DA 31 (or simply a DA) is an official military document that grants you the legal authority to legally exit the United States military. This type of leave is typically used by U.S. Army soldiers when requesting a temporary leave, and emergency leave, or requested extended duty travel within the continental United States. As with other types of military documentation, it is always best to speak to a qualified Military Lawyer before applying for any type of leave. This legal advice can also help guide you through the entire process of filing your correct forms and preparing all necessary paperwork in order to avoid being disqualified from leaving the military for any reason.
The basic form for a DA 31 fillable form states the exact date on which you will be departing from your current position. On this date, you will be turning in your Identification Information (PIN) and Certificate of Release (COBRA). Your COBRA number is one that you will need to appear in a Federal Office of Personnel Data Retrieval (FSOTR). Your Identification information will be used to ensure that the proper records are updated at the end of your term of service. If your departure date falls outside of the normal time frame for reporting to FOTR, it will be reported to the Commanding Officer, wherever you are currently serving.
Another important piece of information included in the DA 31 form is your physical address. It will state where you were assigned to permanent duty, including the location, whether you were stationed at a forward location or inside the continental United States. When completing this section of the form it is important to make sure you have a copy of your ID available for verification purposes.
The next section of the DA 31 form requires your primary duty assignment. It will list either the name of the commanding officer (who is responsible for overseeing your temporary leave) or his/her title. The latter is usually followed by” commanding general” followed by the word “instructed” or “under the orders and direction of”. This portion of the form will typically ask you for your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and probably where you would like to be forwarded to when leaving. You will also be required to include your latest paycheck if you have not received one since joining up.
The last section of the DA 31 form asks for leave-related information. It will generally cover your reason for leaving, the date you plan on leaving, what pay you will be receiving while away from your duty assignment, and when you plan to be back. You will also need to indicate if you plan to commute or if you will be using a vehicle. If you are using a vehicle, you will need to indicate your name and a complete address for FOTR reporting.
The last section of the DA 31 form expects you to sign it after indicating what you expect to accomplish while on temporary leave. If you intend to return to active duty, you will be required to sign the final section. The final section should include your intentions as well as a statement confirming that you have received a copy of the qualified retirement package. Make sure that you read the terms and conditions before signing off on the DA 31 form. This will help ensure that you are well-informed of what the benefits are and that you understand them.