Releasing from the CAF is a big deal for everyone, no matter how long they have served or whether the decision is voluntary or compulsory. For most members, it will be a very significant milestone, with life-changing consequences. Yet it does not need to be intimidating or stressful – by becoming informed about options, entitlements, and developing a personalized transition plan, anyone can achieve a successful transition to post-military life. And while medically releasing members may have a more complicated plan, spread out over several years, they will receive additional assistance in developing their personalized Integrated Transition Plan (ITP).
The release process, part of your transition plan, w ill include several discussions with a Release Administrator at your local release section. During these release consultations, you will go through the necessary steps to terminate your employment in the CAF; however, they will also include reminders of the concurrent activity that needs to occur as you proceed through the process. This will include tasks such as out-clearances from your Unit/Base/Wing, medical and dental appointments, and applying for benefits and services that will provide essential support to you and your family in your post military life.
Your professional and experienced Release Administrator will guide you through the release process and is available to answer questions. However, there is a lot for you to do personally to prepare for this significant transition. Some elements of the release process that could help you to prepare for your release are available in the transition checklist in Annex A.
Release, from the CAF, is either:
- Compulsory Release
- can be the result of a basic training failure, non-compliance with Universality of Service (medical), and/or disciplinary issues; and
- is initiated when the Release Authority (see QR&O Chapter 15), on behalf of the CAF, issues a message specifying the Release Item and Release Date for a member.
- Voluntary Release
- is initiated by the member, as a request to the CoC, and constrained by the member’s individual terms of service/service obligations; and
- is initiated when the member either submits a memorandum to their CoC or completes a release application electronically at the online Release Application portal (available only on DWAN for Regular Force).
The release process is standardized across the CAF to ensure you receive a similar experience regardless of component or place of employment. For some members, face-to-face consultations with a Release Administrator will not be convenient but the consultation check-list (see Annex B) will be exactly the same, even though the engagement may occur virtually.
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