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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26538
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I am a PFC in the Army Reserve, and i popped hot on a drug

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I am a PFC in the Army Reserve, and i popped hot on a drug screening in december. My unit commander has recommended me for separation under a general discharge. I submitted my paperwork on june 20th, and now i feel like I'm in processing purgatory until somebody signs my paperwork. Shortly after I joined the service I realized that my morals and beliefs go against a lot of the things I have been taught in my short time of serving my country and has caused me a lot of emotional turmoil. I'd like to figure out if there is any way to speed up this process since it is clouding my daily thoughts and putting me in an unstable state.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Let me first say that if they are processing you for a general discharge? Consider yourself lucky. I would not do anything to jeopardize that...the commander could, for example, change his or her mind at any time and process you for an OTH discharge (other than honorable). That is far more common for a drug pop.

What I am telling you is that if you choose to press this, you may well get the commander to realize that they have not chosen the conventional path and they could, very well, change the process to an OTH.

Now...it is more work for an OTH...they have to give you a hearing and a lawyer to assist. But neither will present a significant problem for the commander.

So if I were in your shoes? I woud not press this.

All that said, you want to speed this up?

You can make the request to your chain of command. I would make the request to your SNCO and let them forward it up the chain. You can do this verbally, or be more formal and put it in writing

I suspect this may speed it up...but as I explain you may get more than you expected

It is also important to understand the commander has no obligation to "speed this up"...he or she can sit on this till the end of your enlistment if they so chose.

Now...I would not expect that to happen. It would be unprofessional...and I suspect the commanding general would not look kindly on it. But the truth is that there is no statute of limitations on processing for misconduct...so the commander can initiate at any time.

Now...a practical note

if you submitted a few weeks back? I bet you are out in a month or so.
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 26538
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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