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BAR TO REENLIST
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BAR TO REENLIST
This page gives you general information you need when you receive a local or
“field” bar to reenlistment. Your rights vary depending on how many years of Active Federal
Service (AFS) you have in the military. A bar to reenlistment is a rehabilitative tool the
commander has at his or her disposal. The commander may impose a bar to put pressure on
you to change your ways. Your commander could also use it as a preliminary step in
processing you for separation from the U.S. Army.
Procedures for Imposing Local Bar
Grounds for imposing a bar: Any commander in your chain of command can initiate a bar to reenlistment.
There are discretionary grounds for imposing a bar; for example, repeated absence from appointed places
of duty, substandard personal appearance or hygiene, apathy, failure to manage your personal affairs, etc.,
AR 601-280, para 84d lists 28 discretionary reasons, but this list is not exclusive. The commander can also
impose a bar for other reasons. There are mandatory grounds for imposing the bar as well. Are you required to
have an approved family member care plan on file? If you do and have not done so within 2 months
of being notified, the commander must initiate a bar to reenlistment.
Restrictions: Ordinarily, commanders should not impose a bar on you during your first 90 days or
last 30 days in the units. However, if he or she does, an explanation concerning the timing must be
provided on DA Form 4126R. A commander cannot approve a bar to reenlistment after a soldier
separates from active duty. Nor can any commander enter a bar to reenlist in a soldier’s records
after de or she separates from active duty. Finally, a soldier cannot be retained involuntarily past his or her ETS
date in order to complete the processing of the bar.
Rebuttal and Appeal
Rebuttal statement: You must be notified of the commander’s recommendation to initiate a bar, as well as the
reasons for initiating it. If you request (by checking the appropriate block in Section II, number 3 of DA Form 4126R),
you are allowed seven calendar days to comment why you believe the bar should not be imposed. In your rebuttal,
you should address each reason given for the recommended bar, and try to explain why they are inaccurate or how
you have since corrected the problems. You must submit the rebuttal statement in Section II, and/or attach the
statement to the DA Form 4126R. You do not have a right to legal counsel for a locally imposed bar.
Processing rebuttal statement: The initiating commander must forward the 4126R and any rebuttal statement
through the chain of command to the approval authority. Each commander or acting commander in the chain must
take personal action on the bar. Any one of these commanders can disapprove the bar at his or her level. Who the
approval authority is depends on how many years of AFS you have on the date the commander initiated the bar. If
the soldier has less than 10 years AFS on that date it is your LTC commander or special courtmartial
convening authority. If you have 10 years or more AFS, it is the first General Officer (GO) in your command or
general courtmartial convening authority (GCMCA). The approval authority must be one level higher than the
commander who initiates the bar. If the commander who initiates the bar is above the company level, the
approval authority will be the first GO or GCMCA in your command, or HQDA.
Appeal: Once the approving authority determines that he or she will approve the bar; you have 7 days to submit an
appeal. If you are otherwise qualified, you will not be involuntarily separated while the appeal is pending. If you
have less than 10 years AFS, you must appeal to the first GO in your command, your appellate authority in HQDA.
If the bar was approved by PERSCOM, however, you have no right to appeal. If the Appeal Is Denied Counseling:
Your company level commander must inform and counsel you. At least once every 3 months after the date of
approval, and 30 days before you PCS or ETS, he or she must review the bar and see whether it should be lifted or
if he or she should initiate involuntary separation actions against you. After the first review, your company
commander must advise you of possible involuntary separation actions under AR 635-200, Chapter 13. After the
second review (at 6 months), the commander must lift the bar or initiate involuntary separation actions under
Chapter 13, for underlying grounds.
Removing the bar: Once you receive an approved bar, it will be filed permanently in your MPRJ, and annotated on
your DA Form 21. You may appeal to the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to have it
The purpose of this page is to give you general information you need when you receive a
local or “field” bar to reenlistment. This information is for general informational purpose only. For
further questions, contact the Client Legal Services Office in your area.