If you have decided you would like to change branches in the military there are certain steps you must take. After weighing all of your options and deciding on the branch that is right for you, follow the process below.
- Write a Letter and complete a Conditional Release Form
Write a letter explaining your intention and asking for a Conditional Release. You will then need to complete a conditional release or DD368 Conditional Release form with a recruiter (from the branch you would like to join). Download a copy of the DD0368 form today. Make sure to follow it’s progress closely. It must be signed prior to any further steps.
- Meet with your Supervisor
Next set up a meeting with your supervisor and explain your intentions. Give them the package (Letter & DD0368) to forward and keep a copy for yourself. If for some reason it does not make it to the commander, you can submit it directly.
- Follow Up
You may have to wait but next you should receive approval or disapproval. If your Unit says you can not be released and will not accept the package, you should request that they formally disapprove it on the DD0368. If it is disapproved or they will not submit the request, contact your base IG (Inspector General). They will assist you from there. *Only go through the IG as a last resort.
- Meet with your Recruiter
Once your DD0368 has been approved and signed, take it to the recruiter of the branch you would like to join as soon as possible. This is typically when any testing or physicals that need to be done will be taken care of, you will pick your job and you will be enlisted.
Please note: If you have orders to deploy you will NOT be approved for transfer don’t even waste your time. You have a better chance of being able to transfer if you are honest with your superiors and go through the appropriate chain of command. You are responsible for any prior obligations until completing the enlistment process into the new branch.
Blue to Green
Operation Blue to Green will allow you to continue to serve your country, maintain the benefits of military service and expand your horizons by gaining new training in another military branch. The program allows qualified Air Force and Navy personnel to transfer to Active Duty service in the Army. Enrollment in the program depends on your current active service obligation, and your branch’s willingness to release you to the Army.
Selected members of the United States Marine Corps or Coast Guard, who are otherwise qualified, may be eligible for opportunities in the Army. However, Marines and Coast Guard members will be required to complete their current terms of active service.
Becoming and Officer
Under an inter-service agreement, members of the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard can also request an early discharge to apply for the Army Warrant Officer Program.
Additionally, active duty enlisted members can apply for an early discharge if they are accepted into the Officer Candidate School/Officer Training School of another service.
Some qualified members of the United States Marine Corp or Coast Guard may be eligible for opportunities in the Army, but first must complete their current term of active service. In other words… In most cases someone cannot simply transfer from one branch of the service to another without completing their enlistment contract, getting out, and then joining the different service, as a prior-service recruit.