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Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.
Yes, you have to be discharged. When you signed your initial paperwork, you joined. This is different than active duty people, that don't officially join until they show up for basic training. You are in an must be discharged. You will receive an uncharacterized discharge.
You may not need to go down there, but it is in your best interest to sign the documentation so that it can be processed quickly. They could ultimately separate you without your signature, but if you upset them they might choose not to separate you. Then they can issue an warrant for your arrest and just leave you on the books. If you get pulled over after that, you'd be placed under arrest until the military let them know that they couldn't actually convict you and to let yo go. It's in your best interest to just go down there and sign the documents.
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Because they legally have to notify you of the discharge basis on what you are signing. You don't just sign a blank check for them to do whatever discharge they want.
The basis for the discharge will be obvious. You don't have to be a lawyer to read it and understand it. You can't bring legal representation, but you do get a chance to take the paperwork and review with counsel before signing it, if you wish.
If they don't offer the discharge you want, don't sign anything. Of course, they'll be able to try and give you the more negative discharge without your cooperation.
Once you are in the discharge process, whatever they decide to try, you can get representation...yes.
Yes. We have discussed this before, numerous times and we've come to the same conclusion each time...with multiple different attorneys addressing this question.
I don't really have anything new to add to that analysis.
No need to apologize. I'm not annoyed or upset and I'm sorry if it came across that way.
I'm just stating that nothing has changed from our previous analysis. Having us say it again isn't going to make it any more certain than it already is.
But yes, once again, that is the best possible outcome and the most likely.
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