How to put together an army IRR package

How to put together an army IRR package

Package Requirements What you should include in your IRR Package:

1. IRR Package Checklist Based on Figure B-59 of USAR Pamphlet 600-5.

2. DA Form 4561, Request for Assignment of Spare Component or Attachment. Completely filled out and signed by the Soldier and Commander.

3. Your statement/cover letter and supporting documentation. This is based on the reasons listed in AR 140-10.

4. Chain of command recommendation.

5. A compelling personal reason. If the specific reason is not listed in AR 140-10, it requires an exception to the rules from your OFTS.

6. Statement of Counseling (DA Form 4856). It’s from the commander to the soldier, and it’s face-to-face. Do you get a bonus? This advisory statement should alert you to the termination or refund of the bonus.

7. Statement of Counseling (DA Form 4856). From the soldier’s serving professional advisor to the soldier; it’s also face to face.

Valid reasons for transfer from the Troop Program Unit (TPU) to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR):

As a TPU soldier, you can forward an IRR transfer packet up the chain of command. There is no guarantee that this package will be approved or that you will be transferred to IRR.

If you want to improve your chances of transferring from TPU to IRR, see the valid reasons listed in AR 140 -10, Chapter 4, Paragraph 9. If you have sufficient documents and facts to support one or more of these reasons, include them in your IRR package. This will help you make your case for transferring to IRR.

Labor conflict:

Let’s say your employer suddenly can’t release you from your work schedule so you can train… because your absence would adversely affect your employer’s work. It wasn’t a problem before. Your employer let you go for a weekend and was able to continue your work. When they couldn’t release you, you were able to reschedule.

Now? Your employer needs you on the days you need to train so that the company can continue its mission. Terms have changed since you started working for this employer.

Or you are at a company that is restructuring and eliminating your job. They move you to another part of the company. In this new job, you are on call to go to different parts of the country and your schedule is arbitrary. You cannot do extended learning. Your employer cannot spare you any reserve training without negatively affecting the company’s operations.

These are just two examples, out of many, of how your job can become something that makes it difficult for you to meet TPU requirements.

In your soldier justification letter, provide an objective picture of how your work schedule makes it impractical to continue with TPU. Include statements from your employer to support this rationale.

Address change:

You accept a new job in your company. It will pay you more, it’s something you enjoy doing, and it’s an advancement in your civilian career. the catch? You have to go somewhere that is two days away from the nearest Army Reserve Center. Your employer cannot give you enough time to get to and from the nearest Army Reserve.

In this scenario, you are a TPU soldier who cannot train with the Army Reserve.

Or you get a promotion that sends you overseas. Your workplace is a long flight from the nearest Army Reserve Center.

For something like this, you will be able to send a transfer package to the IRR. In your Soldier Excuse Statement, include employment orders, employment promotion documents, a new job description, an objective picture that details your new job, your new residence, etc.

Respectful personal reasons:

This is sort of a “catch-all” to cover other causes not specifically covered in AR 140-10.

What you think is a very good reason to transfer may not be what the Army thinks it is. You also need to see this from your unit’s perspective.

You ask them to release you when they need you in the unit during training and summer training. They have no guarantee that they will get a replacement soldier. You need to convince them to “sign up” to your IRR package.

Let’s say you’re “burned out” from exercise. You just want to “sit” in the IRR until the “burn” phase is over. In the eyes of your unit, this is a subjective reason. They could work with you where you would not need to submit an IRR transfer package.

In this example, your soldier cover letter should provide an accurate, objective picture of how your Army Reserve duties contribute to your burnout. You will need letters from your medical professionals to support your arguments.

Whatever personal reason you choose, make sure you can provide an objective picture. Make sure you can provide factual information from subject matter experts involved in your situation.

You also want to prove that there is no other way to “solve” your current problem than to transfer to IRR. Before doing this, you should exhaust the means to resolve this with resources that your unit can refer you to.

You have completed the TPU portion of your contract, now you are ready to move to the IRR:

At the time of writing, anyone who joins the military for the first time signs an eight-year contract. When a participant first signs a 6-year contract for the Army Reserve, they do not sign up for only 6 years. When those 6 years are up, that soldier has an additional 2 years of commitment. They can request transfer to IRR after their TPU commitment.

This concept applies even if the TPU portion of the contract was 3, 4, or 5 years.

Once the TPU part of the contract is over, they can request a transfer to the IRR. They must continue drilling with the rig until they receive their IRR orders.

Surviving son or daughter:

You’re in the reserves and pursuing your civilian career. Two years later, your last remaining sibling dies. You are now the only surviving child of your parents. This is an unpleasant event, but one that gives you the opportunity to transfer from TPU to IRR.

When writing your military excuse letter, include documentation proving that you are now the last/only surviving child of your parents.

Addiction or hardship makes TPU participation impractical:

Let’s say your family situation changes and you need to provide extra care and support to one of your family members. This family member is someone from your dependents list. You don’t have an alternative care plan…no one else can afford to give up a lot of their time and sacrifice their work to help you.

This dependent family member needs your presence. Without you, this family member’s well-being is negatively affected.

Two examples of this category are an “assisted living” situation and a “direct support provider” situation. In these scenarios, a family member is unable to care for themselves. The family member needs the Soldier’s attention, supervision, and direct support to perform essential functions.

Statements from doctors, social workers, case managers and other relevant people should be included in this package. Their statement should focus on the nature of the difficulties associated with addiction and the need to be constantly available.


If you are pregnant, you may be able to switch to IRR. You must be MOS qualified and cannot be within 3 months of ETS.

Non-selection for retention:

This affects TPU soldiers who have received their “official notice of eligibility to retire with pay at age 60.” This is the “20-year letter”. As a rule, these soldiers are subject to a Quality Retention Board.

Prior to the convening of this board, the affected soldier receives a “pre-board” packet. The Soldier is given several options. If the board were to remove the Soldier from the TPU, which control group would the Soldier want to transfer to?

The Soldier may elect to be transferred to the Retired Reserve or the IRR. If the quality review board decides to remove the Soldier from the TPU, orders will be generated to transfer the Soldier to the control group selected by the Soldier.

This is also applicable to TPU Soldiers subjected to the actions of other types of restraining boards. In this situation, the soldier may have the option to transfer to the IRR.

Enrollment in ROTC without scholarship:

A “non-scholarship” ROTC program is one that offers a student the chance to participate in an ROTC program without financial benefit. These students do not receive a monthly stipend. These students pay their own tuition, fees and other expenses.

Soldiers who are accepted into this type of ROTC program may submit an IRR packet.

Merchant Marine Academy:

If you are accepted to the Merchant Marine Academy, you can submit a transfer packet to the IRR.

Army Regulation 140-10:

For details on each of these categories and how to apply under them, read Army Regulation 140 -10, Appointments, Attachments, Details, and Transfers.

Counseling Statements from the Commanding Officer and the Service Career Counselor:

Did you receive a bonus for joining your current TPU contract? If your IRR transfer is approved, you may lose the balance of your bonus. Depending on your bonus arrangement, you may have to pay back the portion of your bonus that you have received.

If you are receiving a bonus, you must be informed of this fact when you submit your IRR package.

This advisory statement should also inform you of your IRR responsibilities. The commander will include any information that is important to you. This includes the fact that you must continue drilling with the rig until you receive orders to transfer to the IRR.

The career counselor will inform you of the options available to you in the IRR, including reclassification opportunities and transfer back to the TPU when personal circumstances favor such a transfer.

Tips for IRR Transfer Packages:

1. Do you have your original contract with IRR time following your TPU time? By regulation, you should not send your IRR package until you have fulfilled your TPU obligation. You can submit your IRR transfer package the day after your “TPU ETS” date.

2. After submitting your IRR package, you must train with your unit until you receive orders transferring you to the IRR.

Don’t just obey what someone in your unit says. Some soldiers have stopped drilling after they “completed” their “TPU years” because they thought they were automatically in the IRR. That was not true, they had to report for training.

3. Track your package. If HRC does not receive your package, it may extend your TPU status until the end of your military service obligation. In this case, you will have to drill until your 8 years are up.

4. If you have outstanding medical issues, you must resolve those issues before you can transfer to the IRR.

5. IRR Soldiers still have duties and point requirements. However, you can consider active standby reserves instead of IRR if you want to temporarily “get away” from TPU.

In the IRR, you must get at least 50 points per year of retirement.

There is no requirement to get at least 50 points in the active standby reserves. You maintain your military affiliation, but are generally not required to maintain a good year. Active standby reserves are what most people assume is IRR.

Additional references:

1. AR 140-10; provides details of the above categories as justification for transfer of IRR.

2. AR G1 policy letters.

3. USAR Pamphlet 600-5.

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