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Military Separation Under the Army QMP

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Consider these questions and answers to help you determine your rights under DA’s Qualitative Management Program.


A: Army Regulation (AR) 635-200 sets forth the policies and procedures for the Army’s Qualitative Management Program (QMP). The objectives of the QMP are to enhance the quality of career enlisted Soldiers, retain the best qualified Soldiers deny continued service to nonproductive Soldiers, and encourage Soldiers to maintain their eligibility for continued service.

Under this program, an Army board periodically reviews the official files of noncommissioned officers in the rank of Staff Sergeant and above to determine if the Soldier’s performance, conduct, and/or potential for advancement meets the Army standards. Soldiers identified as not meeting these standards may be denied continued service and involuntarily discharged.


A: The QMP board reviews the performance portion (P-fiche) of the Soldier’s OMPF, personnel qualification record, official photograph, and other authorized documents to determine whether the Soldier warrants retention.

The board considers the following factors: moral and ethical conduct which is incompatible with the values of the NCO corps and Army ethic, lack of potential to perform NCO duties in current grade, decline in efficiency and performance as reflected by the Soldier’s NCOERs or failure of NCOES courses, recent or continuing disciplinary problems, or other discriminators, such as, a bar to reenlistment, inability to meet physical standards, or inability to comply with the Army body composition program.


A: Soldiers selected for denial of continued service by the QMP board are notified via memorandum from the USAEREC Commander through the first LTC or higher in the Soldier’s chain of command.

The Soldier is provided with administrative instructions and a copy of his/her performance portion (P-fiche) as well as a list of the documents which the board relied upon in making their decision to deny the Soldier continued service under the QMP. The Soldier and Commander must complete the “Statement of Options, Qualitative Management Program” form (DA Form 4941) within 7 days of receiving the QMP memorandum notification.


A: Soldiers denied continued service under QMP may file an appeal within 60 days of completing DA Form 4941. The Soldier is only permitted to submit one appeal and no request for reconsideration of a denied appeal is authorized.

Each Commander in the Soldier’s chain of Command, through the General Court Martial Convening Authority (GCMCA) or general officer commander, will add substantive comments regarding the Soldier’s performance and potential and recommend approval or disapproval of the Soldier’s appeal.


A: The appeal may be based upon material error or improved performance. Material error usually exists where something has been misfiled in a soldier’s OMPF. For example, an Article 15 belonging to John Smith is mistakenly filed in James Smith’s file.

The appeal simply points out the material error, and asks that the mistake be corrected. Improved performance is the more common ground on which to appeal. Improved performance simply means the soldier has overcome the weakness cited by the selection board, and that separation is not in the best interests of the Army. An example may be a Staff Sergeant who received an Article 15 ten years earlier as a Private.

The Staff Sergeant has been promoted several times since, has received several awards, and has received a number of excellent evaluations. Improved performance exists in the form of the motivation, hard work, and commitment to excellence which prompted those promotions, the awards, and the excellent NCOERs.

Favorable chain of command endorsements are crucial for a successful QMP appeal. If the battalion-level commander, brigade-level commander, and a General Officer provide favorable recommendations, the appeal is more likely to be successful and result in the appeal board removing the denial of continued service.


A: Contact the Fort Carson Legal Assistance Division to arrange for a consultation with a legal assistance attorney. A legal assistance attorney can help evaluate your QMP options and assist with preparation of an appeal statement.


If you are facing a military separation board in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines you should have the assistance of an experienced Military Defense Lawyer.

Contact Military Administrative Separation Board Lawyer John L. Calcagni at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.

A separation board is comprised of a minimum of three experienced, impartial military Officers or Non-Commissioned Officers who are senior in rank to the service member pending separation. These board members are appointed by the service member’s Commander who as referred the separation action.

The board members are required to receive the evidence of the parties, the government and the service member, and thereafter make a recommendation to the referring Commander regarding first, whether the service member should be separated from service, and if so, second, what type of discharge the service member should receive at the time of actual separation.

Once the board concludes and its members make their final recommendations to the referring Commander, the Commander must take final action. This may include approving the board members’ recommendation in whole or in part.

However, in accordance with army regulations, the referring Commander may not impose a final action that is less favorable that the board members’ recommendation.

The Commander may, however, impose final action that is more favorable to the service member than recommended. This is an important distinction. If, for example, the board members recommend that the Soldier be retained for further service, the Commander must implement this as his final action. Alternatively, however, the recommendation was in favor of separation, the Commander could disregard it and retain the service member.

Because the final procedural step in the separation process is for the Commander to take final action, the service member is afforded one last opportunity to address the Commander directly regarding the underlying reasons for separation; the board members’ recommendation; the contents of the administrative separation board; and any other extenuating or mitigating information the service member wishes the Commander to consider before imposing final action.

Petitioning to the Commander before he or she takes final action is best done through an experienced lawyer with military law experience, and usually the attorney who represented the service member at the board hearing.

Attorney John L. Calcagni, III has extensive experience working with service members in all facets of military law, to include administrative separations, with outstanding results. Attorney Calcagni is intimately familiar with military substantive law and procedure.

As a former active duty and now reserve U.S. Army Judge Advocate, he has both prosecuted and defended countless administrative separation hearings for reasons ranging from criminal conduct, positive urinalysis and unlawful drug use, to substandard military performance issues. Representing a Soldier before an administrative separation board is a delicate task that requires legal counsel who is versed in military law, investigations and trial advocacy. Attorney Calcagni masters these subject matters, and more.

He will thoroughly investigate your case and the basis for which the government seeks separation. He will also work with you as a team to build and prepare your defense, and will fully interview and analyze all government witnesses and/or evidence that will later challenge on your behalf at the hearing. After the hearing, he will petition the Commander on your behalf for your retention for future military service. Attorney Calcagni’s dynamic approach has yielded a proven record of success that transpires over many years.

If you are referred for administrative separation, call Attorney John L. Calcagni III at (401) 351-5100 for a free consultation today and retain an experienced military defense lawyer who will start working on your case immediately and toward your ultimate retention for future military service.