Coast Guard offers early retirement to officers with 15 years of service

Officer's combination cover, sword, white gloves and medal rack laying upon an American flag. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Hall.


The Coast Guard is offering early retirement to active duty officers who have served 15 years of active service by October 1, 2015. Temporary early retirement authorization or TERA is a discretionary authority, not an entitlement. It is a voluntary program used as part of a comprehensive workforce management strategy. TERA offers voluntary early retirement, at a reduced monthly retirement pay, to a limited number of eligible officers prior to completing 20 years of active service.

Any officer who meets the eligibility criteria and desires an early retirement must apply, and understand that approval is not assured and based on needs of the service. All requests for TERA must be received no later than August 15, 2014. Requests should be sent via Coast Guard memo with command endorsement to email address The retirement date requested on all memos for approved TERA retirements will be October 1, 2015, with no waivers or exceptions.

Officers who meet the eligibility criteria in the grade of lieutenant through commader will be given priority consideration. In addition, chief warrant officers are not part of the target audience, but may apply. chief warrant officer requests will be considered based on needs of the service.

TERA retired pay is initially computed using the length of service retirement formula. It is then multiplied by a reduction factor based on the number of months the retiree is short of 20 years. Also, officers who received a Career Status Bonus and volunteer for TERA will have their gross retired pay further reduced. Officers who want an estimate of retired pay under TERA may contact the Pay and Personnel Center at 800-772-8724 or 785-339-3415.

TERA will not be approved for members under potential review for involuntary separation, including medical retirements, disciplinary action, or administrative action. Furthermore, permanent commissioned officers must have 10 years of commissioned service to retire as an officer at their current. Temporary officers requesting early retirement with less than 10 years of commissioned service will retire, if approved for TERA, at their permanent rank.

Obligated service for officers may be waived up to 12 months per this message

Officers, who have not met their military service obligation stemming from the Post 9/11-GI Bill transfer of benefits, must rescind their previously approved transfer of benefits request before a final determination on a request for TERA will be made. Retirement in lieu of orders under the TERA policy during assignment year 2015 is currently not an option.

All requests will be evaluated after the submission deadline and will be approved based on service need. Eligible officers should anticipate notification of approval or disapproval by November 1, 2014.

For more information please read the TERA FAQs.

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