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Chapter 5-16: Early Separation to Further Education


Soldiers may be discharged or released from active duty for the convenience of the Government, up to 90 days before ETS, in order to attend a specific term at a college, university, vocational school, or technical school. However, soldiers serving their initial enlistment of less than 3 years are ineligible for separation under this chapter. IAW para 5-17, AR 635-200, to qualify for early separation, eligible soldiers must:

  1. Not be mission essential to their assigned organizations, as determined by their immediate commanders.
  2. Clearly establish that the specific school term for which they seek early separation is academically the most opportune time for them to begin or resume their education, and that delay of school enrollment until normal ETS would cause undue personal hardship.
  3. Provide a statement from an appropriate school official (for example, a registrar or director of admissions) indicating acceptance for enrollment (without qualification or in a probationary status) in a full-time resident course of instruction. The statement must also reflect that the latest acceptable registration date for the school term falls within the 90-day period preceding the soldier’s ETS.
  4. Show that they are able to pay, or have already paid, any school entry fees.

This chapter action is processed at the unit level (S1). This chapter is requested by the soldier on a DA Form 4187 which is forwarded through the chain of command for action by the Brigade Commander.



1-16 Counseling Required:

No (1-16a)

Medical Required:

No (1-32a)

Mental Required:

No (1-32b)

Approval Authority:

Bde Cdr (1-19c(1))

Type of discharge authorized:

Honorable or General, Under Honorable Conditions (5-1a)



Documents Required for Chapter:

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