By Debbie Gregory.
With more than twelve years’ worth of war fighting winding down, the Defense Department and its branches of the military may start to see changes in their numbers and ranks. In order to stretch military budgets to their fullest, while having the least effect on benefits and pay, we can expect to see further restrictions placed on military entry and retention.
The Army announced that approximately 9,700 captains and 6,900 majors are to be screened by the Officer Separation Board (OSB). And 700 captains and 1,500 majors will be screened by the Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board (eSERB) beginning March, 2014. The Army has announced a goal of separating up to 2,000 officers starting next year.
The groups of officers being considered are captains in the Army Competitive Category’s year groups 2006-2008, and majors in year groups 1999-2003. The boards are projected to select up to 20% (approximately 3,800 officers), but not all of those selected will be eligible for early retirement. The boards will try to determine which officers they will separate from the Army, and how.
Officers who are selected for separation by the OSB will have options. Those with less than 15 years of service will receive separation pay. Those that have more than 15, but less than 18 years in, will be eligible to receive Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) benefits.
Officers with 18 years or more will go before eSERB. These officers are entitled to serve until their 20th year, and then must retire if they are selected by the board. Selected officers with 18 years may also apply for TERA benefits and retire early.
Notices have been sent to all officers who are eligible for OSB and eSERB. Notices have also been sent to those officers’ commanders so that service records can be made readily available, giving these majors and captains the best possible chance for furthering their military careers.
All officers who are selected by either board may also apply for the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.