How to Resign Worry Free

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Recently Navy Personnel Command (PERS) has started enforcing some policies that had largely been ignored, and I’ve heard a few horror stories from people trying to resign from the Navy.  With that in mind, here is how you can resign without encountering problems.  Assuming that you’ve already decided to resign, here are the steps you need to take to make sure the ride is not a bumpy one.

STEP 1 – Confirm Your Obligated Service Date

There’s nothing like thinking you are eligible to get out only to find out that you are not.  Your Detailer is your POC to figure out when you are eligible to resign.

STEP 2 – Negotiate Your Date of Resignation and Terminal Leave With Your Command

When you submit a resignation request to PERS, you specify the month you want to resign.  The specific date and how much leave you get is between you and your command, not PERS.  You need to approach your chain of command about the specific date you want to resign and how much leave they’ll give you.

STEP 3 – Submit Your Paperwork 9-12 Months Ahead of Your Desired Month of Resignation

This has always been the required timeline, but last minute requests were accommodated.  Not anymore!  PERS has recently reminded people of this timeline and widely advertised that any requests received less than 6 months before the desired resignation date will be returned to the officer and not processed.  Because of this, you need to make your decision and then stick to the 9-12 month timeline.  In addition, if you get within 6 months of your projected rotation date (PRD) and have not notified your Detailer of your intention to resign, he/she can write you orders whether you want to stay in or not!  Don’t tempt the Detailer.

If you are deploying and you’ll be gone during this timeframe, you need to get the paperwork ready before you leave.  You can’t submit a request more than 12 months early, but you can certainly have it ready to go so that you submit it when you hit the 9-12 month window.

STEP 4 – Track the Progress of Your Request Weekly

The Navy is filled with officers who did not track the progress of their request and paid the price.  Because your request has to go to PERS with the endorsement of your CO, it needs to go various places at your command before it is submitted.  Realize that each stop in the chain of command is a potential place for it to get lost.

STEP 5 – Make Sure Your Request is Submitted to PERS

Most officers will have a personnel department of some kind that will submit their request for them, but just in case you don’t, here are the official instructions for how to submit the request from the PERS resignation website:

“Resignation requests can be mailed to PERS-834F to the address listed below, by fax, or sent in PDF format by email to Email submissions are highly recommended and preferred. All requests must be submitted 9-12 months prior to the desired separation date.”

Address/Fax (Please adhere to PII requirements when sending documentation):

MILLINGTON TN 38055-8340

PERS-834F fax number: (901) 874-2625

STEP 6 – Make Sure Your Request was Received by PERS

Again, from the PERS website:

“After sending your resignation request to PERS-834F, you and your current Command will receive confirmation via message traffic and BOL that your request has been received for processing. If you do not receive confirmation within 2 WEEKS after your Command has forwarded your request to PERS-834F, please call NPC’s customer service call center, 1-866-827-5672 for routing to PERS-834F.”

STEP 7 – Check to Make Sure There are No Issues Every Few Months

This will probably make the Detailers cringe, but oh well.  It is their job to serve as your advocate, and I think you should touch base with them every two months or so until you have released resignation orders in your hand.

That’s it!  If you’re looking for templates for your request, you can find them here.

7 thoughts on “How to Resign Worry Free

    […] I recommend reading CDR Schofer’s blog post entitled “How to Resign Worry Free.” […]


    NJ said:
    January 16, 2019 at 16:34

    Resignation for July 2019 approved back In September. How many months prior to separation should one expect to receive orders. Thank you in advance.


    Mark Wirtz said:
    February 1, 2019 at 10:51

    Dr. Schofer,

    Some other resources I have found useful during this time:

    Military One Source: Separation and Retirement

    DoD Transition Assistance Program:

    Strongly agree with starting process 12+ months ahead of time. Do not assume your command is utilizing NSIPS, check with your local support detachment separations clerk.



    COL Sanders said:
    November 19, 2021 at 19:27

    Thanks for this info! It’s very helpful!

    Can I submit my resignation request 18 months before the desired separation date?

    I don’t want to PCS / relocate in the last 12 months of my Navy career.

    Thank you very much!


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