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Discharge Prior to Completion of Period of Effective Full-time Service

Reasons for eligibility before three years service

A person who does not complete the period of their engagement in the forces may still be considered as a member of the forces and as having defence service even if they have not completed 3 years of effective full-time service.     

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The period of service can be less than 3 years where the person's service ceases for reasons of:

  • medical discharge, or
  • death.
Medical discharge



A person can be discharged on the grounds of:

  • invalidity, or
  • physical or mental incapacity to perform their duties.

If the person is discharged on medical grounds for a physical or mental condition that existed prior to their enlistment, the person does not have defence service unless they:

  • completed 12 months effective service, or
  • completed at least 6 months service and the period of service contributed to in a material degree or aggravated the physical or mental condition resulting in the termination of service.
Discharge for the purpose of being appointed an officer



If a person is discharged from the defence force before the completion of three years in order to take an appointment as an officer, the discharge does not cancel their service for determining eligibility. Their relevant service is extended by the new appointment.