How to Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps)

This is a guide intended to help Marines separate from Active duty Marine Corps to a civilian. It is specifically written for Marines who are EAS-ing out of Okinawa.


  1. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 1
    See your Unit Transition Counselor. They will be able to sign you up for the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS). You will need to complete a lot of work before attending the seminar, including a written budget, webinars, Verification of Military Experience & Training (VMET), DD Form 2586, DD Form 2648 to be signed by your Unit Transition Counselor for the class. Do this Twelve months out from starting terminal leave or EAS.
  2. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 2
    Utilize Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS). With the Veteran's Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act of 2011, it is now the Law that every transitioning military member attend this training prior to separating active duty. It must be done no later than six months prior to EAS, or commencement of terminal leave. The class is a how-to for adjusting to aspects of civilian life. It teaches service members valuable skills like job hunting, resume writing, interviewing, finding the right college, using Post 9-11 G.I. Bill benefits and other useful information. You are not allowed to miss any portion of the five day class. Any missed sections will need to be repeated at a later date, possibly disrupting your flight window. You will need to complete all of the pre-work (webinars, DD Form 2586, DD Form 2648 prior to attending, this will be stamped "Complete", after you have met all of the requirements of the seminar and you will need to return the original to your Unit Transition Counselor.
  3. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 3
    Use your Transfer Data Sheet (TDS). You get this from S-1 or IPAC separations section. Start this at six months out.
    • Inside the TDS are ten (10) pages that must be filled out completely. If the page does not apply to you, draw a diagonal line through the page and write N/A, similar to a log book.
    • The TDS is also where you request terminal leave and flight window. To calculate how much terminal leave you can take, add current leave to leave accruable (2.5 per month) and count backward from your EAS. Do not count half days, they will reimburse you for those.
    • Per the order you must be at SEPS ten (10) business day prior your separation date, however, honorable discharge Marines are typically separated in three (3) business days. Your flight date may be pushed right by IPAC to reflect this. Marines from overseas can be separated immediately if they have less than 90 days on contract. If you are not taking terminal leave, refer to the dates on your orders or fifteen (15) days to the left of your EAS if you do not have them yet.
  4. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 4
    Find out your flight window. Your flight window is just a suggestion to IPAC. They have a chart to figure out when you need to fly. Request your ten day flight window ten days left (minus) from your terminal leave date. Your chain of command up to your CO need to sign this, use a routing sheet and give it to you SNCO. Make a copy when done.
  5. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 5
    Get a Final Physical. This is a multi-part step. It can also be complete to earlier than six (6) months from you EAS/Terminal leave date. Fill out DDFORM 2808 and 2807, ask your Corpsman if you need help or can't find them.
    1. Schedule optometry, audiology, dental and a blood draw, bring both DD forms to the appointments to be signed. Make sure you get the print off of each exam.
    2. Schedule a physical exam with your IDC, bring both DDFORMs. He will review all your paperwork afterword and place it in your medical record.
    3. Photocopy everything including your medical record. Your copied medical/dental record must be certified by your Corpsman.
      • A signed transfer data sheet, web orders, completed final physical and signed DD Form 2648 are required to get a flight out of Okinawa (or other overseas location). Turn them in to IPAC PCS/Separations section. They typically take two to three weeks to schedule your flight date, but can take much longer.
  6. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 6
    Get a checkout sheet and make your rounds. Do not procrastinate this step. You need to have a complete checkout sheet to pick up your tickets from IPAC. You will receive your SRB at the same time, photocopy it completely.
  7. Image titled Separate from Active Duty (Marine Corps) Step 7
    Fly out on your scheduled date, bring all paperwork with you. Arrive at separations platoon, where they will type your DD214, give you terminal leave and organize your final payment.


  • Timeline. It is better to be ahead of the game than lagging behind. Do everything in a timely fashion think about what you need to do. No one will do it for you! Ask questions, make things happen!
  • If you contributed to the TSP, request your account number then your web password to access you account. It can be transferred tax free to a 401(k) or IRA. Alternatively the balance can be withdrawn but taxes must be paid. Visit for the details.
  • Paperwork. Everything you receive needs to be copied and stored in a binder. This will be very useful if IPAC (or you) loses your package and it needs to be resubmitted. Also print out your LESs from MOL and W2's from MyPay.

Sources and Citations

  • MCO P1900.16F (Separations/Retirement Manual)
  • Information packet from Separations Company

Article Info

Categories: Careers in the Military