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Tour Lengths

It is important that you be aware of tour length requirements to ensure you are setting yourself up for success EARLY in your career. At the junior officer level, tour lengths are important because they impact arrival time to Department Head School (7 ½ YCS point).


The following summarizes the tour length requirements for various Sea and Shore Duty options (see the MILPERSMAN 1301-108 for additional details). These minimum tour length requirements are INDEPENDENT of your Minimum Service Requirement (MSR), which will vary between 3-5 years, depending on your commissioning source.


Retainability (also known as Minimum Time on Station) is the minimum obligated service (OBLISERV) an officer must have to qualify for issuance of cost permanent change of station (PCS) orders.  Cost PCS orders cannot be issued unless retainability is met.




CONUS Shore or Sea

CONUS Shore Duty

2 Years


CONUS Sea Duty

1 Year


OVERSEAS Sea or Shore Duty

DOD Area Tour


CONUS Sea or Shore Duty

1 Year

United States Naval Reserve (USNR) Officers:
Retainability for United States Naval Reserve (USNR) Officers is equal to the MSR or obligation incurred as a result of accepting orders.  The obligation incurred upon approval of a voluntary extension of active duty of definite duration is equal to the time requested by the member.

If a resignation request is not received within six months of an Officer’s PRD, it will be construed as an Officer’s request to be retained beyond MSR.  Officers can be issued orders and will have retainability for not less than the minimum tour for separation at the next duty station.

United States Navy (USN) Officers:
Retainability for USN Officers is limited by statute, which defines maximum service, and by resignation/retirement requests.

             (a) Statutorily required separation cannot be waived unless the officer is continued on active duty by a continuation/administrative retention board; in such cases, retainability must be satisfied in full prior to issuance of cost PCS orders.

             (b) If a resignation request is not received within six months of an Officer’s PRD, that individual will become eligible for PCS orders and, once notified of orders, committed to fulfill the associated tour-length requirement.


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