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Can you quit the military?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | Military Law

With most jobs in the United States, you can simply quit whenever you want. Unless you have a contract, it means you’re an at-will employee, so you can leave if you no longer want to work there. You don’t have to have a reason to do so and, while you are usually asked to give two weeks’ notice, there’s no obligation to do this.

If your job is working in the military, though, you clearly can’t do the same thing. Simply leaving means going AWOL, which is not permitted. You could be accused of desertion or all sorts of other issues. This is your job, but you can’t just wake up one day and decide that you want to quit. So how do you get out of the military? 

It’s a contractual job

The reason that you can’t just walk away is that you are not an at-will employee. You have to sign a contract, so your position is a contractual one and you have to honor that document. This means that you have to serve the term that you agreed to serve, at which point you can decide if you want to stop or sign up for another term.

There are ways that you can quit, such as asking for a discharge. In many cases where people are physically injured or dealing with emotional and mental trauma, they are given a discharge. This can be done honorably and it is similar to being let go from your position. But you do need to know exactly what types of procedures you have to follow so that you quit your job properly.

If you’ve been accused of leaving without permission or something of this nature, then you also need to know about all the legal options at your disposal.