MyArmyBenefits: Ask Joe: Your Benefits Guru

Dear Joe:

I am confused what my rank at retirement will be. When I ran the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator, it said my retirement rank would be major, yet I will have over two years as a lieutenant colonel when I enter the Retired Reserve. My fishing buddy is a retired Brigade Personnel NCO and he said his time-in-grade requirement was two years when he retired as an E-7. So why is it not showing my earned rank?

Bayou Night Crawler

Dear Bayou,

Tell your buddy to go fish! He’s all wet! Over 4 years ago, the time-in-grade (TIG) requirements for E7s, E8s and E9s were twoyears. Now it’s three years for them. While we’re at it, E6s and below require one year TIG. Majors and below require six months and lieutenant colonels and colonels, three years. Warrant officers only require 31 days TIG to retire at that rank.

So, unless you have three years TIG as a lieutenant colonel when you hit the Retired Reserve, you will be retired and paid as a major. That’s what the MyArmyBenefits retirement calculator was telling you.

There is only one exception: If you’re entering the Retired Reserve because of an involuntary separation (medical discharge, Mandatory Removal Date (MRD) or age 60 limitation), all you need is 185 days TIG to retire at that grade. If you accept an adjusted Retired Pay Eligibility Date (RPED) as a result of 90-day drops because you supported contingency operations, that adjusted RPED does not constitute an involuntary separation. If you are promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel, your MRD will be extended from 28 to 30 years commissioned service. Before you decide to leave, I’d use the retirement calculator to see what your retired pay would be if you were selected for colonel. It might be worth sticking around if you can.