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Can you appeal a denied request for delay or exemption from duty?

Individuals that want to serve their country but have other personal circumstances, such as family or work obligations, might opt for the Reserves or the Army National Guard. The enlistment and training schedule may only involve weekends and a few weeks during the year.

Although the National Guard’s website states that combat is possible, the commitment often involves only local matters. Yet that all changed with the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, which ordered National Guard members and reservists to perform involuntary extended active duty.

Members in this situation should remember that they might have options, such as applying for a delay or exemption. The specific procedures depend upon the particular military department. The Delay and Exemption Board is available to Army reservists, for example. National Guard members may apply through their chain-of-command.

As with many other military proceedings, our law firm recommends that a member consult with an attorney before submitting his or her application for delay or exemption. Our experience has given us a context for understanding what the Board will be looking for. Examples of grounds that have been approved in the past include severe personal hardship, a medical condition preventing mobilization and deployment, or substantial economic hardship.

Notably, even an initial denial might not be the final word. Appeals are generally available. Ideally, the initial application will have included every ground in support of the request, possibly supported by evidence such as medical tests. Although the application may seem easy to complete on your own, a lawyer can ensure that the strongest possible request is submitted.

Related Page: “Delay and Exemption Boards,” copyright 2016, Law Offices of David P. Sheldon

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