|I want to leave the navy or marines - this is my first time in the navy/marines|
Here are the rules for leaving the navy/marines - bear in mind that these rules are complicated and can change from time to time. Note that your 'enlistment date' is the day you enlisted (i.e the day you said your oath and signed the enlistment paper at the recruitment office) - this date is usually earlier than the day you actually started work.
I enlisted less than six months ago
You cannot leave during the first 28 days of duty.
I enlisted more than six months ago but I'm still under 18 years old
If six months have passed since the day you enlisted but you are still under 18 you can still leave if you give three months' notice in writing. This notice period can be reduced if both you and the navy/marines agree to it. If you leave in this way you will become a civilian again and won't have to serve in the Reserve.
I enlisted more than six months ago and I'm now 18 years old or overIf you are now over 18 and have already served six months then you normally have no legal right to leave until 3 years and 6 months have passed since you finished training. To leave then you must have given 12 months' notice in writing (the navy/marines can reduce this period by up to six months but this is at their discretion and is not a right - the reduction must be decided within the first month of the notice period in order to apply). After you leave Regular Service in this way you will have to serve in the Reserve. Reserve Service means that you may be called out to serve on active duty at any time. The government is entitled in law to keep you in the Reserve for the rest of your engagement, which is usually 18 years from the date you enlisted, but in practice Reserve Service usually lasts six years from the date you leave Regular Service.
The above rules assume that you have not agreed in writing to extend your minimum term of service in order to receive a course of training or education or another benefit.
If you go Absent Without Leave (AWOL) then you may be punished with a prison sentence and your legal right to leave the navy will be delayed.
If there is a time of 'imminent national danger', for example if the country is attacked, you may not be allowed to leave the navy/marines for the duration, whatever your circumstances.
I may have no legal right to leave but I still want to - what can I do?
If you find that you have no legal right to leave Regular Service for a long time, then you can still try asking for permission to leave anyway. Permission is not normally granted but some Commanding Officers have been known to look sympathetically on such requests. Leaving in this way is called Compassionate Discharge or Administrative Discharge and will release you from Regular Service but not necessarily Reserve Service. Serious family problems can sometimes be grounds for a Compassionate Discharge from Regular Service -- and also from Reserve Service if you are called out to serve and still have serious family responsibilites -- but this is not guaranteed. It is worth getting advice before you take this step; visit the 'Want to talk to someone?' page.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 15:59|