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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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Back in October my brother and I decided to join the army

Customer Question

Back in October my brother and I decided to join the army national guard. We signed up at meps and attend two drill weekends through the months of October and November. We were scheduled to ship off to basic on the 23rd of November. My brother and I decided we had made a mistake and decided to pass on the opportunity to attend basic. As a result, the guard wasn't to happy about it and did everything in there power to convince us we were making a huge mistake. However, we had already seeker plenty of legal advice from military lawyers like yourself so we new we were in the clear. Its been over two months since my brother and I have had contact with anyone from the guard. We haven't attended the two drills since and haven't heard anything. However, they already knew that because we told them we were no longer interested and it was the lawyers advice to no longer attend. Our third drill since skipping out on basic is this current weekend. The reason why I'm contacting you is because I received a call from a sergeant from the guard on Friday afternoon which would be yesterday. It was nothing negative. However, he wants my brother and I to stop in tommorow for a face to face visit so I could sign and they could get the discharge process going. Here's my questions to you.
#1: do I even need to be discharged since I never attended basic?? If so I would hope to receive an uncharacterised discharge with an entry level seperation. Is that would I receive??
#2: if I do need to be discharged do my brother and I actually have to go down there and sign a form for the process to take place or could my brother and I just avoid them completely and will they just discharge us on there own with out a face to face or a signature??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Yes, you have to be discharged. When you signed your initial paperwork, you joined. This is different than active duty people, that don't officially join until they show up for basic training. You are in an must be discharged. You will receive an uncharacterized discharge.

You may not need to go down there, but it is in your best interest to sign the documentation so that it can be processed quickly. They could ultimately separate you without your signature, but if you upset them they might choose not to separate you. Then they can issue an warrant for your arrest and just leave you on the books. If you get pulled over after that, you'd be placed under arrest until the military let them know that they couldn't actually convict you and to let yo go. It's in your best interest to just go down there and sign the documents.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When my brother and I go to sign the discharge paper work how do we know we're getting the proper discharge?? I expect to receive an uncharacterised discharge with an entry level separation. But neither of us understand the paper work, so how do we know there telling us what we want to hear and were signing something else?? Should I bring legal representation or could they be trusted??
Also, if they don't offer the discharge we want what should we do?? Should we not sign and comeback with legal representation??
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Because they legally have to notify you of the discharge basis on what you are signing. You don't just sign a blank check for them to do whatever discharge they want.

The basis for the discharge will be obvious. You don't have to be a lawyer to read it and understand it. You can't bring legal representation, but you do get a chance to take the paperwork and review with counsel before signing it, if you wish.

If they don't offer the discharge you want, don't sign anything. Of course, they'll be able to try and give you the more negative discharge without your cooperation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if they offer a discharge we don't want we have the ability to then go and get proper legal representation in order to try to better ourselves before signing??
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Once you are in the discharge process, whatever they decide to try, you can get representation...yes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thank you. I know u can't give me a guarantee. But if you had to take a guess do you believe that it would be uncharacterised discharge with an entry level seperation.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Yes. We have discussed this before, numerous times and we've come to the same conclusion each time...with multiple different attorneys addressing this question.

I don't really have anything new to add to that analysis.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I apologize, it's been a while just refreshing myself. Last question, The uncharacterised discharge with an entry level seperation is the best possible out come right?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

No need to apologize. I'm not annoyed or upset and I'm sorry if it came across that way.

I'm just stating that nothing has changed from our previous analysis. Having us say it again isn't going to make it any more certain than it already is.

But yes, once again, that is the best possible outcome and the most likely.

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

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.