Retirement Services Program

Regular Army: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet



The Army G-1 Retirement Services Program provides assistance to Soldiers and their Families preparing for and transitioning to retirement, Families of Soldiers who die on active duty and Retired Soldiers, surviving Spouses and their Families. Through a network of Retirement Services Officers (RSOs) at major Army installations, National Guard State Headquarters, and Army Reserve Regional Support Commands worldwide, they: 1) provide counseling to these groups on their rights, benefits and entitlements, 2) assist with Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) elections, and 3) keep the retiree population informed of law and benefit changes.


Pre-retirement services of local RSOs are available to all active duty Soldiers and their Families. Post-retirement program services are available to all Retired Soldiers, surviving Spouses and their Families.


Pre-retirement services of local RSOs are available to all active duty Soldiers and their Families. Post-retirement program services are available to all Retired Soldiers, surviving Spouses and their Families.

Benefit Highlights:

Major program components include:


  • Mandatory Pre-retirement Orientation-Active duty Soldiers must attend a pre-retirement briefing with an RSO between the time their retirement application is submitted and at least 120 days before their official retirement date (or the date of departure on transition leave).
  • Mandatory Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Counseling-Every active duty Soldier and Spouse must receive counseling by a qualified SBP Counselor on available SBP options and the potential effects of participating or not participating in each of these options after the retirement application is submitted and at least 60 days before the official retirement date. Click here to read the pre-retirement Counseling Guide.
  • Mandatory SBP Election-Active duty Soldiers must complete their SBP election no later than 60 days before their retirement. If the Soldier is married, the Spouse is notified of the Soldier's election and must provide written concurrence with the election when electing anything other than full coverage.
  • Special provisions will be made for medically retiring Soldiers who are so severely wounded/injured that neither the Soldier or a Family member are able to attend a pre-retirement/SBP briefing. Such special briefings will be conducted no later than the start of the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) process.

Pre-retirement briefing policy

  • It is mandatory that all Soldiers receive a pre-retirement briefing between the retirement application submission date and 120 days before the retirement date (or start date of transition leave)
  • Provisions must be made to assist medically retiring Soldiers who may be so severely wounded/injured that neither the Soldier nor the Family members are able to attend a preretirement/SBP briefing.
  • Upon notification, conduct the mandatory pre-retirement briefing for severely wounded/injured Soldiers who may be medically retired no later than the start of Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) process.


  • Retiree Council Programs-HQDA Retirement Services administers the Chief of Staff, Army Retiree Council; each installation RSO administers an Installation Retiree Council. The main objectives of the councils are to provide input to Army leadership on significant issues affecting the retiree community and to help the Army communicate with the retired community across the Army.
  • Retiree Appreciation Days (RADs)-RADs are conducted by installation and Reserve Component (RC) RSOs to keep retired Soldiers and their Families informed of rights, benefits, and privileges and to foster goodwill between the retired and active duty communities. RADs are conducted at least annually by major Army installations in CONUS and by garrisons in overseas command. Click here for current schedule. These will usually be publicized in Army Echoes and in local installation newsletters sent to the retiree community in their area of operation.
  • Army Echoes and Installation Retiree Newsletters-The Army Retirement Services Program publishes the Army Echoes bulletin three times per year to keep Retired Soldiers and Spouses in touch with the Army and informed of their rights, benefits and responsibilities. Army Echoes is sent electronically to all retirees with a myPay account at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Each major Army installation also publishes a retiree newsletter specific to their geographic area at least once per year. The Army will no longer mail the hardcopy edition of Echoes to Soldiers who retire after January 1, 2012.


  • Upon retirement, all Soldiers, regardless of component, are entitled to receive the Army Retiring Soldier Commendation Program Package. The package includes the following:
    • Full-color letter signed by the Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Army, and Sergeant Major of the Army.
    • Full-color box carrier.
    • U.S. Flag, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, cotton outdoor.
    • Retired Army pin, formerly known as the "U.S. Army Retired Lapel Button."
    • Three-color "Retired" window decal (one large and two small).
  • Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act-RSOs assist the servicing legal assistance office in their area in counseling active and Retired Soldiers, Spouses and former Spouses on this legislation.
  • For more information about the services provided by the Army Retirement Services Program, please see the Web sites in the "Additional Information" section below.

Additional Information:

For more information, visit the Web site maintained by the Department of the Army G-1 at:

Retirement Services Program Army Regulation 600-8-7:

Army Retirement Service Officers:

or information on government civil service jobs, visit:

For National Archives Military Records Request information:

Document Review Date: 15 January 2014