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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 32811
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My boyfriend wanted to be a navy seal, he got sworn in twice.

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My boyfriend wanted to be a navy seal, he got sworn in twice. Signed the contract... etc. Decided he did not want to go, sent the letter. The recruiters keep telling him he's not off the hook, now they are saying if he doesn't go they will make his life impossible and he applied to Grad school and they are saying they will make it impossible for him to get in. Can they do this? Does he have no choice but to go?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

There are a few factors that will help answer this question

1. Did he enlist in the regular Navy or in the reserves

2. Has he "shipped off" yet to basic training? If so when?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He entisted as a Navy Seal?

He has not shipped off yet!

Thank you

If he has not "shipped off" yet, then he can simply refuse to go.

Under the rules, he is not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) until he actually goes on active duty. The is the "shipping off"

So if his date to report for active duty has not yet arrived?

He can simply refuse to go.

Since he is not on active duty currently, they can not prosecute him under military law.

They will give him an "entry level separation". This will not impact his ability to go to grad school, or to carry on with his life.

Now..if he actually goes to bootcamp? Then it gets much more complex...once he falls under the UCMJ and can be prosecuted if he refuses to follow orders.

But if he has not yet left for bootcamp? THen it is a non issue...he can simply refuse to show up.

All they will do at that point is separate him.

He will not be able to join the military ever again...but it will not impact him otherwise
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The recruiter and head recruiter are saying he has no choice and the letter was not a good enough reason for him not to go? They are saying he doesn't have to do special forces but if he doesn't go they will forlorn (I have no idea if that's even the proper term) his application to grad school...? Are you sure none of this is true? They can't legally do anything to make his life more difficult? Even if sworn in twice and signed all the contracts? He's still not legally binded to anything?

That is correct. If he has not yet gone to bootcamp, the worst that can happen is he is separated with an entry level separation.

The recruiters are lying to him. Is that a surprise? It should not be...they have a quota to meet and it reflects badly on them when a candidate refuses to ship

They can give him an entry level separation. He will never be able to join the military again. It will not impact his entry into grad school. will be on his record as an entry level it is possible that some future prospective employer could question it. But it is not like if he went in and was given a bad conduct or other than honorable discharge.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So what should he do or say? Just ignore the recruiter and refuse to go? They are making up all the things about him not being able to go to grad school... etc?

They are also telling him if he joins he doesn't have to do special forces he can do engineering or something else because he scored very high on the ASVAB. But still, he doesn't have to go - he can go on with his life and it will not be impacted by this?

Yes. He can go on with his life and will not be impacted by this (other than he will have an entry level separation on his record).

They can not take any further action if he refuses to go to bootcamp.

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