(a) General Rule.— Unless retired or separated earlier, each regular commissioned officer of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps (other than an officer covered by section
1252 of this title or a commissioned warrant officer) serving in a grade below brigadier general or rear admiral (lower half), in the case of an officer in the Navy, shall be retired on the first day of the month following the month in which the officer becomes 62 years of age.
(b) Deferred Retirement of Health Professions Officers.—
(1)The Secretary of the military department concerned may, subject to subsection (d), defer the retirement under subsection (a) of a health professions officer if during the period of the deferment the officer—
(A)will be performing duties consisting primarily of providing patient care or performing other clinical duties; or
(B)is in a category of officers designated under subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) whose duties will consist primarily of the duties described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of such subparagraph.
(2)For purposes of this subsection, a health professions officer is—
(A)a medical officer;
(B)a dental officer;
(C)an officer in the Army Nurse Corps, an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps, or an officer in the Air Force designated as a nurse; or
(D)an officer in a category of officers designated by the Secretary of the military department concerned for the purposes of this paragraph as consisting of officers whose duties consist primarily of—
(i)providing health care;
(ii)performing other clinical care; or
(iii)performing health care-related administrative duties.
(c) Deferred Retirement of Chaplains.— The Secretary of the military department concerned may, subject to subsection (d), defer the retirement under subsection (a) of an officer who is appointed or designated as a chaplain if the Secretary determines that such deferral is in the best interest of the military department concerned.
(d) Limitation on Deferment of Retirements.—
(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), a deferment under subsection (b) or (c) may not extend beyond the first day of the month following the month in which the officer becomes 68 years of age.
(2)The Secretary of the military department concerned may extend a deferment under subsection (b) or (c) beyond the day referred to in paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that extension of the deferment is necessary for the needs of the military department concerned. Such an extension shall be made on a case-by-case basis and shall be for such period as the Secretary considers appropriate.
2011—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 111–383, § 501(b)(2), substituted “the officer—” for “the officer will be performing duties consisting primarily of providing patient care or performing other clinical duties.” and added subpars. (A) and (B).
2006—Pub. L. 109–364amended section catchline and text generally, substituting provisions relating to retirement at age 62 of regular commissioned officers in grades below general and flag officer grades for provisions relating to retirement at age 62 of all regular commissioned officers.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–163inserted “, a permanent professor at the United States Naval Academy,” after “Air Force Academy” in first sentence and struck out last sentence which read as follows: “An officer who is a permanent professor at the United States Military Academy or United States Air Force Academy, the director of admissions at the United States Military Academy, or the registrar of the United States Air Force Academy shall be retired on the first day of the month following the month in which he becomes 64 years of age.”
1997—Subsec. (c)(2) to (4). Pub. L. 105–85, § 504(a), added par. (2) and redesignated former pars. (2) and (3) as (3) and (4), respectively.
1989—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 101–189designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), substituted “Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a deferment” for “A deferment” and “68 years of age” for “67 years of age”, and added subpar. (B).
Section effective Sept. 15, 1981, but the authority to prescribe regulations under this section effective on Dec. 12, 1980, see section 701 ofPub. L. 96–513, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under section
101 of this title.
Deferral of Retirement Date for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title VII, § 704,Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 1996, provided that the President could defer until Oct. 1, 1989, the retirement of the officer serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the term which began on October 1, 1987, notwithstanding the limitation contained in former section
1251(b) of this title.
Transition Provisions Under Defense Officer Personnel Management Act
For provision that this section not apply to any officer who on the effective date of this Act [Sept. 15, 1981] was on active duty in a grade above general, see section 632 ofPub. L. 96–513, set out as a note under section
611 of this title.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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