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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34554
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Enlisted in USAR transferred to IL ARNG. Re-enlisted. Did not

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Enlisted in USAR transferred to IL ARNG. Re-enlisted. Did not complete second enlistment. Received Under Honorable Conditions RE-3. Transferred to control group USAR. Upon completion of contract was awarded Honorable Discharge from USAR. I need honorable discharge for preference points (promotion). Could earlier negative discharge affect me even though my last discharge was honorable?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Are we talking points for your civilian job?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no for civil service job. been employed for 21 years with them. didn;t use points for employment but want to use them for promotion.

Thank you

The honorable discharge...was this after serving the full contract length?

And is this a public (state or federal job) or private job?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

municipal job they usually adopt state rules.


honorable discharge was after completion of contractual obligation.



California law for veterans preference is somewhat complex...typically there are not "points" available to an employee AFTER they are hired on full time. The points are granted during the application process. Does your job grant you points or status towards promotions in addition to the hiring process?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In our state they do. The authority civil service uses is derived from state law. I'm concerned that they could deny my points based on the previous characterization and not my final. I did not use points for application. I was still in service at that time and probably could have used them but was unaware.

ahh...sorry...I was looking at CA law...not sure why...what state are you in?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Sorry..I see that now, IL NG. Not sure why I was sidetracked to CA.

YES...I agree with you...IL DOES give pref points for promotion (to state workers). Here is a link to the statute

And here is the specific language that applies

The civil service commission shall give preference for promotional appointment to persons as hereinabove designated whose names appear on existing promotional eligible registers or promotional eligible registers that may hereafter be created by adding to the final grade average which they received or will receive as the result of any promotional examination seven-tenths of one point for each 6 months or fraction thereof of active military or naval service not exceeding 30 months. The numerical result thus attained shall be applied by the civil service commission in determining the position of such persons on any eligible list which has been created or will be created as the result of any promotional examination held hereunder for purposes of preference in certification and appointment from such eligible list.

So it is tied to active service.

That is, the points are available, but not for guard service...only for active service. But if you were activated either Title 10 or Title 32, that would count

Now...on to your question...

Will the fact you had a prior general discharge prevent you from getting points?

Here is the language that applies:

Veteran's preference. Persons who were engaged in the active military or naval service of the United States for a period of at least one year and who were honorably discharged therefrom and all persons who were engaged in such military or naval service who are now or may hereafter be on inactive or reserve duty in such military or naval service,

So your general discharge is not an issue. But you do need that active service.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If active duty wasn't the issue and character of service was the issue, would the general discharge affect the final honorable discharge? In your opinion.

Not according to state law. If you look at the IL state law, you simply need an honorable discharge from active duty. IF you have that? You have what the law requires (again, according to IL state law).

Now...this is focused on the subsequent honorable discharge....if there is active duty associated with that, then under the statute that is considered towards promotion points, specifically you get

seven-tenths of one point for each 6 months or fraction thereof of active military or naval service not exceeding 30 months.

Now...a private company can make their own rules...the IL statute only applies to state workers.

But if the company is following the state rules, and you have a recent active duty stint with an honorable discharge, then you are eligible for points.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So if I'm reading you right. Another government body (municipality in this case) could adopt state law as written and add their own specific rules to include reserve and national guard forces if they so wish so the above law would apply to the new group.

Yes...that is correct.

But they can not be arbitrary...and certainly can not be secrete. So you can ask for a copy of the rules they are using to see if they apply to your case.
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