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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34989
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My son is preparing to be discharged from the Navy. General

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My son is preparing to be discharged from the Navy. General under honorable conditions. He has been in XXXXX XXXXX for depression and is currently in DC for 2 weeks for depression. He has served almost 4.5 years of a 6 year enlistment. His Chief said that he failed his last weigh in. During the time he was admitted for depression, he has been on medication and therapy. I want to make sure that he gets his benefits. He said that he paid into the MC GI Bill since he joined. His Chief said he may still be eligible for the GI Bill. I want to make sure that he does get the benefits, he deserves. What route should he take? Should he retain counsel to assist him? Thanks!
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

I am sorry to have to bear bad news. The law is very clear on this matter. He is not eligible for the GI bill unless he is discharged with an honorable conditions discharge. A general, under honorable conditions discharge will not qualify for the GI bill. This is true of the Montgomery GI Bill (the one you pay into) as well as the post 9/11 GI Bill (the one available to all who have served post 9/11/2001)

So the Chief was either confused or just plain wrong.

The tough part about this is that in order to give a general discharge, the commander is not required to provide the Sailor with a hearing. They can process this "on paper"

The Sailor is provided an opportunity to respond, in writing, to the proposal for separation. And a lawyer can certainly assist you in attempting to convince the separation authority that an honorable discharge is appropriate. So to answer the question, should you seek counsel? Yes...if the goal is to retain the GI Bill, that can help.

Just understand that at the end of the day, there is really not much the lawyer can do, other than help craft the written appeal to the separation authority. So you have a tough road ahead of you.

Perhaps not impossible...but certainly difficult

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