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Army Discharge Regulations

When dealing with army discharge cases, there a several discharge types. To be exact there are five different army discharges and in most cases every member of the military will experience at least one of them. The characteristic of each active duty member decides the type of discharge they will receive. The different types of army discharges include: general, honorable, other than honorable, bad conduct and dishonorable. Read below where Military Lawyers have provided legal answers relating to the top commonly asked questions on army discharge.

Can the army discharge someone who was arrested for a DUI if it was before they were convicted?

Under Chapter 14 they can be discharged for misconduct, even if they were not convicted yet. With that being said, an administrative separation is not considered a criminal action. This does not require the same levels of proof to accomplish. If there is enough evidence then this can be done. If they have longer than six years, they can ask to stay in. If they have less than six years, they won’t have that right.

Army discharge papers state “European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon and 1 Bronze Star. Good Conduct Medal.” Does this mean that that will be receiving a ribbon and medal?

The bronze star states that they have received that ribbon twice. The bronze star medal is just that a bronze star medal or also known as BSM. They do not receive a BSM unless they are awarded that one. For more information when receiving army discharge papers, contact the Experts.

Would someone need a lawyer in order to get an army discharge upgrade?

A lawyer could help them in this process, but even the best lawyer will not be able to get one for them if their record does not allow this. There is no automatic upgrade, with that being said only a very small percentage of requests are approved. Normally, they will need to show under the conditions that an upgrade to the classification is appropriate in their case. This is achieved by showing that the result at the time was wrong for any reason.

On someone’s army discharge papers it states other than honorable chapter 13, what does that mean?

That simply means that something was written down incorrectly. Chapter 13 is an administrative separation for poor or insufficient performance, such as failing PT tests, or not meeting the requirements. According to the AR 635-200, they are supposed to receive an honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge. They would either have something wrote down wrong, or written down the wrong characterization. To have their military records corrected they can file a DD Form 149.

If someone is discharged from the army with undesirable discharge, are there any benefits for this discharge?

Currently there is no “undesirable” discharge. That has been replaced by the “general under honorable conditions” and the “other than honorable discharge” both of these are less favorable than an honorable discharge. It is possible to have the discharge reviewed and upgraded. Although there are some steps that must be taken:

1. The law states that an application for review must be filed within 3 years, but that can be extended if a good cause can be shown.

2. They will need to show that under all the situations, the characterization is not appropriate. This should focus on the reasons leading to the discharge including the process. It can also include events afterwards.

Many times an active member has been discharged from the army for what they believe is wrong. They can challenge that, also known as an upgrade army discharge. There are many regulations and rules to be followed when dealing with an army discharge and army discharge papers. Contact Experts to receive legal answers and insight to many specific military law questions.

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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11862
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Recent Army Discharge Questions

  • got an honorable discharge from the us army reserve in oct.

    got an honorable discharge from the us army reserve in oct. 1982 so i could go into the USMC. spent 11 yrs and got an oth. can i use my army discharge or on of my 2 honorable re-enlistment discharges from the USMC to receive any va bebefits
  • Im reviewing my dads army discharge to try to determine th

    I'm reviewing my dad's army discharge to try to determine the reason. It was one of those "615-361" & approval to CDD Madigan Hosp Ctr, Ft. Lewis, Wn. dated 8 OCT 45. I read on another series of questions and answers on this website that there was a problem with "615-361", maybe it was a mistake and should have been "615-363" or somesuch and that designation had been changed to a later version. Also, apparently, "615-361" could be for "physicial or mental" reasons. I'm wondering if you can pin down the "615-361" reason and get a less vague reason for my dad's discharge? Thanks! XXXXX CA.
  • Upgrade OTH discharge, RE4, and reason of seperation?

    In October 2010, i was deployed to Logar province, Afghanistan with the 4thBCT 10th mtn. division C co. On feburary 3rd, the day before i was suppose to go on my 15 days of R&R, me and 3 other soldiers were told on to our commander for "wrongful use of hashish" (which was stated on my field grade ART15.) never caught in the act what so ever. My commander and 1SGT questioned me first and i said no comment. Then they did a urinary analysis, which i was never told my UA test results(also i recieved my entire records brief in the mail and there are no UA results in there, just outprocessing paperwork. The only questioning that i commented on was when CID came in, i only answered the questions because i thought it would get us out of Afghanistan faster so that they could chapter us out of the army the proper way back in garrison. They kept us in our 200 man combat outpost for 7 months doing labor and took away my weapon even while we came under attack. so i had nothing to protect my self with. In September of 2011 we finally arrived back to Fort Polk, LA and were processed out of the army with an OTH discharge RE4, no benefits, no counseling, no rehab, nothing. my secret security clearance was revoked as well. I also was suppose to be awarded my combat infantrymens badge but they stopped the paperwork as soon as i went under investigation. (FEB 3rd)


    All i want to do is get back in the army and finish my time. I believe the way they chaptered us out was unfair and unjust and processed very fast due to the recession and economy and army downgrade. I hadn't even finished my first term of my 4 year contract. I was already airborne qualified and had very high pt scores and did well as an infantryman as i was promoted to different positions in my squad during my deployment. I can get witnesses to come forward as well.


    Also i can oblige for the fact that our 1st SGT and other NCO's were getting drunk and mailed alcohol in care packages, let alone the fact that some medics were getting high off of the morphine they get in they're medical bags. And i also know fellow soldiers who were smoking hashish as well but were never chaptered out or reprimanded either.


    Also since my discharge in September 2011, i have already started on working a better resume for my Army discharge review board, which is on August 20th. I've completed certifications in construction, receiving a certificate as a certified Concrete Field Testing Technician. I am taking courses to receive my personal trainer certification by the NASM(national academy of sports medicine) and i also am taking certification course from NOLS (Approved by U.S. Coast Guard) in wilderness First Responder/ Advanced First Aid certifications. Hopefully all this will help at my discharge board.

    what are your thoughts/advice on me actually being able to be able to reenlist if all go's according to plan?
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