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I am an attorney with 30 years of experience, including exprience with the DoD. I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.
A discharge under other than honorable conditions (OTH) is a disciplinary discharge. It is issued for any number of reasons pertaining to the Marines inability to meet the requirements of service. Some of those reasons can be fairly serious, and some less so. It is difficult to say without seeing the file. The Marine in question can obtain the file through a Privacy Act request to the Marines.
Generally, an OTH can effect eligibility for benefits, but not always.
The following links discuss this issue in greater detail and will give you a good basic understanding of the matter:
The first step is to file a Privacy Act request (NOT a FOIA request) to the Marines. The Marine in question must be the one to request that. He is looking to get his own file.
This link will help with that process:
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