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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19221
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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My 19 yr old son is getting an entry level separation from

Customer Question

Hi. My 19 yr old son is getting an entry level separation from air force basic training and i'm trying to find out how/why this happened.
I'm a US Army Special Forces retiree having served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His brother was active duty AF for 6 years and is now attending college under the GI Bill and his cousin (same age) is in his second semester at West Point. My son decided to join the AF on his own. I trained with him. He was ready for this. And I am frustrated because I can’t speak to him directly to see what the problem is. This could ruin his life and I need information now to help him. As I understand it, there is a possibility that under an ELS my son would be able to enlist again in the future. Is this true? If so then what advice should I give my son and how do I arrange for him to contact me directly?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Without a great deal more information, it is really difficult to give an exact answer.

An entry level status separation is just the characterizations of the separation, like honorable or general. It is not the actual basis for the separation. For example, someone could be separated for PT test failures and get an honorable or general discharge. The status of that discharge doesn't give a clue as to the actual basis for it, though it does rule some things out.

It isn't a discharge for misconduct, because they wouldn't give an ELS separation status for that. So, it must have something to do with either a medical issue or personality issue, as it relates to military service. That is an exceedingly large area of possibilities though, some of which would allow for reenlistment and some of which would not.

Until you know the actual discharge basis that is being used and the reenlistment code that he is given, it's not possible to know right now if he could reenlist. Is it possible that he could reenlist? Certainly. There are discharges that grant an ELS that allow for reenlistment, so that is possible.

As for getting into contact with him, you don't technically have a legal right to speak to him. He's over the age of majority and in the service, so he is legally emancipated. I don't say this to be insensitive, but it's just the reality of the situation. You can certainly contact the base where he is in basic and ask to speak with his command, or at least ask that a message be given to him to contact you, but they don't technically have to work with you as a parent because he is legally an adult.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If he is flying home already, he has already legally been separated, so any action that can take place is going to have to take place after he is home. The appeal of the separation is automatic and just goes to the next level commander, so there isn't anything to do there.

If the basis for the separation is false or unjust, he can later submit a DD Form 149 to try and upgrade the discharge and reenlistment code on the DD Form 214 so that he could reenlist.

That being said, it may be discovered that his RE code would already allow him to reenter. There just isn't enough information in your question to know.