I've heard about not sending in a picture at all but...

One way to get the job done

I’ve heard about not sending in a picture at all but…

FOS stands for “Failure of Selection”.  After going twice to a promotion board and getting passed over (not selected), you will be in a FOSed status.  For US Naval Officers, this usually occurs at their second O-4 board around 9 years from their commissioning date.  As referred to on the Options page, this is actually advantageous in a number of different ways.  This page will go over some general “good to knows” about the selection process, FOSs, and some of its unique advantages over resignation. 

typeset 2

Making sense of MILPERSMAN Jargon

“1st day of the seventh month following approval of a promotion board’s results”  – Basically you have 6 months to get your affairs in order and get out of the Navy following the CNO stamping the promotion boards findings.  Usually the O-4 board results are sent out in AUG, so this makes 01 MAR the typical deadline.  We will refer to this as D-Day (Departure). For more in-depth on the crazy process these boards go through, go here.  Also, you can leave as soon as you want, you don’t have to stay till your D-Day.

“FY-XX Board” – XX is the fiscal year that these LTs will start to put on O-4.  The board takes place in May XX-1 and the results come out around Aug.  Then a couple of months later, in OCT of XX-1 (OCT is the beginning of the government’s fiscal year) the first of the group puts on O-4.

To make sense of all of this, here is an example of the timeline for the FY-16 board:

board sked chart

$$$ CAUTION $$$ 

Once you are FOS’ed once, you will not be able to initiate any bonus money (SWO DEPT Head bonus, Aviation DEPT head bonus, ETC).  You can sign up, but won’t get the money unless you are picked up on the next board.  However, if you sign up for the bonus before the board results are out, then you keep getting the money until you are FOS’ed the second time.  This results in getting 2 bonus payments which you do not have to pay back.  However, don’t sign up for the bonus unless you want to stay in.  Crazy things happen on boards!


price is right

So… you went to two boards and were a “Failure” both times.  Congratulations, you win!  Let’s tell them what they’ve won Johnny!

  1. CASH!!!!   You will get Involuntary Separation Pay.  To calculate your payment go here.  To get your Involuntary Separation pay, you have to agree to go into the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve).  What is the IRR? 
  2. House/Job Hunting leave – Governed by MILPERSMAN 1320-220. CONUS members will get 10 days for House and Job hunting.  These days can be broken up any way you want, but you cannot combine the days with special lib or weekend liberty however you can combine them with leave.  If you are OCONUS you get 10 days plus an additional 10 days IF you make a round trip home and back.  These are no cost orders, meaning you will not be paid Per Diem or for lodging, however, if you can work a TAD trip back to the states, you can use them in conjunction with paid TAD travel or your separation travel.  Also, you and your spouse can use Space-A travel roundtrip if you are stationed OCONUS. 
  3. Household Goods Move – Since you are getting Involuntarily Separated, you get to have a Home of Selection (HOS) vice a Home of Record (HOR) move. This means you get to choose any place in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, and the military will pay to move your HHGs there. See JTR 5318 for details.  Also, per JTR para 5318C and 5230, you get 1 year Non-Temporary Storage.
  4. Continued Tricare – 180 days of TAMP, or Transitional Assistance Management Program (Horrible Acronym, I know!). Get a copy of the TAMP brochure here.
  5. Continued SGLI – Your eligibility for SGLI will continue for 120 days. You can convert to VGLI at any time during those 120 days. 
  6. Continued NEX/Commissary – You will be able to go to the NEX and Commissary for 2 years after your involuntary Separation.
  7. State Unemployment – Hey! You paid into it. Check out your state’s details here.
For all you dirty dirty priors out there, the following information should be taken into account when facing a 2x FOS: 

If you happen have been in as long as this guy...

For all you dirty dirty priors out there, the following information should be taken into account when facing a 2x FOS: 

18+ years at D-Day


Active duty officers in the grades of Lieutenant Commander and below who have not been selected for promotion 2 or more times, and are within  two years of qualifying for retirement on the first day of the seventh month following approval of a promotion board’s results, will be retained until retirement eligible.  This is known as “Sanctuary”.

16- 18 years at D-Day

Reversion AKA Resign and Re-Enlist  

Although it might be sound a bit backwards, it could make financial sense.  This is one you’re really going to have to think about.  Make sure you talk to someone at PERS about your specific case before pulling the trigger. PERS-834F can be reached at 901-874-2085/2095. For further information on eligibility requirements for officer reversion please read the CNO Policy Memo from Dec 1990

7 Benefits to Getting FOS'ed by the Navy

Watch our YouTube Video on getting FOS’ed by clicking play!


  1. Mike
    June 12, 2019 @ 6:31 pm

    My situation:

    LCDR 15 years
    Enlisted 4 years (19 total active)
    2X FOS
    My third look results are coming soon. If I FOS again, will I be required to retire as soon as I’m eligible (combined commissioned and enlisted years), or do I have the option to keep going until I hit 20 total officer years?


      June 13, 2019 @ 1:18 am


      From all my reading and anecdotally from friends, you will have to retire on your 20 year + 1 day total active duty time. Please reply back if you find out anything different though.



  2. kathleen
    May 30, 2019 @ 7:22 pm

    – what about an 0-5 – being separated due to age – has 18 years full time active duty – no break in service
    – no fail to select for promotion – selected first time eligible at each rank
    – no disciplinary actions on record
    – no DUI’s
    – no physical fitness failures
    Is she / he eligible for sanctuary retirement and what is the process?


      May 30, 2019 @ 7:59 pm


      Thanks for the question. That’s a surprising situation. I’m not sure which branch you are in, but if you’re in the Navy, I’m not certain that the sactuary rules apply to age waivers. It looks like this is written into the US code (, and unless you’re a medical/dental officer, it doesnt even look like it’s waiverable. I would go to your detailer and contact PERS 835 to get the latest details ( They will be able to help you more, but I’m worried they might not have good news for you.

      If you are being forced out, it sucks that you are finding this out now at the end of your career. Someone should have told you before that you would not be able to retire.

      Please keep me updated about what they tell you so that others in your situation know what to do.


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