Throwback Thursday Classic Post – What is the Obligation for Accepting Promotion? What if You Don’t Want the Promotion?

Posted on Updated on

Question: What is the obligation for accepting promotion?

Answer: There is no obligation if you end up resigning. If you want to retire, though, the additional obligation is:

  • 2 years for LCDR
  • 3 years for CDR and CAPT

This can all be found on page 5 of OPNAVINST 1811.3A. Or you can read one of my other posts called “You were accepted for promotion to O5 or O6 – should you accept it?” where I break it all down for you.

Question: What if you want to decline the promotion? The promotion NAVADMIN that comes out every month tells you how to decline it in paragraph 2:

2. If a selected officer does not decline promotion in writing prior to the
projected date of rank (noted above in paragraph 1), that officer is
considered to have accepted the promotion on the date indicated. An officer
who chooses to decline promotion must submit the declination in writing to
COMNAVPERSCOM (PERS-806) within 30 days of the release of this
NAVADMIN. Limited duty officers declining appointment to lieutenant will be
reverted to enlisted status within 90 days of projected promotion date.


4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Classic Post – What is the Obligation for Accepting Promotion? What if You Don’t Want the Promotion?

    Allison said:
    December 9, 2020 at 09:19

    As a regular direct-commission officer who does not get selected for O-5 (made O-4 at 9 years in her career), can I still be eligible for retirement? Or will I get high-year tenured out before I can retire?
    I’m having trouble understanding the following two sources that provide guidance on this:
    DOD INSTRUCTION 1320.08 and Officer Retirement Laws
    I’m getting conflicting information from my senior officers regarding this as well.


      Joel Schofer, MD, MBA, CPE responded:
      December 9, 2020 at 09:25

      It all depends on the details. If you fail to select twice then the board has to decide whether to continue you or not, which occurs in 3 year increments until you get close to 20, at which point you enter “safe harbor” and can get to 20 years as a LDCR, at which point you are automatically retired. I’m not sure if you are a physician, but most physicians are continued until 20 years. If you want to give me details, you can use the Contact Me tab.


    Allison said:
    December 9, 2020 at 09:42

    Thank you for your reply.

    I’m a SWO who will got selected for O-4 after 9 years active duty. So after 3 years time-in-grade, I’ll be eligible for O-5 at the 12-year mark. After two failed “looks” at O-5, I’ll be at 15 years active duty. Would that be considered the “safe harbor?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s