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Warrant officers can retire in highest grade they served satisfactorily

A recent change in federal law dealing with grade determinations for retiring warrant officers will be incorporated into Army policy.

Under a change to Section 1371 of Title 10 USC that was prompted by a provision of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, warrant officers "will be retired in the highest regular or reserve warrant officer grade in which (they) served satisfactorily, as determined by the (service) secretary concerned."

Previously the law stipulated that warrant officers would be retired in the permanent or reserve warrant officer grade they held on the day before their retirement, even if an officer had derogatory information placed in his or her official personnel file since their last promotion.

The legal change will be reflected in an upcoming revision of Army Regulation 15-80 (Grade Determination Review Board and Grade Determinations).

Until the publication of that change, the grade determination authorities specified in the current version of AR 15-80 "are authorized to conduct warrant officer grade determinations," according to a directive issued March 1 by Acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy.

Grade determination authorities identified in the regulation include the assistant secretary of the Army for review boards, and the Army Grade Determination Review Board.

The assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs will serve as proponent for the new policy, and its inclusion in AR 15-80.

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