a) Diligent efforts will be made to identify Soldiers who exhibit a likelihood for early separation and to improve their chances for retention through counseling, retraining, and rehabilitation prior to initiation of separation proceedings.
(b) Soldiers who do not conform to required standards of discipline and performance and Soldiers who do not demonstrate potential for further military service should be separated in order to avoid the high costs in terms of pay, administrative efforts, degradation of morale, and substandard mission performance.
d. This regulation provides—
(1) The authority for separation of Soldiers upon expiration term of service (ETS) or fulfillment of active duty obligation.
(2) The authority and general provisions governing the separation of Soldiers before ETS or fulfillment of active duty obligation to meet the needs of the Army and its Soldiers.
(3) The procedures to implement laws and policies governing voluntary retirement of Soldiers of the Army for length of service.
(4) The criteria governing uncharacterized separations and the issuance of honorable, general, and under other-thanhonorable- conditions discharges.