How To Write a Military Resignation Letter in 5 Steps

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 3, 2022

Resigning from a military job can be a big decision, often requiring certain steps and a letter of resignation. A military resignation letter is a document that declares your intent to resign and serves as a permanent record of your decision. Understanding how to write a resignation letter can help you write a more professional letter and adhere to any military standards for resignation. In this article, we show you how to write a military resignation letter in five steps, with a template and example for reference.

Why write a resignation letter for a military job?

It's important to write a military resignation letter for several reasons. Informing your commanding officer of your intent to resign is both a gesture of respect, in line with military policy, and allows the C.O. to plan for a vacancy in your specific position. Giving adequate notice allows an employer sufficient time to find a replacement or reorganize the work duties of your platoon to meet the new vacancy. Each armed forces branch has its own specific requirements for resignation, depending on rank and length of time served.

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How to write a resignation letter for the military

Here's how to write a basic resignation letter for the military:

1. Determine if you meet resignation requirements

Depending on the branch of the military you work for, you might be subject to specific terms of service and ultimately subject to the resignation requirements of your service contract. Typically, military service contracts require at least two to four years of service following basic training. This may vary depending on the branch. Check with your service contract and commanding officer to determine if you qualify for resignation without breaching your service contract. If you meet the requirements, you can continue drafting your letter. You might also determine where to send your letter during these inquires.

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2. Use a template or guide to draft an outline

Using a resignation letter template or formatting guide can be a great way to create the most professional and organized letter possible. Drafting a professional letter shows respect for your position and the person reading your letter, so it's important to focus on creating a letter that reflects your professional attitude. You can search for templates online, and there are potentially thousands of options for military resignation letters or standard resignation letters. Choose a letter template and consider what to include in the letter.

3. Organize your letter body in two paragraphs

Organize the body of your letter into two brief paragraphs. A resignation letter is a declaration of your intent to vacate a position, so it's typically short and concise. Include a header with your name, contact information, rank and division or platoon. You can also include an addressee in your header, including their name and rank. Following the header, create a paragraph outline where you can declare your intention to resign. The next paragraph typically expands on your reasons for resigning or any meaningful experiences with your employer. Leave a space at the bottom for your personal signature.

4. Write your letter

With an outline completed, you can begin writing your letter. It's important to use professional language in your resignation letter to maintain your professional image and show respect to your C.O. and the military. Write your letter to be concise, including only necessary information. This might include your date of resignation, reason for resigning and personal contact information. Avoid mentioning specific complaints towards individuals, but you can include an honest reason for your resignation. If you mention negative reasons for resigning, carefully choose your words and tone to be respectful but straightforward.

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5. Submit your letter

Once you write your resignation letter, you can check it for tone, spelling and grammatical errors and to review it for any other information you want to include. After your review, you can officially submit your letter and await approval. It's important to keep a copy of your resignation letter in your own records in case of any errors or discrepancies. If your resignation is valid, you may receive a response within a few days to several weeks, depending on the workload of the human resources command branch.

Military resignation letter template

Here is a template for a military resignation letter:

[Name, rank, division]
[Letter date]
[Contact information]

ATTN: [Name and rank of addressee, or human resources command]

I am writing this letter to inform you of my intent to resign from my position as [rank] with [division], effective [date of departure]. My intent to resign aligns with U.S. military code and I believe I am entitled to an honorable discharge. If there are any questions or paperwork I must complete for my post-service benefits, please contact me at [contact information].

I am resigning from my position because [reason for resignation]. I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a United States service member and learned many great lessons from my service. Enlisting has taught me [meaningful experiences or lessons].

Sincerely,
[Name and signature]

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Military resignation letter example

Here is an example of a military resignation letter using the template above:

David Myers
Private First Class, Second Infantry Division
December 1st, 2021
448-357-2736

ATTN: Army Human Resources Command

I am writing this letter to inform you of my intent to resign from my position as a Private First Class with the Second Infantry Division, effective February 1st, 2022. My intent to resign aligns with U.S. military code and I believe I am entitled to an honorable discharge. If there are any questions or paperwork I must complete for my post-service benefits, please contact me at 448-357-2736.

I am resigning from my position because my service contract ends effective February first of 2022 and I plan to seek a career as a mechanical engineer in the civilian market. I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a United States service member and learned many great lessons from my service. Enlisting has taught me discipline, excellent teamwork and communication and I've established many lifelong bonds with my fellow service members. I am honored to have served in such an esteemed position.

Sincerely,
David Myers

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