Retirement Services Program
Benefit Fact Sheet
The Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) Retirement Services Program provides assistance to soldiers and their families preparing for and transitioning to retirement, families of soldiers who die on active duty, 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 Readiness Divisions (RDs) and Mission Support Commands (MSCs) worldwide, they: 1) provide counseling to these groups on their rights, benefits and entitlements, 2) provide Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) counseling and assist with maintaining SBP elections, 3) provide Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP) counseling and assist with maintaining RCSBP elections and 4) keep the retiree population informed of law and benefit changes.
Post-retirement program services are available to all Retired soldiers, surviving spouses, and their families.
Major program components include:
- Retiree Council Programs - The HQDA Retirement Services office administers the Chief of Staff, Army (CSA) Retired soldier 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. The Army’s Retired soldier Council Program consists of five elements:
- The CSA Retired Soldier Council established by the CSA and chartered by HQDA.
- Installation Retiree Councils established and chartered by individual installation or garrison commanders.
- Army Service Component Commands (ASCC) Retiree Councils established and chartered by ASCC commanders.
- State Retiree Councils established and chartered by The Adjutants General (TAG) of the States and Territories.
- RD or MSC Retiree Councils established and chartered by RD or MSC commanders.
- 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 currently serving 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 dates are published in Army Echoes and in local installation newsletters sent to the retiree community in their area of operation.
- Army Echoes - The Army Retirement Services office publishes the Army Echoes newsletter four times per year to keep Retired soldiers and their spouses in touch with the Army and informed of their rights, benefits, and responsibilities. Army Echoes is sent electronically to all Retired soldiers and SBP annuitants to the email address associated with their myPay accounts with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Only those without an email address in myPay will receive the hardcopy edition of Army Echoes.
- As of 15 May 2009, all soldiers, regardless of component, are entitled to receive the Army Retiring soldier Commendation Program Package upon retirement. The package includes the following:
- A personalized 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
- S. Flag
- S. Army Retired Lapel Button
- One DA Label 180 (exterior) and one DA label 180-1 (interior) "Soldier for Life" window stickers.
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) - RSOs assist the servicing legal assistance office in their area in counseling active and Retired soldiers, spouses, and former spouses on the legislation regarding Former Spouse SBP and division of retired pay.
- For more information about the services provided by the Army Retirement Services Program, please see the websites in the "Additional Information" section below.
For more information, visit the website maintained by the Department of the Army Soldier for Life at:
Retirement Services Program Army Regulation 600-8-7:
Army Retirement Service Officers:
For National Archives Military Records Request information: