Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the link to it in the box above these comments.
6-3. Criteria Soldiers on active duty may be discharged or released (see para 6-10) because of genuine dependency or hardship.
a. Dependency. Dependency exists when death or disability of a member of a soldier's (or spouses) immediate family causes that member to rely upon the soldier for principal care or support. (See para 6-5 for definition of soldier's immediate family.)
b. Hardship. Hardship exists when in circumstances not involving death or disability of a member of the soldiers (or spouses) immediate family, separation from the Service will materially affect the care or support of the family by alleviating undue and genuine hardship. (See para 6-5 for definition of soldier's immediate family.)
(1) Parenthood of married soldiers. A married soldier who becomes a parent by birth, adoption, or marriage (stepparent) and whose child (or children) is less than 18 years of age and resides within the household, may apply for separation under hardship. The soldier must submit evidence (see para 6-7b(5)) that the roles of parent and soldier are incompatible and that the soldier cannot fulfill his/her military obligation without neglecting the child or children.
(2) Sole parents. Soldiers who are sole parents and whose children are under 18 years of age and reside within the household, may apply for separation under hardship. A "sole parent" is defined as a parent who is single by reason of never having been married, or who is divorced or legally separated and has been awarded child custody by judicial decree or court order, or who is a widow/widower.
(3) Intent. It is not the intent of the Armys policy regarding married soldiers who are parents or soldiers who become sole parents, to arbitrarily allow the separation of an enlisted woman who remained in the Service during her pregnancy and then requested release immediately after receiving the medical and monetary benefits related to prenatal and postnatal absence and delivery.
(4) Supporting evidence. Supporting evidence will be provided as per paragraph 6-7b(5). Paragraph 6-7b(5) minimizes the supporting evidence for these two policies. However, soldiers must meet the application criteria in paragraph 6-4 in addition to the requirement that there be unexpected circumstances beyond the soldier's control justifying separation. An example of unexpected circumstances beyond the soldier's control is the birth of a child with a serious birth defect requiring constant care. Inability to obtain an approved dependent care plan does not qualify the soldier for separation under this provision.
6-4. Application of criteria
a. Separation from the service of soldiers because of dependency will be granted when all the following circumstances exist:
(1) Conditions have arisen or have been aggravated to an excessive degree since entry on AD or ADT.
Comments: "AD" is Active Duty, "ADT" is Active Duty (for) Training.
(2) Conditions are not of a temporary nature.
(3) Every reasonable effort has been made by the soldier to alleviate the dependency or hardship conditions without success.
(4) Separation from active military service of the soldier is the only readily available means of eliminating or materially alleviating the dependency or hardship conditions.
b. Circumstances outlined in (1) and (2), below, do not justify separation because of dependency or hardship. However, the existence of these circumstances does not prevent separation because of dependency or hardship, provided the application meets the criteria in a, above.
(1) Pregnancy of an enlisted mans wife is not considered a condition for which his/her separation is justified. However, this does not prevent separation because of a permanent medical disability resulting from pregnancy.
(2) Undue and genuine hardship does not necessarily exist because of altered income or because the soldier is separated from his/her or her family or must suffer the inconvenience normally incident to military service.
6-5. Conditions affecting determination regarding separation for dependency or hardship
a. In determining eligibility for separation, members of the immediate family include only
(7) Only living blood relative.
(8) Any person who stood in loco parentis to the soldier (or spouse) before entry into the Service. In loco parentis is any person who has stood in the place of a parent to the soldier (or spouse) for a continuous period of at least 5 years before he/she reached 21 years of age.
b. When a soldier is eligible for separation per this chapter, separation will not be disapproved because of the soldier's indebtedness to the Government or to an individual.
c. When soldiers are eligible for separation, their separation will not be disapproved because their services are needed by their organization.
d. Soldiers will not be separated because of dependency or hardship until proper disposition is made of the case if they are
(1) Under charges.
(2) In confinement.
(3) Being processed for involuntary separation under this regulation.
(4) Being investigated under the military personnel security program.
(5) Being processed for discharge or retirement for physical disability; however, the application will be accepted and processed to final decision.
e. A sentence to confinement (not including dishonorable or bad conduct discharge) will be fully served unless terminated by proper authority before a separation for dependency or hardship may be given.
f. A soldier may request withdrawal of application at any time before the effective date. The separation authority, based on the evidence provided by the soldier, may withdraw approval of separation before its effective date.
g. Commanders authorized to approve separation under this chapter will withdraw approval before its effective date when
(1) The separation is being achieved by fraud by the soldier.
(2) An error is discovered that would have prevented approval.
(3) The soldier who has been approved for separation based on sole parenthood later marries.
(4) The soldier submits evidence that a hardship no longer exists.
h. The separation authority will ensure that this chapter is not used solely to procure a reassignment, a curtailment of assignment, or an avoidance of an assignment. A soldier whose separation is not approved and requires a new PCS assignment will be reported immediately available for assignment per AR 614-200, paragraph 3-15.
Comments: "PCS" is Permanent Change of Station.
6-6. Application for separation The soldier must request, in writing, separation from the Service because of dependency or hardship.
a. Submitting the application.
(1) A person serving in the United States or stationed overseas will submit an application to his/her commanding officer. The evidence required in paragraph 6-7 must support the application.
(2) A person assigned to an overseas unit who is temporarily in the United States on leave or TDY will submit an application to the commander of the Army installation (except MEPSs and recruiting main stations) nearest the soldier's leave address or the installation to which temporarily assigned. In addition, no attachments to Army Medical Centers are authorized for personnel unless the applicant is a patient or is being treated at that medical facility or unless commuting distance to garrison or troop unit would create additional hardship to the applicant.
Comments: "TDY" is Temporary Duty. "MEPS" is Military Entrance Processing Station.
(3) A person assigned to a unit or installation within the United States who is temporarily in an overseas command on leave or TDY will submit an application to the commander for the area in which he/she is located. The commander specified in paragraph 1-19 will specify the unit to which the soldier will be attached while the application is being considered. However, attachment to the nonpermanent party element of transfer points or stations is not authorized.
(4) Soldiers on orders for overseas shipment, either as individuals or as members of units, who apply for dependency or hardship separation before departure from unit of assignment will be held at the losing station pending final disposition of the application. (See AR 614-30.)
(5) Soldiers on orders for reassignment from one CONUS installation to another CONUS installation (either as individuals or as members of units) who apply for dependency or hardship separation before departure from unit of assignment will comply with reassignment orders if considered appropriate by the losing commander. The soldier will be held at the losing installation if the application reflects sufficient grounds for approval. If not, the soldier will be advised to submit the application upon arrival at the gaining installation.
Comments: "CONUS" is Continental U.S., typically meaning the 48 states (and not including Alaska or Hawai'i). "OCONUS" is Outside the Continental U.S., meaning everywhere else.
(6) Applications for dependency or hardship separation from personnel en route overseas may be accepted at the Army installation (except MEPSs) and recruiting main stations) nearest the soldier's leave address, if an interview reveals information that may justify separation.
(a) The soldier will be attached at that installation until a final decision is made on the application.
(b) No attachments are authorized to Army medical centers for personnel unless the applicant is a patient or is being treated at that medical facility or unless commuting distance to garrison or troop unit would create additional hardship to the applicant.
(c) The losing commander, and the U.S. Army Military Personnel and Transportation Assistance Office at the aerial port of embarkation (APOE) through which the soldier is scheduled to travel, will be notified of the attachment and any later decision.
(d) The U.S. Army Military Personnel and Transportation Assistance Office will notify the gaining commander and the Passenger Liaison Office, MTMC.
(e) The soldier en route overseas who arrives at the APOE and has not been previously attached to another installation for the same purpose may be referred to the U.S. Army Military Personnel and Transportation Assistance Office at the APOE, and to the Army installation nearest the port, for consideration of the application, if an interview reveals information that may justify separation for dependency or hardship. The soldier will be attached to the installation nearest the aerial port until final determination is reached on the application.
(7) The soldier assigned to a CONUS unit who is on leave within CONUS normally will submit an application for separation to his/her commanding officer per (1), above. However, when exceptional circumstances require the soldier's continued presence, and if the commanders concerned agree, attachment to an installation to submit an application for separation is authorized. Attachment to the nonpermanent party element at transition centers is not authorized.
6-7. Evidence required The supporting evidence for an application for separation because of dependency or hardship normally will be in affidavit form. The evidence must substantiate the dependency or hardship conditions.
Comments: "Affidavit form" means a formal sworn statement of fact, signed by the declarant (who is called the affiant) and witnessed (as to the veracity of the affiant's signature) by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public.
a. The evidence required will depend upon the nature of the claimed hardship. The application should include, as a minimum, the following affidavits:
(1) A personal request for separation explaining the nature of the hardship condition and what the soldier intends to do to alleviate it.
(2) An affidavit or statement by, or on behalf of, the soldier's dependents substantiating the dependency or hardship claim.
(3) Affidavits by at least two agencies or individuals, other than members of the soldier's family, substantiating the dependency or hardship claim.
b. Additional evidence may be required as follows:
(1) When the basis for the application is financial difficulty, a detailed statement is required to establish the monthly income and expenses of the family.
(2) When the basis for the application is death of a member of the soldier's family, a death certificate or other valid proof of death should be furnished.
(3) When the basis for the application is disability of a member of the soldier's family, a physicians certificate should be furnished showing the diagnosis, prognosis, and date of disability.
(a) Preprinted medical statement forms, which require only a physicians signature, will not be issued or used for hardship applications.
(b) The physician will prepare medical statements and certificates.
(4) When the soldier requests separation to support members of his/her family, other than spouse or children, the application should show the names and addresses of other members of the family, and proof that they cannot aid in the care of their family should be furnished.
(5) When the basis for separation is the soldier's parenthood, supporting evidence will be in affidavit form.
(a) Evidence will support the applicant's claim that unexpected circumstances, or circumstances beyond his/her control, have occurred since acquired parenthood that prevent fulfillment of military obligations without neglect of the child.
(b) Affidavits from the soldier's immediate commander or officer who is the job supervisor, as appropriate, will be considered sufficient to substantiate the applicant's claim.
(c) Evidence in a(2) and (3), above, is not required for these applications. However, a judicial decree or court order awarding child custody to the soldier will substantiate sole parenthood resulting from divorce or legal separation.
6-9. Service of the American Red Cross
a. Requests for supplemental factual information pertaining to applications for separation of soldiers because of dependency or hardship may be made to the American Red Cross. Such requests originating within military agencies will be restricted to specific information when probable separation is warranted.
c. Soldiers or their dependents may request local chapters of the American Red Cross to assist in obtaining necessary evidence to substantiate applications for separation. The American Red Cross does not, however, make formal reports to military agencies unless requested by appropriate military commanders.
6-10. Type of separation The criteria in chapter 1, section VII, will govern whether soldiers separated for dependency, hardship, or parenthood of married soldiers or sole parents, will be released from AD or ADT with transfer to the IRR, or discharged. (See para 1-11 for additional instructions on ARNGUS and USAR personnel.)
6-11. Characterization or description of service
a. If the soldier is still in entry-level status, service will be described as uncharacterized.
b. If the soldier is beyond entry-level status, service will be characterized as honorable or under honorable conditions as set forth in chapter 3, section II.
c. Before service is characterized as under honorable conditions, the soldier will be notified of the specific factors in the service record that warrant such characterization. The notification procedure (see chap 2, sec I) will be used.
Comments: Paragraph 1-11 says that Army National Guard of the United States (ARNGUS) personnel will be released from active duty (AD) or active duty for training (ADT) and returned to the control of the appropriate State National Guard authorities. U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) personnel will be released from AD or ADT and returned to their appropriate USAR status. This discharge does not affect the characterization of service warranted by the Soldier's record.