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AR 135-178 Army National Guard and Army Reserve Enlisted Administrative Separations (18 March 2014)

Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the link to it in the box above these comments.

6-2. Dependency or hardship Upon the request of a Soldier and approval of the separation authority, separation may be directed when it is considered that continued membership and service on AD, full-time National Guard duty (FTNGD), or ADT, would result in genuine dependency or undue hardship.

a. Criteria for separation. Separation may be approved when all of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The hardship or dependency is not temporary;

(2) Conditions have arisen or have been aggravated to an excessive degree since entry in the Army, and the Soldier has made every reasonable effort to remedy the situation;

(3) The administrative separation will eliminate or materially alleviate the condition; and

(4) There are no other means of alleviation reasonably available.

b. Limitation of criteria for separation. The following circumstances do not justify separation because of dependency or hardship. However, the existence of these circumstances does not preclude separation because of dependency or hardship provided the application meets the criteria in a above.

(1) Normal pregnancy of a Soldier's wife is not a condition for which his separation is justified.

(2) Undue hardship does not necessarily exist solely because of altered income, separation from family, or the inconvenience normally incident to military service.

c. Conditions of dependency or hardship.

(1) Dependency. Dependency exists when, because of death or disability of a member of a Soldier's family, other members of his or her family become principally dependent on him or her for care or support to the extent that continued membership and service on AD, FTNGD, or ADT, would result in undue hardship.

(2) Hardship. Hardship exists when, in circumstances not involving death or disability of a member of a Soldiers family, separation from the service would materially affect the care or support of the Soldier's family by materially alleviating undue hardship.

(a) Parenthood. A married Soldier who becomes a parent by birth, adoption, or marriage (step parent) and whose children under 18 years of age reside within the household, may apply for separation under hardship. The Soldier must submit evidence in accordance with paragraph e below that the roles of parent and Soldier are incompatible and that he or she cannot fulfill his or her military obligation on AD, FTNGD, or ADT, without neglecting the children.

(b) Sole parents. Soldiers who are sole parents and whose children under 18 years of age reside within the household may apply for separation under hardship. A sole parent is a parent who is single by reason of never being married, or is divorced or legally separated and has been awarded child custody by judicial decree or court order, or is a widow or widower. Basis for separation is as prescribed in (a) above.

(c) Intent. It is not the intent of the Army to arbitrarily allow the separation of an enlisted woman who remained in the service during her pregnancy and then requests release immediately after receiving the medical and monetary benefits related to her prenatal and postnatal absence and delivery.

(d) Supporting evidence. Supporting evidence will be provided in accordance with paragraph ebelow. Paragraph 6-4e(2) below minimizes the supporting evidence when the basis is parenthood of either a sole parent or a married Soldier. However, Soldiers must meet the application criteria in paragraph dbelow, in addition to the requirement that there be unexpected circumstances beyond the Soldier's control justifying separation. An example of these circumstances is the birth of a child with a serious birth defect requiring constant care. Inability to obtain an approved Family Care Plan (AR 600-20) does not qualify the Soldier for separation under this provision.

(3) Members of the family. For the purpose of separation under dependency or hardship conditions, the term members of the family includes only spouse, children, father, mother, brothers, sisters, and any person who stood in loco parentis to the Soldier before enlistment. (The term in loco parentis, as used here, means any person who has stood in the place of a parent to a Soldier for 5 continuous years when the Soldier was a child.)

d. Application for separation. A Soldier must submit a written application to be separated because of dependency or hardship. A request for separation will be submitted as follows:

(1) An ARNGUS Soldier, or USAR Soldier assigned to a TPU or IMA duty position, must submit a written application to the unit commander who will immediately forward it with recommendations and Soldier's records through channels to the separation authority (para 1-10) for final action.

Comments: "TPU" is Troop Program Unit, "IMA" is Individual Mobilization Augmentation.

(2) A Soldier assigned to the IRR, Standby Reserve, or Retired Reserve, must submit a written application to the Commander, HRC-St. Louis, ATTN: AHRC-PAR, 1 Reserve Way, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200. The Chief, Regional Personnel Actions Division, will immediately forward it with recommendations and Soldier's records through the Director, Personnel Actions and Services Directorate, and Director, Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate, to the Commander, HRC-St. Louis (para 1-10b(1)) for final action.

e. Evidence required. The evidence required for dependency or hardship separation will normally be in affidavit form. The evidence must substantiate dependency or hardship conditions on which the application for separation is based.

(1) The evidence will include affidavits or statements submitted by or in behalf of the Soldier's dependents and by at least two disinterested persons or agencies having firsthand knowledge of the circumstances. If dependency or hardship is the result of disability of a member of the individuals family, a physicians certificate should be furnished showing specifically when such disability occurred, the nature thereof, and prognosis for recovery. There also will be furnished the names, ages, occupations, home addresses, and monthly incomes of other members of the applicant's family. The affidavits of disinterested individuals and agencies should include reasons within their knowledge that these members of the family can or cannot aid in the financial or physical care of the dependents concerned for the period the Soldier is to continue membership or is ordered to AD, FTNGD, or ADT. When the basis for the application is the death of a member of the Soldier's family, a death certificate or other proof of death should be furnished.

(2) If the basis for the application is parenthood of either a sole parent or a married Soldier, the supporting evidence will be in affidavit form and will substantiate the applicant's claim that unexpected circumstances or circumstances beyond his or her control have occurred. These circumstances prevent fulfillment of military obligations without resultant neglect of the child. Affidavits from the Soldier's immediate commander and officer who is the job supervisor will be considered sufficient. Evidence in (1) above is not required for these applications; however, sole parenthood resulting from divorce or legal separation will be substantiated by a judicial decree or court order awarding child custody to the Soldier.