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Military Retirement Move Extension

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

military retirement move extension

Retirement is an apt phase of life for people to unwind and complete victory by embracing the joys of living, like spending precious moments with family. It’s like bidding goodbye to your enthusiastic working days, saying, “You’ve earned this!”

Soldiers experience a similar transition, saying goodbye to their careers and embracing a new life. The military retirement move extension program supports soldiers who postpone their transition to civilian life by offering assistance before their move back home after the military.

Definition and Purpose of Extending the Move


Military retirement usually transpires around age 60, with full benefits requiring a minimum of 20 years of active service. However, despite that fact, soldiers may feasibly be eligible for retirement at a younger age, depending on specific qualifications.

Moving along, the Army and Navy develop a program to assist soldiers in postponing their retirement, which is the military retirement move extension.

It aims to facilitate a smooth transition from military to civilian life for soldiers who have dedicated 20 or more years of service, ensuring a seamless shift in their careers. This program provides them with essential support to overcome the probable challenge of adjusting to civilian camaraderie.

Eligibility Requirements for the Extension

This project presents an opportunity for eligible soldiers who are approaching their retirement from the army but desire to delay it.

To participate and qualify for this program, eligible soldiers must meet the established eligibility requirements, ensuring that soldiers with substantial military service can benefit from the program.

Who Qualifies?


Individuals who continuously served the Marine Corps, Space Force, Air Force, Navy, or U.S. Army for 20, 30, or more years are eligible to retire from the military.

On the other hand, some individuals express a desire to extend their service before retiring. However, it is significant to note that authorities may not grant this extension to all individuals.

Retiring soldiers can extend their military service before their final move by requesting an extension or directly receiving an order for an extension. The crucial aspect is that the transportation official must sign and approve the extension.

You might wonder who are the most qualified individuals eligible for this extension. Touch on the list below to gain more insights on this matter.

Military Retirement Move Extension Eligibility
  Cases/ Reason for Extension Documents Required
1. Retiring soldiers who have submitted an extension request on or after their retirement date are eligible for an extension. N/A
2. Soldiers who have a retirement order but are currently hospitalized or undergoing treatment that may impede their ability to travel may be eligible for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ Physician’s statement required: Start date and reason for treatment precluding travel.


3. Individuals who initiate such training or education within one year after termination or actively participate in qualifying training or education for civilian employment may be eligible for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ Official registrar or employer’s statement needed: Start and expected completion dates of education or training

4. Grant on the eligibility to extend service for situations where there are postponements for the construction, closing, or renovation of a soldier’s retirement home. ★ Retirement Order

★ The contractor’s statement: explains the postponement and mentions the estimated completion date.

5. Those individuals actively seeking employment within one year after termination may be eligible for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ Letters needed: Start and expected employment from prospective employers, employment agencies, and similar sources.

6. Retirees employed Outside the Continental U.S. (OCONUS) may be eligible for a military retirement extension if their employment has an advantage over the U.S. government. For instance OCONUS security employments.


★ Retirement Order

★ Employer’s letter required: Employment information and start and expected completion dates from employment.

7. Retirees who have active-duty spouses are eligible for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ A duplicate of the active duty order pertaining to the spouse.

8. Soldiers whose spouses are permanent civil service employees experiencing the effects of a RIF (Reduction in Force) action may qualify for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ A duplicate of the notification letter regarding the spouse’s Reduction in Force (RIF)

9. Soldiers may be eligible for an extension if their spouse is in the midst of a school term or approaching the completion of their final year of education. However, this eligibility applies only in the year following retirement and does not extend beyond any previous extensions granted.


★ Retirement Order

★ Official registrar’s letter needed: Start and expected completion dates of spouse’s education and related information.


10. Grant for the possible extension of soldiers whose children are in the middle of the school year or entering their senior year in high school. ★ Retirement Order

★ Official registrar’s letter needed: Start and expected completion dates of child’s education and related information.

11. Retirees with children in special education programs tailor-made for learning disabilities, established before retirement, may be eligible for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ Submission of current IEP assessments for the application requires yearly compliance.

12. In cases of an unexpected, serious, or terminal illness affecting a family member, the retiree may be eligible for an extension.


★ Retirement Order

★ Medical statement: anticipated date of the individual’s recovery suitable for travel

13. Soldiers are grant an extension in the circumstances of the death of an active-duty member, ★ Retirement Order

★ The initial extension: automatically granted upon receiving a phone call from the survivor

14. The tragic event of a death in the immediate family, including parents-in-law and siblings, soldiers can get an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ Death record or certificate of the member.

15. If a member cannot move within the designated time limits due to ongoing legal or administrative proceedings, they may qualify for an extension. ★ Retirement Order

★ A duplicate of the relevant document indicating the proceedings

★ The reasons above show the eligible reasons for extensions of the services of the military soldiers.

It is highly significant to note that the primary reason for this extension is the inability to travel, and it is an exceptional benefit granted only under specific and reasonable circumstances. This extension does not intend to benefit all individuals.

Apply for the Extension, Deadlines or Timeframes


There should be at least 90 days left until the entitlement ends before submitting a request for a retirement relocation extension.

Granting extensions requires a formal request. If they reject your request for an extension, the time needed for filing and reviewing the request does not extend your authorized time frame.

Take notice that the enforcement of these rules is in a discretionary manner of the respective service branches.

Retirees have 1-3 years from retirement to relocate their household goods to a chosen final home.

Recent changes in the new regulations of military retirement have established new provisions to authorize an extended transition period for soldiers.

Soldiers who receive a retirement before June 24, 2022, will be given a year to complete their move. They can apply for an annual extension starting from their retirement date for up to six years.

On the other hand, if the issuing retirement order was on or after June 24, 2022, soldiers have three years to relocate to their elected permanent residence. They can still put in an application for annual extensions for up to six years, allowing them additional time to finish the transition.

Tips for Making the Most of the Extension

Get the most out of the extra time you have to be ready for your impending retirement whenever they give you an extension. Depending on the grant, be it for a few months or up to six years. Make the most of this time to ensure you are ready before formally retiring.

Here are some tips to make the most of your retirement extension and ensure a smooth transition into retirement:

  • While you are on your retirement extension, it is vital to plan your finances. Invest in suitable insurance and investments that benefit you and your family.

Understand the army retirement benefits, check the full retirement process available to you and ensure they meet your family’s needs.

  • As you approach retirement, planning will be crucial for your new purpose. Take the time to identify your interests and hobbies, determining what you want to pursue. Consider how you can continue serving others by sharing your creative knowledge, inspiring people, and sharing a positive impact in your community.
  • Make your wellness and health a top priority by embracing a healthy lifestyle. Engage in regular physical activity, maintain a balanced diet, and allocate time for relaxation and self-care. It will enable you to adapt effectively to the civilian world beyond the military.

Benefits of the Extension for Military Retirees


Transitioning to civilian life following a long period of military service can initially pose significant challenges. Considering a variety of aspects is a necessity.

If you are not yet prepared to retire due to some considerable reasons, you may contemplate extending your retirement for a maximum of six years, subject to an annual request. However, before pursuing an extension, it is essential to consult the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) and assess your PCS Entitlements.

While contemplating an extension, various benefits await you based on the rationale behind your decision to delay retirement.

There is no need for undue worry if you still do not have a designated location to keep your household goods (HHG) during the extension because the military will offer a storage facility at no expense.

You can also enjoy the benefit of travel entitlements for you and your family members.

Last but not least, because of your granted extension, commanders will have plenty of time to organize a more formal army retirement ceremony. It is an opportunity to feel appreciated as a soldier before they declare your official retirement.

Additionally, you will receive a military retirement move per diem in addition to this privilege. For more detailed information regarding your per diem allowance, kindly refer to the website given.

Post-Military Relocation Options

Temporary storage vs long-term storage

Temporary Storage allows members a 90-day authorization to store their household goods during a transition. When you need an additional safekeeping facility during this period, it is a requirement to have approval to avoid additional fees.

Non-temporary storage military rules, also referred to as long-term storage, is an option soldiers use when they embark on overseas tours and cannot bring all their household goods. The government pays for the storage, until the agreed-upon date.


In conclusion, a military retirement move extension allows soldiers to request additional years of service before fully retiring. Check in this article the detailed list of possible reasons or scenarios that may grant your extension.

The article also provides an overview of the benefits you can claim during extension and after retirement, along with tips on making the most of the extension period before transitioning back to civilian life.

By reading it, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits enjoyed by retirees before bidding farewell to their military careers.

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