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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34741
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My 18 year old son joined the USMC. He turned 18 in November,

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My 18 year old son joined the USMC. He turned 18 in November, 2012 & left for basic training in December 2012 - which he completed in March 2013. Currently he is in phase 2 of his training School of Infantry (SOI) and due to a death in the family and other miscellaneous delays his training had been been pushed back and delayed and dragged out, etc etc.

Needless to say he is miserable, and regrets everyday his decision to join the Corp. Every call, text, letter I getfrom him document this and I'm beginning to worry that he may do something DRASTIC to get out. Being so young, I worry suicide may even be in his thoughts...

My question is, is there a way for him to get out legally? What happens to him if I tell someone I think he may be suicidal? Who would I tell, his recruiter?

Hi, I'm a moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes I am ok while you continue to search for an expert. I expect you to at least attempt to try to find someone to research my topic...that IS why I pay for this service.

Hello Melissa,

Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a professional for you.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.I am sorry for this dilemmaYou would contact his commanding officer. Is he in NC or CA?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is in NC. I am afraid that if I contact his commanding officer, and they put him on suicide watch, that would further delay his training.


My question specifically is - is there anyway to get him out of his contract with the USMC?

Thank you

The answer to your question is least not any way that is easy.

The Marine Corps spent a good deal of time and money to find and begin the training process. In the all volunteer military of today there is no "easy" way out.

For good reason.

SOI is tough training. The Marine Corps historically looses a fairly large percentage of kids at this stage of training. The last thing they want to do is make it easier to get out.

There are ways out. But none of them good.

For example...some Marines will "refuse to train" some point this will lead to a discharge, though not with a good characterization.

Other Marines will leave for several months then return. This will lead to discharge, but again, with a poor characterization.

So if the question is; "is there any way to get out" then yes...he can commit misconduct...and at some point they will release him from the contract, but only after rendering a less than honorable discharge...and you want to avoid that.

THere are other avenues, for example if he has an injury that prevents him from training? That can be a path. But what you describe that dos not seem to apply.

Or if he has a deeply held belief in a spiritual power that precludes him from participating in the military, he can claim conscientious objector status. There is a process that allows discharge.

And if he has a mental health condition that makes him a risk for suicide? That also would lead to discharge. Though it is not clear from your description that this applies.

I wish you could convey to him that SOI is temporary in gets easier when he completes it and transfers on to his unit.

And if you have fears for his life, I would urge you to contact his Battalion Commander...they can take steps to ensure his safety. can delay his training. But it can keep him safe as well.

Let me know if you have more questions....happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your help and the detail.


How do I find out who his battalion commander is? And how do I determine, with such limited contact with him - how much is just him blowing off steam versus if he is actually suicidal?


I am worried for his safety but reading your response and understanding that SOI is tough for many marines, perhaps he is simply having a tough time?


I don't want to create a problem bigger than it truly is...

No way I can tell you if this is "blowing off steam" or serious...but if you have any concern? Notify the commander.

The commander can be found at (NNN) NNN-NNNN

And can engage to make sure there are no issues.

I was a commander at SOI many years back. I recall that there are some Marines who have a tough time in the program...but our goal was to get them through the program and on to their final destination.

If you have concerns for his safety, I would urge you to voice your concerns to the commander...he can help ensure our son's safety.

P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34741
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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