Joining the National Guard involves signing a contract and taking an oath, making it highly difficult and at times impossible to de-enlist or quit, so retracting an enlistment into the National Guard or Reserves requires a request for full discharge, which must be submitted to the commanding officer of the member's unit. The request should be submitted in writing and should detail the reasons for the desire to retract the enlistment.
The process involved in retracting an enlistment into the National Guard or Reserves is much more complicated than de-enlisting from other branches of the military, since the National Guard and Reserves do not utilize a Delayed Enlistment Program. Once a contract is signed and an oath is taken to join the National Guard, the member is considered to be fully enlisted in the National Guard, even if he or she has not participated in any basic training or active duties. After signing the contract and taking the oath to join the National Guard, a possible discharge is no longer under the command or at the discretion of the recruitment officer. In the instance that a National Guard or Reserves member decides to retract an enlistment, he or she must go to the commanding officer to attempt to attain a discharge package. The request for this discharge package should be submitted in writing to the commanding officer.