If you're in the army but want to leave, this page is for you. Work through each question from the top - ignore any that aren't right for you.

The info here is not advice - it's for you to make your own decision about what to do. Everything here is shown in good faith but the rules do change from time to time.

(Special thanks to several veterans who helped with this page.)


1. Are you thinking of going AWOL (Absent Without Leave)?

If you go AWOL and are caught, you can be punished with detention and you might not get to leave the army afterwards. [more...]

2. How old were you when you signed up?

Were you under or over 18 when you signed up? [more...]

3. Will you be able to sign off (give notice) soon?

If you joined age under 18 and are almost 21, or if you joined aged over 18 and are close to being in the army for three years, then soon you will be able to give one year's notice to leave. [more...]

4. Does your family need you at home, or do you run a business?

If your personal or family situation has changed for the worse since you joined the army AND this has been beyond your control AND it's now essential that you spend more time at home than army life normally allows, THEN the army could grant you Compassionate Leave (temporary) or a Compassionate Discharge (permanent). [more...]

5. Are you feeling so depressed or stressed that it's difficult to work?

If you're so depressed, worried or stressed that it's now hard to do your job, then the army might grant you sick leave or, if that doesn't help, a Medical Discharge. Some soldiers have said that this is the way most people get to leave the army when they are so unhappy that they just have to go. [more...]

6. Are you just the wrong sort of person for army life?

The chain of command can release you if they think you're the wrong sort of person to be in the army. That's not the same as just not liking your job - it means that your CO believes that you're not good for the army. [more...]

7. Have you started to feel very strongly that warfare, or a specific order, is morally wrong?

If you have started to feel that warfare in general - or a specific operation - is morally wrong, then you could be experiencing a 'conscientious objection'. You can have a conscientious objection without knowing it straight away. It just means that carrying on as a soldier feels very strongly at odds with what your conscience is telling you to do. [more...]

8. Do you use drugs?

If you are caught using drugs in a Compulsory Drug Test, or if you tell an officer that your drug use is making it difficult to do your job, the army will discharge you straight away in line with their 'Zero Tolerance' policy. [more...]