ARMY BAR TO REENLISTMENT
AR 601-280, Army Retention Program. (15 Sep 11)
1) Purpose: Only Soldiers of high moral character, personal competence, and demonstrated adaptability to the requirements of the
professional Soldier’s moral code will be reenlisted in the Active Army. All Soldiers should be evaluated under the ―whole person‖ concept,
as set out in paragraph 3-7. Soldiers who cannot, or do not, measure up to such standards, but whose separation under proper
administrative procedures is not warranted at the present time, will be barred from further service under this chapter.
2) Explanation: The Bar to Reenlistment is not a punitive action but is designed for use as a rehabilitative tool. Imposition of a Bar to
Reenlistment does not preclude administrative separation at a later date. The Bar to Reenlistment should be initiated prior to a separation or
judicial/nonjudicial action because it is intended to put the Soldier on notice that-
a) He or she is not a candidate for reenlistment.
b) He or she may be a candidate for separation if the circumstances that led to the Bar to Reenlistment are not overcome. Soldiers will be
advised exactly what is expected in order to overcome the Bar to Reenlistment and be given explicit timetables to overcome the reasons for
a) Commander’s should look for the following criteria when considering a Bar to Reenlistment:
i) Soldiers that cannot be trained; Fails to accomplish basic tasks of PMOS; do not qualify to be a supervisor; APFT failure; Weapons failure.
ii) Soldiers that are unstable.
iii) Single Parents/Dual-Married Soldiers that fail to have a Family Care Plan on file within 2 months from date of counseling.
Reasons for a Bar
a) Soldiers may be barred from reenlistment for one or a combination of the below listed infractions or reasons. This listing provides
examples of the rationale for the imposition of a bar and is not intended to be all-inclusive. Examples are—
i) Lateness to formations, details, or assigned duties.
ii) AWOL for 1- to 24-hour periods.
iii) Losses of clothing and equipment.
iv) Substandard personal appearance.
v) Substandard personal hygiene.
vi) Continuous indebtedness, reluctance to repay, or late payments.
vii) Article 15(s).
viii) Frequent traffic violations.
ix) An excessive number of sick calls without medical justification
x) Lateness returning from pass or leave.
xi) Cannot follow orders; shirks responsibilities; takes too much time; is recalcitrant.
xii) Cannot train for a job; apathetic; disinterested.
xiii) Cannot adapt to military life; uncooperative; involved in frequent difficulties with fellow Soldiers.
xiv) Failure to manage personal, marital, or family affairs. This includes failure to respond to duty requirements because of parenthood or
custody of dependents (minor or adult).
xv) Causes trouble in the civilian community.
xvi) Involvement in immoral acts.
xvii) Personal behavior brings discredit upon his unit or the Army.
xviii) Failure to achieve individual weapons qualification.
xix) Failure to pass the Army’s Physical Fitness Test for record.
xx) Loss of qualification in PMOS when HRC-Alexandria (AHRC-EPR-F) has determined that reclassification is not appropriate because the
Soldier cannot be retrained into a new MOS.
xxi) Noncompetitive for promotion
(1) Slow rank progression resulting from a pattern of marginal conduct or performance.
(2) No demonstrated potential for future service (repeated counseling statements or other indicators).
(3) No demonstrated ability to keep pace with others of the same Career Management Field.
(4) Declines attendance in professional development courses such as PLDC, BNCOC, ANCOC, and so on.
(5) Not recommended for promotion by unit commander.
(6) Lack of potential to become a supervisor or senior technician.
Mandatory Bars for to Reenlist
a) Commanders will initiate bar to reenlistment or separation proceedings (per AR 635-200) against soldiers who—
i) Do not make satisfactory progress in the Army Weight Control Program (see AR 600-9).
ii) Fail two consecutive APFT (see AR 350-41).
iii) Are removed for cause from NCOES courses (see glossary definition).
Commander Responsibilities, Procedures for Initiating a Bar
a) Initiate a bar by completing DA Form 4126-R (Bar to Reenlistment Certificate), signed in quadruplicate. On this form, summarize the basis
for your intent to initiate Bar to Reenlistment procedures. This will include the number and dates of courts-martial, incidents of nonjudicial
punishment, and all other factual and relevant data supporting your recommendation. The Soldier will be automatically flagged IAW applicable
provisions of AR 600-8-2 upon initiation of the bar.
b) Refer the certificate to the Soldier concerned and allow the Soldier to submit a statement, if desired, as required by AR 600-37. Give the
Soldier a copy of the DA Form 4126-R. If desired, the Soldier will be allowed a period of 7 days to prepare his or her comment and to allow
collection of any document or pertinent materials. Extensions may be granted by the commander initiating the bar action on a case-by-case
basis. The bar will be processed immediately when the Soldier does not desire to make a statement.
c) Once you receive the Soldier’s comments, the certificate will be endorsed personally by each commander (or acting commander) in the
chain of command. A copy of DA Form 2A and DA Form 2-1 will accompany the certificate.
d) Any commander in the chain of command who does not believe the bar action is warranted will disapprove the action and return it to the
initiating commander. Further, any commander may elevate the authority to approve or disapprove a Bar to Reenlistment to his or her level, or
any appropriate subordinate commander (see para 3-10g for example).
e) Approval authority for Soldiers with 10 years or less service is LTC. The Approval authority for Soldiers with more than 10 years of service is
the first general officer in the Soldier’s chain of command.
f) The Bar to Reenlistment will not be forwarded to a higher authority for consideration without a recommendation for approval. The
commander who initiates the bar may not take final action on the bar. If the initiating authority would normally be the approving authority, the
certificate will be forwarded to the next higher approval authority for final action.
g) Final approval authority for a Bar to Reenlistment is one level higher than the initiating commander.
Review Process for Active Bars to Reenlist
h) Bars to Reenlistment will be reviewed at least 3 months after the date of the issuance and at least 30 days prior to the Soldier leaving the
i) If, after a review, removal of the bar is not approved, the Soldier should be counseled IAW AR 635-200, 1-18 and considered for separation,
and the review and recommendation will be annotated in the Soldier’s file. If no progress is made at all at the first review, separation should
be considered without having to wait for the second review.
j) If, after the second 3-month review, the Soldier has not improved the circumstances that initiated the bar to satisfactory levels, the
commander will initiate separation proceedings.
k) If a Soldier is retained by a separations board, the bar to reenlistment remains and a review will be conducted every 3 months. If the Soldier
has a PCS move requested or warranted, the unit should send all pertinent data on the soldier via RETAIN to HRC-Alexandria (RMD) for
Initiation of separation action is not required for soldiers who, at time of second 3-month review, have more than 18 years of active federal
service but less than 20 years. These soldiers will be required to retire on the last day of the month when retirement eligibility is attained. (AR
601-280, 8-6, b)