Whether you’re currently enlisted in the U.S. Army or thinking of enlisting, you’ve probably heard of the terms “home of record” and “state of legal residence.” Abbreviated HOR and SOL respectively, they live up to their namesakes by defining where you live. However, HOR is different than SOL, and it’s important for servicemembers to familiarize themselves with the nuances between these two terms.
In the most basic sense, HOR is the state in which you first enlisted, or the state in which you received a commission while serving in one of the branches of the armed force. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the Army. Servicemembers in the Navy, Marines and Air Force may also receive a commission; thus, they too will have a HOR. Why is this important? Well, HOR dictates certain benefits like travel allowance in your home state after you leave the military.
On the other hand, SLR refers to the state of your permanent residence, where you plan on living after you leave the military and enter civilian life. It’s used primarily for tax purposes, as different states have different tax implications for veterans.
If you accidentally used the wrong HOR on your application, don’t worry because you can change it to fix an error, or when taking a break from service. Changing your SLR is even easier, as the military allows enlisted servicemembers to change their SLR at any time. This is done by submitting the necessary papers (DD Form 2058) to your finance officer. He or she will review the form, and assuming it’s correct, you can change your SLR. Keep in mind, however, that validation like a written letter and/or driver’s license may be required when changing your SLR.
Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of HOR and SOL. To recap, home of record (HOR) refers to the state in which you first enlisted in the military, or the state in which you received a commission while serving. State of legal residence (SOL), is the state in which you plan to live permanently after leaving the military. These two terms can not and should not be used interchangeably. Regardless of which branch of the military you intend to enlist in, you should include the correct HOR and SOL on your application and forms. You can always go back and fix it, but it’s best to get things right the first time.