How to Put an Army IRR Package together

Package requirements, what you need to include in your IRR package:

1. IRR package checklist, based on Figure B-59 of USAR Brochure 600-5.

2. DA Form 4561, Request for Assignment or Reserve Component Attachment. Fully filled and signed by the Soldier and Commander.

3. Your statement / letter of justification and back up documentation. This is based on the reasons listed in AR 140-10.

4. Command Chain recommendation.

5. Cogent Personal Reason. If the specific reason is not listed in AR 140-10, it requires an exception to policy from your OFTS.

6. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). This comes from the commander to the Soldier and is face to face. Do you receive a bonus? This counseling statement must warn you of termination or recovery of a bonus.

7. Counseling Statement (DA Form 4856). From the Soldier to the Soldier career advisor to the Soldier; it is also face to face.

Valid reasons for transferring from the Veterans Program Unit (TPU) to the Individual Reserves (IRR):

As a TPU Soldier, you can send an IRR transmission pack up the control chain. There is no guarantee that that package will be approved, nor about your transfer to the IRR.

If you want to improve your TPU to IRR transmission chance, refer to the valid reasons listed in AR 140 -10, Chapter 4, Paragraph 9. If you have enough documents, and facts, to support one or more of ‘ For these reasons, include them in your IRR package. This will help you present your case for transfer to the IRR.

Employment Conflict:

Let’s say your employer can’t suddenly release you from the work schedule so you can drill … as your absence would cause an adverse effect on your employer’s operation. Previously, this was not a problem. Your employer released you for a weekend, and was able to continue its operation. When they couldn’t release you, you were able to rearrange.

Now? You need your employer, on the days you need to drill, for the company to continue its mission. The conditions had changed since you started working with this employer.

Or, you’re in a company that is restructuring and making you redundant. 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 random. You cannot do rescheduled training. Your employer cannot spare you for any backup drill without negatively affecting a company’s operations.

These are just two examples, and there are many, of how your employment might evolve into something that makes it difficult for you to meet TPU requirements.

In your Soldier Justification letter, provide an objective picture of how your employment schedule makes it impractical for you to continue with the TPU. Include statements from your employer to support this justification.

Change of address:

You accept a new position in your company. It will pay you more, it’s something you love to do, and it represents an upward movement in your civilian career. The catch? You have to go somewhere two days away from the nearest Army Reserve. Your employer cannot spare enough time for you to get to and return from the nearest Army Reserve unit.

In this scenario, you are a TPU Soldier who cannot drill with any Army Reserve unit.

Or, you get a promotion that sends you abroad. Your job location is a long flight from the nearest Army Reserve Center.

For something like this, you would be able to submit a package for transfer to the IRR. In your statement of soldier’s justification, include employment orders, employment promotion documentation, a new job description, an objective photo detailing the location of your new job, your new residence, etc.

Obvious personal reasons:

This is a type of “catch all” to cover other reasons not specifically included in AR 140-10.

It may not be what the Army thinks is what you think is a very good reason for transfer. You must also see this from the perspective of your unit.

You ask them to release you, when they need you in the unit during rehearsals and summer training. They have no guarantee that they will get another Soldier. You have to persuade them to “sign” on your IRR package.

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

In this example, your soldier justification letter needs to provide an accurate, objective picture of how your Army reserve duties contribute to being burned out. You will need letters from your medical professionals to help strengthen your justification.

Whatever your personal preference, make sure you could provide an objective picture. Make sure you could provide factual information from subject experts relating to your situation.

You also want to prove that there is no other way to “resolve” your current issue other than transitioning to the IRR. Before you do this, you must deploy the means to solve this with resources to which your unit may refer.

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

As of this writing, everyone joining the army, for the first time, signed an eight-year contract. When a first-time enrollee signs a 6-year Reserve agreement, they are not just for 6 years. When those 6 years are over, that Soldier has an extra 2 years of commitment. They can request a transfer to the IRR after their TPU commitment.

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

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

Surviving son or daughter:

You are in the reserves, and pursuing your civilian career. Two years later, your last remaining sibling will pass on. Now you are the only surviving child of your parents. This is an unfortunate event, but one that gives you the opportunity to transition from the TPU to the IRR.

When writing your Soldier justification letter, include documentation that proves that you are now the last / only surviving child of your parents.

Dependency or hardship make it impractical to participate in TPU:

Let’s say your family situation is changing, and you must provide extra care and support to one of your family members. This family member is someone on your dependents list. You don’t have an alternative care plan … no one else could afford to give up much of their time, and sacrifice their employment, to help you.

This dependent family member needs your presence. Without you, the wellbeing of this family member has a negative impact.

Two examples of this category are a “supported living” situation and a “direct support provider” situation. In these scenarios, a family member cannot take care of himself. The family member needs the immediate attention, supervision and support of a soldier to perform basic functions.

Statements from doctors, social workers, case managers and other affiliates should be included in this pack. Their statement should focus on the nature of the addiction hardship, and on the need for you to be constantly available.


If you are pregnant, you may be able to transfer to the IRR. You must have an MOS qualification, and you cannot be within 3 months of your ETS.

Don’t choose to keep it:

This affects TPU Soldiers who have received their letter “official notice of eligibility to retire with pay at 60”. This is the “20 year letter.” By regulation, these Soldiers are subject to a Qualitative Retention Board.

Before this board convenes, the affected Soldier receives a “pre-board” package. The Soldier is given a couple of options. If the board removes the Soldier from the TPU, which control group would the Soldier wish to transfer to?

The Soldier could choose to be transferred to the retired reserves, or to the IRR. Should the qualitative review board decide to remove the Soldier from the TPU, orders will be generated transferring the Soldier to the control group that selected the Soldier.

This also applies to TPU Soldiers who are subject to the actions of other types of detention boards. In this situation, Soldier may have the option to transfer to the IRR.

Enroll in a non-scholarship ROTC:

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

Soldiers who are admitted to this type of ROTC program can submit an IRR package.

Commercial Marine Academy:

If you are admitted to the Commercial Marine Academy, you can submit an IRR transfer package.

Army Regulation 140-10:

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

Counseling statements from the lead officer and the serving career counselor:

Did you receive a bonus for enrolling in your current TPU contract? If your IRR transfer is approved, you may lose the rest of your bonus. Depending on your bonus condition, you may have to pay back the part of your bonus you received.

If you receive a bonus, you need to know this fact when submitting your IRR package.

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

The career counselor will inform you of the opportunities available to you in the IRR, including opportunities for redistribution and transfer back to the TPU when personal conditions favor such a move.

IRR Transfer Package Tips:

1. Are you on your initial contract, with IRR time following your TPU time? By regulation, you are not supposed to submit your IRR package until your TPU obligation is complete. You can submit your IRR transfer package the day after your “TPU ETS” date.

2. Once you submit your IRR package, you must drill with your unit until you receive orders handing you over to the IRR.

Don’t go according to 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. This was not the case, they had to report back to drill.

3. Follow up on your package. If HRC does not receive your package, they may extend your TPU status to 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 unresolved medical issues, you must resolve these issues before you can transfer to the IRR.

5. IRR troops still have point obligations and requirements to make. However, you could consider operating reserves instead of the IRR if you want to temporarily “escape” from the TPU.

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

In the active reserves, there is no requirement for you to have at least 50 points. You maintain your military affiliation, but generally are not required to maintain a good year. Active reserves are what most people assume to be the IRR.

Additional References:

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

2. Policy Letters AR G1.

3. USAR brochure 600-5.

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