AGR Removal Process

AGR Removal Process

June 23, 2024

AGR Removal Process

This Article addresses the process to remove a National Guard Soldier/Officer from Full Time National National Guard Duty Title 32 Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program. The AGR removal process is governed by NGR 600-5, available at this link. 

Before any Soldier/Officer can be removed, he/she must be provided with the specific reasons for the proposed removal and all supporting documentation.  The Soldier/Officer in question then has the right to consult with counsel and submit a written response within 30 days.  The AGR Removal Process can be for any number of reasons, but the regulation specifically cites substandard performance of duty, withdrawal of Federal Recognition, or "single acts of misconduct; including, but not limited to, those involving violence, hostile work environment, integrity, or moral turpitude."  Any Soldier/Officer facing the AGR Removal Process will be afforded the opportunity to request voluntary release instead of involuntary release. 

After a Soldier/Officer facing the AGR Removal Process submits a written rebuttal, the complete packet, including said rebuttal, is forwarded to the HRO/AGR Manager and then to the TAG for a final decision. If the Soldier/Officer in question has reached 18 but less then 20 years of qualifying active serve, the Secretary of the Army is the final separation authority (as opposed to the TAG). 

The following factors are required to be considered during the AGR Removal Process:

(a) The seriousness of the events or conditions that form the basis for initiation of release proceedings, and the effect of the Soldier’s continued retention on military discipline, good order, and morale; 
(b) The likelihood that the events or conditions will continue or reoccur;
(c) Whether the actions of the Soldier resulted or are likely to result in an adverse impact on accomplishment of unit missions;
(d) The Soldier’s ability to perform FTNGD in a satisfactory manner;
(e) The Soldier’s potential for further military service;
(f) The Soldier’s military service. This includes past contributions to the military, assignments, awards and decorations, evaluations, ratings, letters of reprimand or admonition, counseling records, records of nonjudicial punishment, records of involvement with civilian authorities; and any other matters deemed relevant by the separation authority;
(g) The possibility that reassigning the AGR Soldier will improve the Soldier’s performance;

If a Soldier/Officer is ultimately separated from the AGR program, that does NOT mean that he/she is separated from the Army completely.  Additional due process is afforded to any such Soldier/Officer before such a separation action can occur. See AR 135-178 and/or NGR 600-200 (enlisted) and AR 135-175 and/or NGR 635-101 (officers). 

Any Soldier/Officer facing the AGR Removal Process can only respond in writing and is not afforded any personal appearances in front of a Board or even the Separation Authority.  Therefore, an effective and complete rebuttal is necessary.  An effective and complete rebuttal should include the accused's version of what happened, supported by outside evidence (i.e. additional factual statements, text messages, emails, pictures, videos, character letters, prior evaluations/awards/certificates, and more). While Trial Defense Services (TDS) is available to help, he/she may not be co-located with the individual in question and will likely not provide the time and attention needed to submit a complete rebuttal. Typically TDS provides general advice and a template, and offers to review whatever the Soldier/Officer facing the AGR Removal Process puts together.  For many reasons, this is ill-advised.  Any Soldier/Officer in this situation needs to be represented by a lawyer who is going to review the packet in depth, discuss all of the evidence with the accused, spend time to collect additional evidence, and draft the response on behalf of the accused.  Civilian Lawyers can be retained by any Soldier/Officer facing the AGR Removal Process, which gives the accused the ability to be represented by a lawyer with a proven track record of success and one who is highly rated by former clients.

This Article was written by Attorney Matthew Barry.

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