ANG and AFR General Discharge Information

  • Published
Applicable to: Air National Guard & Air Force Reserve

This article provides general information concerning discharges from the ANG and AFR. Listed are the final documents issued, how a request for a replacement can be submitted and FAQs.

The governing directive for discharges within the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve is AFI 36-3209. This instruction defines a discharge as “The complete termination of any or all enlistments or appointments and any or all other military status resulting in complete severance from all military status.”

Officer Discharges

Officers are not discharged from military service unless an individual request is submitted or an administrative action is taken through their chain of command to the final approval authority.

Officers may be discharged for the following reasons:

  • Submission of a  Tender of Resignation (TOR)/ requesting to resign their commission
  • Termination or Vacation of Appointment – Incompatible Status: appointment into another U.S. military branch
  • Twice deferred promotion to the higher grade and are not retirement eligible or eligible and do not apply
  • Appointment or enlistment into another branch of service (Conditional Release)
  • Involuntary Discharge – Actions that warrant ending military status
  • Expiration of Mandatory Separation Date (MSD) and is not eligible for retirement, but applies for a discharge
  • Upon completion of three years retention Inactive Status List Reserve Section (ISLRS)

NOTE: Officers assigned to ISLRS are no longer afforded the opportunity to request an administrative discharge board

Enlisted Discharges

There are several ways enlisted Airmen may be discharged from the Air National Guard and/or from the Air Force Reserve:

  • Expiration Term of Service (ETS) or the Military Service Obligation (MSO) is satisfied, whichever is later

Note: Enlistments after June 1, 1984, have an eight year MSO.

  • Conditional Release (approved); enlistment into another branch of service
  • Prior to Expiration Term of Service (PETS), with justification as outlined in Chapter 3, Section 3C, AFI 36-3209, Separation and Retirement Procedures for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Members.

Examples: Hardship, Religious Vows, Pregnancy or Childbirth

  • Involuntary Discharge - actions that warrant ending military status
  • Attainment of Age 60 and not retirement eligible

NOTE: Discharges resulting from Incompatible Status, Appointment or Enlistment into another U.S. military branch establishes the effective date of discharge as one day prior to the date of appointment enlistment into that service branch.

Discharge Certificates and Forms

Any discharge certificate or forms are important personal documents that should be safeguarded for future use in order to identify your applicable military service and branch.

The following certificates are issued for an approved discharge:

  • DD Form 256AF - Honorable Discharge from the Armed Forces of the United States of America-United States Air Force
  • NGB Form 438 - Honorable Discharge from the ANG and as a Reserve of the Air Force
  • NGB Form 439 - General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions from the Armed Forces of the United States of America-Air National Guard

The following documents could be issued based on military status and/or reason on the discharge effective date:

  • DD Form 214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty
  • NGB Form 22 - Report of Separation and Record of Service (ANG Only) Missing/Lost Discharge Certificates/Forms: Airmen who have not received their discharge certificate can contact the myPers-Total Force Service Center.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Who issues the discharge certificate?
A. HQ ARPC issues discharge certificates to Airmen who are in Reserve status or the Air National Guard at the time of discharge.

Q. When does HQ ARPC issue certificates?
A. After the member is discharged; certificate is sent after effective date.

Discharge Certificates are not issued for the following

  • Airmen who retired from Extended Active Duty (EAD) after completing 30 years of total service and are assigned to the Retired Reserve with a retirement order indicating "Retired Reserve Status Termination Date" or "Until Date".
  • Airmen released from EAD who enter the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR)
  • Airmen dropped from the rolls of the Air Force