Military separation codes are located on Form DD 214.
These codes provide an explanation as to why an individual left the military.
Therefore, military separation codes exist for good and bad reasons.
Are you trying to determine what a SPN code means?
Discover 300+ military separation codes and learn their meaning.
Related Article – 6 Ways To Get Out Of The Military Early
Table of Contents
Military Separation Codes Explained
Military separation codes (also known as SPN Codes) explain why someone was discharged from the military.
Generally, SPN codes only consist of a few letters, therefore it’s difficult to determine what they actually mean.
Nonetheless, you can find the meanings behind hundreds of military separation codes.
Military separation codes are located in Box 26 of the long-form version of Form DD 214.
Form DD 214 are the discharge papers of a veteran which contain crucial information about the individual, including reason for leaving service.
As a result, employers usually access this information during the hiring process.
Moreover, Form DD 214 is also utilized to determine eligibility for military benefits, like medical.
Unfortunately, the Department of Defense (DoD) no longer provides an explanation for each SPN code.
Be that as it may, we’ve put together a list of the numerous military separation codes and their meanings (below).
Please note that military separation codes are subject to change.
Moreover, many military separation codes are used by multiple service branches.
Thus, you may discover a variety of SPN codes for the same type of discharge.
Related Article – 8 Types Of Military Discharge
Air Force Military Separation Codes
The known U.S. Air Force military separation codes:
JBB – Involuntary Discharge
Involuntary discharge because veteran has reached age maximum.
JDR – Strength Reduction
The individual was let go due to reduced Air Force enrollment.
It applies to a first-term airman.
JEH / JEM – Expeditious Discharge
The discharge was expedited for unknown reasons.
JFL1 – Physical Disability
Unfortunately, a physical disability caused this type of discharge.
The discharge also included severance pay.
JFL2 – Physical Disability, Existed Prior to Service
Sadly, a physical disability existed prior to service that was also aggravated / made worse during service.
The veteran is also entitled to severance pay.
JG7 – USAF Trainee Discharge
The recruit was discharged during training.
JGC1 – Failure of Selection for Promotion
The service person failed to get selected for a promotion to a higher USAF rank.
JGH – Army Expeditious Discharge
Another military separation code for a type of expedited discharge.
JHJ – USAF Unsuitability
Unfortunately, the service person was unsuitable for service.
NOTE: The military separation code JHJ is also used in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps.
L68 – Involuntary Release, Non-Selection USAF Reserve
The recruit was not selected for permanent position with USAF Reserve.
LBM – Short Length of Time Remaining After Overseas Duty
There are occasions where military personnel are discharged because not much time remains after being overseas.
NOTE: The military separation code is also used in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
LDP – Non-Fulfillment of Service Contract
The service person failed to meet guidelines / requirements of service agreement.
Please note, there are multiple types of military separation codes for this meaning:
- LDP6: Convenience of the government, with breach of contract payment.
- LDP7: With breach of contract and readjustment payment.
- LDP8: Failure of selection for promotion, with breach of contract payment.
- LDP9: Request for extension of active duty disapproved, with breach of contract and reajdustment payment.
- LDPA: Failure of selection for promotion, with breach of contract and readjustment payment.
- LDPB: Convenience of the government, with readjustment payment.
- LDPC: With readjustment payment.
- LDPD: Termination of extended active duty, with breach of contract payment.
LFR – Revert to Inactive Status, Retired
The service member reverted back to inactive status after deciding to retire at the age of 60.
There is no severance disability pay.
LGB – Involuntary Release
An involuntary release in the U.S. Air Force can mean several things:
- LGB: Failed permanent promotion or removed from list.
- LGC: Twice failed temporary position.
- LGJ: Disapproved request for extension of tour.
LGJ – Request for Extension of Service Denied
There are 2 types of explanations for this military separation code:
- LGJ1: Denied upon initial EAS without readjustment pay / not selected for retention.
- LGJ2: Denied upon extended EAS without readjustment pay / not selected for retention.
MBK – Completion of Active Duty Service Commitment
The airman successfully completed their active duty service commitment.
It can also imply an expiration of term of service.
MBN – Release from Active Duty, Completion Successful
The military separation code is another representation of a successful duty.
MEC – Completed Extended Enlistment
The airman finished an extended enlistment that went beyond initial commitment.
RFJ1 – Permanent Disability Retired List
The service member has a permanent disability and was subsequently discharged.
RFK1 – Temporary Disability Retired List
The service person is on the temporary disability list.
SBB – Mandatory Retirement, Maximum Age
The service member was required to retire because of age.
SBC – Mandatory Retirement, Maximum Years of Service
Meanwhile, this military separation code means the airman had to retire because of maximum years of service in USAF.
SFJ – Permanent Disability Retirement
The service member is retired because of a permanent disability.
SFK – Place on Temporary Disability Retired List
Another military separation code which means the veteran is placed on the temporary disability retired list.
SGB – Retired on Established Date
The airman retired on an established date after not being selected for a permanent promotion.
It can also be a representation for “retained for retirement non-selection permanent promotion.”
VFJ – Revert to Retired List with Permanent Disability
The veteran reverted to retired list because of a permanent disability.
VFK – Revert to Retired List & Placed on Temporary Disability
Meanwhile, this SPN code means the veteran reverted to retired list after being placed on temporary disability retired list.
Related Article – Military Medical Separation & Retirement
U.S. Army Military Separation Codes
The United States Army also has its own exclusive list of military separation codes:
JET / JNF – Army Trainee Discharge
The military separation codes represent that a recruit was discharged during training.
Also, note the military separation codes “LLM” and “LNF” have been used for the same meaning in the U.S. Army.
JFG – Army Discharge by Competent Authority with Board Action
There are several explanations for this type of military separation code.
For example, it could imply the discharge was related to failing to meet an entrance physical requirement.
Or, it could also indicate the discharge was because of a failure to resign.
NOTE: The U.S. Navy and Air Force also use this same military separation code.
JG7 – Army Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications for Retention
There are minimum requirements for each rank and specialty in the Army.
Therefore, failing to meet these qualification is reason for dismissal.
NOTE: The military separation code is also utilized by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
JKF – Army AWOL, Desertion
Desertion (or, “going AWOL”) is a dishonorable discharge in the U.S. Army.
KMN – Army Expeditious Discharge
The soldier was discharged faster than normal yet for an unknown reason.
MGR – Revert to Regular Army Warrant Officer Status
The service member opted to return to regular Warrant Officer status.
Therefore, the soldier was an officer, beforehand.
Marine Corps Military Separation Codes
The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) also features military separation codes.
These help provide an explanation regarding the military discharge.
H21 / H51 – Death, Non-Battle
Sadly, the Marine perished in duty in a non-battle incident.
Please note there are several other military separation codes which mean a Marine died while serving the country in a non-battle accident:
- H21 – H23
- H25 – H59
H61 / H1169 – Death, Battle Casualty
The military separation code documents the Marine as a battle casualty.
JEM / JDT / KGF – Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications for Retention
The Marine Corps is a demanding service branch.
Therefore, failing to meet the minimum qualifications for retention is indicated by 3 different military separation codes.
JFBI – Physical Disability Existed Prior to Entry
The USMC military separation code notes the Marine had a physical disability which existed prior to enlistment.
However, the disability was revealed during processing and thus waived by AFEES, or higher headquarters.
JFC1 – Erroneous Enlistment
The Marine entered service incorrectly.
The error is related to a medical board determining that the Marine failed to meet required physical standards.
Unfortunately, the Marine was not aware of the defect yet waived by AFEES.
JFG – USMC Other, for the Good of the Service
There are several explanations for this type of military separation code.
In general, the discharge was for the good of the service.
JFG(9) – USMC Trainee Discharge
The recruit was discharged during USMC training.
JFG(B) – USMC Expeditious Discharge
The Marine was expeditiously discharged from service.
JFM1 / JFM2 / JFM3 – Physical Disability Existed Prior to Service
Unfortunately, a physical disability existed prior to service.
However, the disability was unknown by the Marine yet waived by AFEES, nonetheless.
Meanwhile, JFM3 implies that the physical disability existed prior to entry for any reason not falling with the purview of JFM1 and JFM2.
JFN1 / JFR1 – Physical Disability Military Separation Codes
There are multiple explanations for this type of discharge:
- JFN1: Determined by a medical board that existed prior to entry. The disability was revealed by Marine during enlistment processing and waived by AFEES.
- JFN2: Determined by a medical board that existed prior to entry. The disability was unknown by Marine yet detected and waived by AFELS.
- JFN3: Determined by a medical board that existed prior to entry. It’s for any reason not falling with the purview of JFN1 or JFN2.
- JFR1: The disability was not aggravated by the service and is without severance pay.
JFV1 – Involuntary Discharge Due to Physical Condition
The Marine was discharged because of a physical condition which is not disabling.
It was an involuntary military discharge.
JFV5 – Medical Board Determination of Obesity
Unfortunately, the Marine failed to meet the physical standards of the USMC due to obesity.
JFV6 – Discharge Because of Physical Condition (Non-Disabling)
The Marine was discharged due to a physical condition that is not disabling.
JGH – USMC Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications for Retention
The Marine failed to meet minimum qualifications is also indicated by the military separation code: JG7.
NOTE: The military separation codes also exist in the U.S. Army and Navy.
JHJ – USMC Unsatisfactory Performance
Sadly, the Marine was unsuitable or displayed unsatisfactory performance.
LBM – USMC Short Length of Time Remaining
There are situations where a Marine gets discharged prior to the end of the service commitment.
Usually, it’s because a limited amount of time remains after returning from overseas for an extended period of time.
U.S. Navy Military Separation Codes
The United States Navy is another military branch that determines some of its own military separation codes.
Meanwhile, other types of discharges may fall under “General Military Separation Codes” (see, below).
B70 / B79 – Navy Death, Battle Casualty
The U.S. Navy creates its own military separation codes for deaths.
Therefore, these 2 indicate that the death was a battle casualty.
JBM / JBK – Involuntary Discharge
The involuntary discharge means different things depending on the military separation code.
JBK means the involuntary discharge was at the end of active obligation service.
On the other hand, JBM indicates it was within 3 months of end active obligated service.
JCC – General Demobilization
There are times when the U.S. Navy is required to reduce its enlistment.
Therefore, the sailor may have been discharged for no other reason than the need to downsize the service branch.
JHD – Navy Expeditious Discharge
The Navy also has its own explanation for a discharge which was expedited.
JFL / JFR – Physical Disability
There are several military separation codes to explain the conditions of the physical disability:
- JFL: The sailor is entitled to severance pay because of the physical disability. Please note this military separation code is reserved for Navy officers.
- JFM: The disability existed prior to entry on active duty established by physical evaluation board proceedings. Enlisted member is not entitled to severance pay.
- JFN: The disability existed prior to service as established by medical board. Also, noted entitled to severance pay.
- JFR: The disability existed prior to entry on active duty established by physical evaluation board processing. Also, not entitled to severance pay (enlisted).
JFV – Physical Condition, Non-Disability
The discharge was because of a physical condition which is not classified as a disability.
Nevertheless, it was enough of a hindrance to interfere with performance of duty.
JGB / JGC – Failure to Select for Promotion, Not Eligible for Retirement (Officers)
The sailor was not selected for promotion and also not eligible for retirement.
It only applies to Navy officers.
JGH – Navy Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications for Retention
The Navy also discharges individuals that do not meed minimum qualifications for retention.
JHD – Disqualified from Officer Candidate Training (Physical)
The recruit was dismissed while attending Officer Candidate School because of physical requirements.
JMN – Navy Unsuitability (Reason Unknown)
The Navy defines this military separation code for unsuitability with an unclear reason as to why.
LBB – Involuntary Release, Maximum Age (Officers)
Navy officers that are released because they reach the maximum age.
Thus, they leave the military involuntarily.
LBM – Navy Short Length of Time Remaining Upon Return
Generally, this occurs within the last 3 months of service after returning from a duty.
The military separation code also applies to members of the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps (USMC).
LBC – Involuntary Release, Completion of Maximum Period Service for Grade
The Navy military separation code indicates completion of service due to reaching maximum length for grade / rank.
It only applies to Navy officers.
LBK – Involuntary Discharge at End of Service
The discharge is related to the end of a service commitment yet done so involuntarily.
It only applies to enlisted service members of the U.S. Navy.
LCC – General Demobilization
The Navy also uses this SPN code for reducing the enlistment.
It applies to enlisted service members.
LDM – Strength Adjustment (Officers)
Similar to the previous military separation code yet only applies to Navy officers.
LFN – Physical Disability Existing Prior to Service
The sailor was discharged because of a physical disability which existed prior to service but was established by medical board.
The officer is not entitled to severance pay.
LGB – Failure of Selection for Permanent USN Reserve Promotion (Officers)
Officers that do not get selected for a permanent position in the Navy Reserve are discharged for this reason.
LGJ – Request for Extension of Active Duty Denied (Officers)
The service member requested an extension yet was denied by the Navy.
It only applies to U.S. Navy officers.
SBB – USN Attain Maximum Age, Mandatory Retirement
The maximum age threshold requires sailors to retire by a certain age.
Thus, this military separation code is used for that purpose.
SBC – Attain Maximum Time in Grade / Service, Mandatory Retirement
Another military SPN code which signifies a sailor attained a maximum time limit for a certain grade or service.
It’s applicable to Navy officers.
SFE – Placed on Temporary Disability Retired list (Officers)
The Navy officer was placed on temporary disability.
SFJ – Navy Permanent Disability
Navy sailors that are placed on permanent disability receive this classification.
It is used for Navy enlisted and officers.
SFK – Placed on Temporary Disability Retired List (Enlisted)
It applies to Navy enlisted that are placed on temporary disability.
SGB / SGC – Failure of Selection for Promotion (Officers)
The Navy officer was not selected for promotion and therefore discharged.
Related Article – Entry Level Separation: 10 Things You Didn’t Know
General Military Separation Codes
The U.S. Armed Forces used countless military separation codes that apply to various service branches.
As a result, we’ve alphabetized this section by cause of discharge since multiple military separation codes may apply.
NOTE: For quick reference, press CONTROL + F. Then, enter the military separation code you are attempting to find in the library:
These military separation codes indicate the service member was discharged because of alcohol abuse / alcoholism:
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Rehab Failure
The individual was admitted to alcohol or drug treatment yet it was unsuccessful.
JPC incidates the rehabilitative failure is related to drugs.
Meanwhile, JPD references alcohol abuse.
There are several military separation codes to describe going AWOL or deserting the military:
Breach of Contract
Furthermore, service members can get released for breaching obligations of their service contract:
Character or Behavior Disorder
The military classifies these SPN codes for character or behavioral problems:
Civil Court Conviction
In these circumstances, a civil court conviction caused the discharge.
Concealment of Arrest Record
Moreover, you don’t want to conceal an arrest record.
Doing so, equates with the designation: JND
The military has discharged individuals in the past for being conscientious objectors.
Consequently, these military separation codes signify it:
There are various codes to define a court martial.
For example, JJC describes a court martial related to desertion.
Meanwhile, these represent court martial for another cause:
Dependency or Hardship
In the event a service member must leave military service because of hardship or dependency issues:
Directed by Service Authority
LFF describes a situation where the discharge is directed by someone of authority.
However, it fails to expand as to why the service member was let go.
Disability, Non EPTS
There are a couple of SPN codes for disability, non EPTS:
There is no severance pay with these military separation codes.
Discreditable is defined as “harmful to one’s reputation, or being not creditable”.
Therefore, the incidents may be related to your reputation in the military or in the civilian world.
Here are the codes which describe discreditable incidents:
The military has zero tolerance for drug use.
Consequently, these military separation codes reveal drug use:
Early Release – Disapproval of Request to Extend Service
The service person was let go despite requesting an extension of service.
Early Release – Insufficient Retainability
These military separation codes are related to early because there wasn’t enough space to retain in the branch / program:
Early Release, In the National Interest
These indicate the individual was released early in the interest of the nation:
Early Release, Insufficient Time Left After Returning Overseas
Another SPN code which describes an early release because there was limited time after returning overseas.
Early Release, Police Duty
The military separation codes KOG and MGO both refer to a service member that left early for police duty.
Early Release, Other
A vague “other” description for other types of early release discharge:
Early Release, Precluded from Attaining Retirement Pay
The service member was released early as well as will not receive retirement pay.
Early Release, Reduction in Authorized Strength
The service person left early because numbers were reduced in the size of the branch / program:
Early Release (School Attendance)
The individual left the military early to attend school:
Early Release, Seasonal Employment
KOJ describes a discharge for early release related to the individual seeking another type of seasonal employment.
Early Release, Teaching
The following military separation codes describe early release for teaching duties:
Expiration of Term of Service
The term of service ended and service member opted not to return:
Engaged / Attempted / Solicited Homosexual Act(s)
The military has not treated homosexual acts kindly in the past despite the public perception changing on the matter.
Therefore, you may come across codes related to engaging or attempting homosexual acts:
Entry Level Performance & Conduct
The service member was discharged because of poor performance or conduct at an entry-level position.
Entry Level Status Performance & Conduct – Pregnancy
Performance or conduct discharge related to pregnancy includes the codes:
Enuresis is defined as “the involuntary discharge of urine”.
Therefore, these are usually related to dishonorable discharge:
There are several codes to describe an error that was made during enlistment which contributed to discharge:
Expiration of Term of Service
These military separation codes indicate term of service expired:
Failed to Meet Course Standards
JHF reveals that a recruit failed to meet training / course standards.
Failure to Meet Minimum Standards for Service
Similarly, LGH equals failure to meet minimum standards of service.
Failure to Meet Minimum Qualifications for Retention
These codes reveal failure to meet minimum qualifications / requirements of the military:
Failure of Selection for Permanent / Temporary Position
The individual failed to get selected for a temporary or permanent position and was therefore discharged:
- JGB: Permanent Position
- LGC: Temporary Position
Failure to Qualify Medically for Flight Training
The individual failed to qualify medically while in flight school and was not related to a disability.
There are several military separation codes related to discharge because of financial irresponsibility:
Fraudulent entry, or trespassing, can get you discharged from the military.
These SPN codes reveal as much:
Good of the Service, Conduct
The service member was discharged because of conduct.
There are a few variations:
- BFS: Conduct triable by court martial.
- DFS: Good of service, other.
- KFS: In leu of court martial.
- KNL: Good of service, other.
In the past, homosexuality was not allowed in the military.
Of course, the standards have changed recently yet these military separation codes may still turn up:
Similarly, the military frowns upon homosexual relationships.
Therefore, the codes JRB and JRC has been used in the past on Form DD 214.
KHC and MHC describe a service member who was discharged yet immediately sought reenlistment.
In Lieu of Discharge
“In lieu of” is a fancy way of saying instead.
Accordingly, FHC describes a discharge where that was the preferred action over another disciplinary action, such as court martial.
Inability to Perform Prescribed Duties
The individual was discharged because they did not perform duties as required.
Ineptitude is a broad word for lacking competence or skill.
As a result, these military separation codes may mean several things yet are generally negative in consequence:
The service member switched to another department causing the discharge.
Lack of Dependent Support
The service person was unable to continue in the military due to lack of dependency / personal support:
The individual reached the maximum age of service is sometimes referenced as LBB.
Likewise, LBC indicates maximum length of service.
A misconduct charge because of moral or professional reasons.
In general, BNC is related to moral or professional misconduct that also is not in the interests of national security.
Meanwhile, JNC describes general misconduct.
You may also find the following military separation codes for misconduct:
- JKM: Pattern of misconduct.
- JKN: Minor disciplinary infractions.
- JKQ: Commission of a serious offense.
Misconduct (Reason Unknown)
The reason for this misconduct is unknown yet justification for military discharge.
You may discover several SPN codes to describe this situation:
The following military separation codes do not specify a precise reason for discharge:
Unfortunately, motivational problems are an issue in the military.
It can lead to discharge under the following classifications:
Normal Expiration of Service
KBK indicates a normal expiration of service, or honorable discharge.
Officer or Warrant Officer Commission Program
The service member was discharged from an officer or warrant officer commission program:
Other, Alien / Non-Citizen
JCP defines an individual that is a non-citizen or alien.
Generally, only U.S. citizens are allowed to serve in the military.
The individual left the military for reasons related to parenthood:
Permanent Disability – Retired
Military separation codes which mean retirement because of a permanent disability:
JFX describes a situation in which a service member was discharged because of a personality disorder.
Physical Standards, No Disability
FFT is a type of general discharge for failing to meet physical standards with no disability evident.
JFU indicates a service member failed a drug test and was therefore discharged from service.
A service member became pregnant while serving in the military and was therefore discharged:
Released for Conditions Existing Prior to Service
There are a few codes which mean the discharge was related to something that existed prior to serving the country:
Released for Physical Disability (Prior to Service)
KFN is defined as a physical disability that occurred prior to service.
Notwithstanding, it’s the reason for the discharge.
Retirement (20 – 30 Years of Service)
The service member retired from the military after 20 – 30 years of service:
Retirement (Over 30 Years of Service)
On the other hand, RB describes a service member that served 30 or more years of service.
Retirement – Other
These military separation codes signify another type of retirement, number of years served undefined:
The discharge was determined by a secretarial authority.
Nevertheless, was discharged as officer retiree.
Here are the SPN codes which mean as much:
KDK reveals the service member left related to a security program.
The military separation codes for discharge due to security reason:
There are a few military separation codes to describe a situation where an individual leaves the military for a service academy:
Serving Under Suspended Sentence to Dismissal
FHG defines an individual serving under suspended sentence to dismissal.
Sexual perversion may describe numerous circumstances but is generally considered an indecent act which contributes to a dishonorable discharge.
Consequently, there are multiple military separation codes to describe such a situation:
Shirking is another way of saying someone avoided work or a duty.
Therefore, it’s considered a form of neglect and not taken lightly in the military.
These SPN codes describe it:
Sole Surviving Son
The service member was released because they are the sole surviving son / daughter / or family member.
In general, KCO and MOD describe a sole surviving son.
On the other hand, MCQ can describe anyone that is a sole survivor and discharged for that reason.
Temporary Disability – Retired
The individual retired and was added to temporary disability:
To Accept Commission
Service member was discharged and accepted commission:
It was revealed that the recruit / service member was underage:
Unfitness (Reason Unknown)
A broad definition for being physically / mentally unfit for service:
It’s important to practice good hygiene, even in the military.
As a result, you can even get discharged for it.
These military separation codes reveal as much:
LHJ is a general term for discharge because of unsatisfactory performance.
Meanwhile, these military separation codes exist to describe unsuitability with reason being unknown:
Unsuitability, Substandard Performance
On the other hand, BHK, JHK, and KHK describe incidents where the individual was unsuitable because of substandard performance.
Unqualified for Active Duty
These SPN codes specify that a recruit was unqualified for active duty:
Unqualified for Active Duty – Other
Another set of codes related to unqualified for active duty, reason unknown:
Withdrawal of Endorsement
JDL defines a situation where an endorsement was withdrawn.
As a result, the service member was also discharged from military service.
Military separation codes provide an explanation for why a service member left the Armed Forces.
As a result, they exist for good and bad reasons.
Military separation codes are found on Form DD 214 which is often used during the hiring process as well as determine eligibility for military benefits.
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