Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I have nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines, including JAG.
There isn't really any method for you to simply apply to be separated. You can ask command to let you out, but they don't legally have to do so based on your request. It is at command discretion.
Now, if you just stop showing up, they technically can issue a warrant for your arrest to try and have you picked up by local authorities. That rarely happens though. The more likely result is that they will administratively separate you, in your absence, with an other than honorable discharge. I know that you stated that you don't care about a dishonorable discharge, but I think that is because you don't really know the effect that it could have on you.
You state that you are in nursing school and work at a hospital. An OTH discharge can, and often is, sufficient basis for immediate termination by an employer. Every time you seek employment, that potential employer can find out about the discharge through a routine background check.
The number 1 question that I'm asked her and in my private practice in how to get a discharge upgraded to honorable, and those people just have a general discharge. They ask because that general discharge is having a lasting effect on their ability to find work, even 15 to 20 years after receiving it.
So, while I understand that you may not care now, I think that you'll find that it is a serious hindrance to your future to have anything other than an honorable discharge in your history.
All that said, there is simply no way to force a separation with an honorable discharge in your situation.
Your understanding isn't actually correct. Yes, having an other than honorable discharge effects government jobs, but plenty of private institutions, to include hospitals, conduct background checks and make employment decision based on prior military history. I work for employers, including hospitals, and have seen plenty of employees refused employment based on General discharges. It may not effect you during entry level positions, but as you move up further in the workforce, it is something that can and often is considered...and can cost you the more lucrative positions that you'll want down the road.
As I said before, the number one question that I deal with is people asking to have their discharge upgraded because it is so seriously effecting their ability to find work.
I really do wish that I could just tell you that you have nothing to fear by simply accepting any discharge that they give you. I have no vested interest in your remaining in the military at all. I'm just trying to protect you from making a decision based on what I see as serious misinformation.
No, it is not guaranteed that you will lose a job based on having an OTH, but it absolutely is true that it CAN cost you a job or, in fact, many jobs in the future.
As I previously noted, there isn't just a way out. It is the military and they draft their contracts with people specifically to make sure that people can't just get out. They can choose to let you out, but that is completely at command discretion. I would approach your command, explain your concerns and ask for some means to be release through hardship based on interference with your work or family life. Something to avoid a negative discharge.
You only get a dishonorable from a court martial for violating the law. You can only get an Other than Honorable through administrative discharge, also for violating the law.
Just asking your command will not subject you to either type of discharge.
And you are right, it is not simple. As you note, if it was simple everyone would do it, which is why it's not really a reliable or likely method of separation. Unfortunately, it is what you've got. You can ask and, if your command wants to let you out, they can make that happen. They have the power to release you with an honorable discharge, if they want to.
Otherwise, you'll have to start gaining weight and failing PT tests to get out without a punitive discharge, but that takes time because they give you so many chances to improve before separation.
I'm sorry. There just are not the loop holes there once were. There was a time when you could claim to be homosexual or a conscientious objector and, almost certainly, you'd be released. Those times are gone. Homosexuality isn't a problem in the military anymore and conscientious objector status is not an automatic out, particularly if your job is not combat related.
No, again to get a dishonorable you have to be court martialed for breaking a law, like murder.
Failing PT tests, at worst, can result in a general discharge, but most often they result in an honorable discharge.
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I was wondering if i could use your service and i will pay for it. I have being putting things together and I think I could meet the requirements for a dependency discharge. I just dont know how to start and put together all the papers. My mother lives in Miami by herself and she is a single mother. My brother and sister are 5 and 4 years old, they are kids that are sick all the time. She doesnt have a car to go to work. She pays to a coworker to take her to work. She doesnt speak english and for that reason she havent found a better job. Do you think that will work?
You may qualify, but command has to choose to let you go.
All you have to do is approach your command, give them the information that you have which might support that separation and ask if they'll do it.
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