(a) Authority for Voluntary Delays.—
The Secretary of the military department concerned may, by regulation, permit delays of a promotion of an officer who is recommended for promotion by a mandatory selection board convened under section 14101(a) or a special selection board convened under section 14502 of this title at the request of the officer concerned. Such delays, in the case of any promotion, may extend for any period not to exceed three years from the date on which the officer would otherwise be promoted.
(2) Regulations under this section shall provide that—
a request for such a delay of promotion must be submitted by the officer concerned before the delay may be approved; and
(b) Effect of Approval of Request.—
If a request for delay of a promotion under subsection (a) is approved, the officer’s name shall remain on the promotion list during the authorized period of delay (unless removed under any other provision of law). Upon the end of the period of the authorized delay, or at any time during such period, the officer may accept the promotion, which shall be effective on the date of acceptance. Such an acceptance of a promotion shall be made in accordance with regulations prescribed under this section.
(c) Effect of Declining a Promotion.—An officer’s name shall be removed from the promotion list and, if the officer is serving in a grade below colonel or, in the case of the Navy, captain, the officer shall be considered to have failed of selection for promotion if any of the following applies:
The Secretary concerned has not authorized voluntary delays of promotion under subsection (a) to the grade concerned and the officer declines to accept an appointment to a higher grade.
The Secretary concerned has authorized voluntary delays of promotion under subsection (a), but has denied the request of the officer for a delay of promotion and the officer then declines to accept an appointment to a higher grade.