Military Disability Retirement

HRD-94-50R: Published: Nov 3, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Defense's (DOD) military disability retirement program, focusing on whether officers who are eligible for normal retirement are more likely to retire on disability than enlisted members with similar lengths of service. GAO found that: (1) a greater percentage of officers attain normal retirement status than enlisted personnel; (2) from fiscal year (FY) 1981 through FY 1990, 9,015 military personnel of all ranks retired on disability after 20 or more years of service; (3) officers with 20 or more years of service are less likely to retire on disability than enlisted members with similar years of service; (4) about 1 percent of all service members eligible for normal retirement retire on disability; and (5) the relatively low number of service members eligible for normal retirement that retire on disability is due to the DOD rule that a service member performing active duty with a disability may not use the disability as a basis for disability retirement.

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