Wow...that is unusual. There was a mistake...it is jurisdictional in nature. It is impossible for a special court to adjudge a DD or more than 1 year in confinement (and in 94 the limit was 6 months).
The Military does not have felony or misdemeanor charges. They simply have the UCMJ (uniform code of military justice)
This allows almost all charges to be brought to either a special court martial (which are typically convened by a colonel or Navy
captain) or a general court martial (which must be convened by a general officer
Now, practically speaking, a special court marital is a misdemeanor and a general court is a felony. That is since the maximum punishment for a special court is 1 year where at a general court it is up to life in prison (or death in select cases).
civilian jurisdictions will assign the category of "felony" to crimes that have a maximum allowable punishment of 1 year or more. For Federal Criminal Law, see US Code Section 3559(a).
Further, under federal law, a conviction at a general court makes possession of a firearm a crime.
So it is safe to say a conviction at special court is a misdemeanor and conviction at general court is a felony. See, for example, Muir vs State 517 A2d 1105 (Md 1986) Maryland court ruled that for sentence enhancement purposes, they required a general courts-martial conviction.
The problem you face is it is not clear what kind of court this was.
If the order says special court, then one would think it was a special court.
HOWEVER, a special court can not adjudge a dishonorable discharge (they can only adjudge a bad conduct discharge
) And they can not adjudge 18 months confinement. Period.
So if the sentence approved was 18 months and a DD then it must have been a general court martial...and it may be an error on the documents you are looking at
Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can