Important: A Veteran may meet the minimum period of active duty without completing 24 months of active duty. 38 CFR § 3.12a (a)(1) defines the minimum period as
24 months of continuous active duty, or
the full period for which a person is called or ordered to active duty.
Note: In the case of a delayed enlistment, the entry date for purposes of this provision is the date of entry on active duty, not the date of swearing in, which may have preceded actual entry into active duty.
4. Minimum Active Duty Service Requirements, Continued
c. Exceptions to the Minimum Active Duty Requirement (continued)
Discharge under 10 U.S.C. § 1171 (continued)
Accept a DD Form 214 with one of these narrative reasons and at least 21 months of service as proof of discharge under 10 U.S.C. § 1171 without further development. Any other narrative reason for discharge for an enlisted person who served at least 21 months requires development to determine if the discharge was under 10 U.S.C. § 1171.
Restrictions for Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) enlistments:
This discharge cannot be authorized by the PHS and NOAA as only officers serve in those branches.
Discharge under 10 U.S.C. § 1173
This discharge applies to an individual discharged for hardship.
Acceptable narrative reasons on DD Form 214:
A DD Form 214 issued for reasons of hardship must reflect a narrative reason for separation as follows:
Note: “Demonstrated Dependency Not Meeting the Requirements of BUPERS Manual 3850/240” does not denote a hardship discharge qualifying an individual for benefits under the law.
Note: Develop for cases in which
DD Form 214 is unclear as to the reason for discharge, and
This discharge is issued to an individual who incurred a service-connected disability from an inactive duty training injury and is subsequently discharged or released from reserve status for that disability. The individual should be considered to have been discharged or released from active service.
d. Entitlement to Benefits Before Enactment of 38 U.S.C. 5303A
Entitlement to any benefit legally provided prior to the date of enactment of 38 U.S.C. § 5303A, October 1, 1981, based on minimum active duty service requirements in effect at that time, is not affected.
Example: An individual issued a certificate of eligibility for a VA home loan guaranty prior to October 1, 1981, continues to be eligible for that benefit even though his/her active duty service no longer qualifies him/her under 38 U.S.C. § 5303A.