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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 33798
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My son is being chaptered out of the Army after 10 months as

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My son is being chaptered out of the Army after 10 months as the result of an Article 15 and some Counseling forms. He has completed the Article 15 punishment. He is infantry and graduated from the Honor Platoon at Ft. Benning OSUT last October. Currently stationed at Ft. Lewis, WA. I read somewhere that a commander can stop or suspend the process up until the date of discharge. They have offered him Other under Honorable. He is 18 years old. What can be done? I heard people who are AWOL sometimes are offered another chance if they volunteer for Afghanistan or Iraq. Should he have the same option?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

If they want to give him an "other than honorable" (OTH)? Then he can fight it. To give an OTH the Army MUST give him both a hearing and an attorney. He can also hire an attorney to assist.

At his hearing he can make his case to the board. He wants to volunteer to deploy? Let the board know. He can also present evidence, both from live witnesses and from statements to the board. Statements in support. Statements that explain his value to the Army.

If he can get a few of these, that can help his request...that is, if there is anyone in his chain of command that will "go to bat for him" that can help quite a bit.

And a lawyer can help.

While these are often difficult to win, an attorney with years of experience can often get a better result then relatively young attorney out of law school, which is who they are given to defend by the Army.

I would talk to several folks with experience and a willingness to fight. Talk to them about the number of contested jury trials. The more the better, and not 10 or 20, but 50 or 200, or more contested jury trials is a good sign they have trial experience. If they have the ability to try a case, they have the ability to get a good result.

Prior military experience is also valuable, and in some cases a retired officer may have shared experiencs with the person bringing the charges. Sometimes this can help.


Let me know if you have more questions
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I might not have been clear. He is receiving a General Discharge under Honorable Conditions. They told him that when they notified him. Does this make a difference?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Ahh..yes, it does.

Sorry...you mentioned

They have offered him Other under Honorable


The actual term is "General, Under Honorable Conditions".

And yes, it will matter.

The amount of "due process" the service member gets will relate directly to the type of discharge the command is trying to get.

If the command is seeking a "general, under honorable conditions" discharge? The service member is allowed to draft a written request to the separation authority (the commander who has the final say on if he will be separated or not, and if so, what the characterization will be).

So your son will not get a hearing or a lawyer. But he can still hire a lawyer if he likes.

He has an uphill battle if he wants to challenge this...but if he wants to fight this, the way to do so is on paper. And with help.

I mentioned statements...that is key here. The more the better. Statements from folks in his chain of command who support him.

If he can convince the general, on paper, to give him another chance...to deploy again? The general can approve that request.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can the Legal Office on his base help him draft the letter and see that it gets to the proper person. My son was not a strong student in school?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 6 years ago.
Yes, the lawyers on base can help. They will not write the request for him, but they can help him make sure it meets the requirements.

He should go to TDS (JAG) on monday and they can help him.
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