Military medical retirement


Q. I served in the Army for two years and nine months and was medically retired out. I have become a federal employee. I have been told by my HR office that my time in the service will not count toward my leave accrual or retirement because I was retired out. I have been to OPM’s website and looked at the regulations, and from what I can tell, OPM defines military retirement as that for which you are eligible to receive retirement benefits, which I am not. So I am confused.

A. According to OPM, these rules apply:

Under law 5 U.S.C. 6303(a)(A-C), an employee who is a retired member of a uniformed service as defined by section 3501 of title 5 is entitled to credit for active military service only if (A) his retirement was based on disability (i) resulting from injury or disease received in line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict; or (ii) caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in line of duty during a period of war as defined by sections 101 and 1101 of title 38; (B) that service was performed in the armed forces during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized; or (C) on Nov. 30, 1964, he was employed in a position to which this subchapter applies and thereafter he continued to be so employed without a break in service of more than 30 days.

If you meet the criteria, you’ll get credit for that time. If you don’t, you won’t.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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