Open main menu

High Year of Tenure (HYT) is a term used by the United States Armed Forces to describe the maximum number of years an enlisted member may serve before they must separate or retire.[1] HYT is applicable to enlisted of all five military branches of the United States.

Officers are not subject to HYT, but are instead limited to statutory service limits by pay grade.[2] See Defense Officer Personnel Management Act for officer information.

In the United States Army, soldiers will finish their enlistment contract if they exceed HYT unless they are reduced in rank.[3]


On 1 August 2017, the U.S. Navy extended the HYT for active component sailors to 10 years from 8 years for third class petty officers, to 16 years from 14 years for second class petty officers, and to 22 years from 20 years for first class petty officers.[4]

On 14 December 2017, the U.S. Navy announced that it will extend the HYT for seamen from its current 5 years to 6 years on 1 February 2018.[5]

HYT datesEdit

Personnel demoted to a lower grade are subject to the HYT date of the lower grade.[6][failed verification] Extensions to the HYT date can be obtained for various reasons such as personal hardships or base closures.[6] HYT dates vary by rank/rate, as follows:

The USAF will increase the HYT for E-4 through E-6 on 1 February 2019.

Ranks U.S. Army
U.S. Army
U.S. Navy
U.S. Navy
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps
Coast Guard[9]
E-1 5 N/A 4 6 8 N/A N/A
E-2 5 N/A 4 6 8 N/A N/A
E-3 5 N/A 6 10 8 N/A 10
E-4 8 8 10 12 10 8 10
E-5 14 14 16 20 20 12 16
E-6 20 20 22 22 22 20 20
E-7 26 26 24 24 24 22 24
E-8 29 32 26 26 26 27 26
E-9 32 N/A 30 30 30 30 30


  1. ^ "Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241, Promotion Development Guide" (PDF). United States Air Force. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  2. ^ Understand High Year Tenure to Maximize Your Career, Story Number: NNS120326-07, 3/26/2012, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
  3. ^ a b c "New Army retention regulation takes effect May 1,". United States Army. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Burke, Robert P. (June 2017). "NAVADMIN 17143". Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs (14 December 2017). "Navy Extends E-3 High Year Tenure". United States Navy. United States Department of the Navy. Retrieved 15 December 2017. As part of ongoing reviews of policies that impact Fleet readiness, the Navy announced it is increasing its high year tenure (HYT) policy for active component and Full Time Support (FTS) E-3 Sailors by one year in NAVADMIN 290/17, Dec. 14. This change will retain experienced Sailors needed for both shore and sea duty as the Navy increases manpower to meet mission requirements and operational tasking. The updated policy sets the maximum length of service (LOS) by paygrade, and will go into effect Feb. 1, 2018, increasing E-3 HYT to six years from the current five years of service. In 2018, 1,280 E-3 Sailors will reach HYT under the current policy, and will now have an opportunity to continue naval service. Increasing HYT also provides these E-3 Sailors two more opportunities to advance. HYT for all other active duty, FTS and Selected Reserve enlisted Sailors paygrades remain unchanged. Sailors in receipt of or have pending HYT separation orders before to Feb. 1, 2018, who wish to remain in the Navy, may request cancellation of those orders by referencing the new HYT policy no later than Jan. 31, 2018. Advancement-eligible Sailors who decide to continue their service in the Navy can take the March, cycle 239, Navy-wide petty officer advancement exam. The Navy will continue to offer HYT waivers for enlisted Sailors who volunteer for sea duty on a case-by-case basis.
  6. ^ a b "Air Force Instruction 36-3203, Service Retirements" (PDF). United States Air Force. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  7. ^ "High Year of Tenure". United States Air Force. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  8. ^ "MCBUL 5314 Enlisted Career Force Controls (ECFC) Program". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  9. ^ "USCG Enlisted High Year Tenure (HYT) FAQs". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 16 April 2013.[permanent dead link]