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. Unfortunately, the legal loopholes that exist for separation
are the tools of commanders, not the soldiers
. What that means is that, if your command agrees, you absolutely have the facts that would justify a separation. You could make an argument for financial hardship, present paperwork to show that, etc. However, the problem with this type of separation is that, if the command is not behind it, it won't happen. There is no legal method to compel separation. There are simply options that the commander has available to him/her, provided you meet the facts to allow it. Even if you meet the facts, the command is not obligated to separate. Very few things legally compel a commander to even process a separation. Drug use and a civilian conviction, neither of which would result in a good situation for you. About the only other option you have here is to simply stop going. This is also problematic, because depending on the commander this can result in a negative discharge
at best (a General or Other than Honorable) or a warrant being issued for your arrest, at worst. Now, the criminal law route is very uncommon and depends entirely on the motivation of the commander, because it is not easy to do. JAG's discourage it in the NG, because it's not really a practical option, but just as in separations, commanders are in charge of what action takes place. Commanders can and will (and have) ignore our advice and try things the hard way. If a warrant is issued, usually what happens is you go on with your life and then, perhaps a few years from now, you get pulled over for speeding or swerving or whatever, and then are placed under arrest for having an outstanding warrant. Even then, they rarely process a court martial
and end up just separating you with an OTH following a board hearing, but it can be a major inconvenience. I know this is not a very favorable response. I wish I could tell you differently. I certainly understand the impact service can have on certain types of work. However, this is the truth of the law. 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.