Officer Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) Guide

ADSO time

ADSO time must be finished before you can voluntarily separate.

The dreaded ADSO. This is normally not a problem until you decide it is time for you and the big green machine to separate ways because you must finish any ADSO time before you can voluntarily separate. Generally speaking ADSO is added for schools, promotions, and PCSs but there are also some interesting ways that you can accrue additional time for up to 6 years or more. So before you decide to take that sweet fellowship or scholarship make sure you know if the ADSO is worth it because those can exceed 6 or more years of extra time in the Army. This is not an exhaustive list of ADSOs, just the most common. For the full regulation, please refer to AR 350–100 Officer Active Duty Service Obligations.

Commissioning ADSOs:

  • If you have an ROTC scholarship, graduate and are selected for active duty you will incur a 4-year ADSO.
  • If you do not have a scholarship for ROTC, graduate and are selected for active duty you will incur a 3-year ADSO.
  • If you attend any United States Military Academy (West Point, Air Force Academy, and that summer camp Naval Academy), and you graduate you will incur a 5-year ADSO.
  • Think you can avoid it by going college option for Officer Candidate School? Well guess again. You will incur a 3-year ADSO.
  • Congratulations, you are a Warrant Officer! And you also have a 6 year ADSO just for being appointed. If you are promoted to the grade of CW3 through CW5 each will incur a 2-year ADSO.


  • You cannot voluntary separate to get out of Afghanistan. Sorry you big sissy. You have to serve your whole tour at any overseas assignment or PCS.
  • If you are PCSing to CONUS from OCONUS, you have to serve a year at your new duty station before separating.

Military Training School ADSOs:

  • Any military schooling over 60 days will incur an ADSO of 3 times the length of schooling (if the school is 3 months long, you incur an ADSO of 9 months). If you fail out of that school, an ADSO will still be added. If you reschedule that school, well now you have an additional ADSO to the original ADSO. Congrats.
  • If you go to Captains Career Course you will immediately incur a military schooling ADSO and an additional PCS ADSO.
  • If you went to an initial entry flight training you will incur a 6-year ADSO.
  • If you are any kind of pilot or IT specialist, be prepared to pay your due to Uncle Sam. He gonna get his for all that training he shelled out for.

Civilian Education ADSOs:

  • If you go to a civilian school and the Army fully or partially funds that course, you will incur 3 times the school time for ADSO if the course is over 60 days.
  • If you accept an Army scholarship or fellowship, you will owe 3 times the amount or schooling in days. This can exceed a 6 year obligation.
  • If you accept tuition assistance, 2 year ADSO.



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