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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19200
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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Well I am in AIT in FT Huachuca right now and I am very

Customer Question

Well I am in AIT in FT Huachuca right now and I am very depressed and suicidal. I no longer want to be in the military. I want to go back to college and get an education.
JA: Are you overseas or stateside?
Customer: Stateside
JA: Have you talked to anyone in the chain of command about this?
Customer: Yes they said that I can't just get out. They keep saying that they know I want to be here. I've told them countless times how unhappy I am. I even asked for just a general discharge.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No that's all
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 5 months 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.

Your chain of command is correct that you can't just get out. Command decides if you are separated. It's always been that way. That being said, with the appropriate evidence and support from other helping agencies, enough pressure can be put on a commander to convince them to separate you.

First you need to go to medical and actually get a diagnosis of depression. While I have no reason to disbelieve you, you also are not a doctor and are not qualified to diagnose yourself. You need a health care professional to give a diagnosis. This can do two things. It can help with your immediate symptoms so it is not so bad AND it can provide the paperwork necessary to support a separation. Then you need to go to the Chaplain. It doesn't matter if you are religious or not. They are counselors as well as religious. They can counsel you and intercede with command on your behalf. Finally, once you have medical and the chaplain's office on your side, you go back to the chain of command with that support. At that point, you have a real argument to present to your commander rather than just your own statement that you want to get out.

If you have any further questions or other facts that you would like me to consider, 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 three, a four or preferably a five star rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Please rate me based on my service and not on your satisfaction with the law, which I am not in control of and I am just reporting to you. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I have been put on Zoloft for depression while I have been here. So I have spoken to a behavior doctor and a chaplain.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 5 months ago.

If you have spoken to them and are working with them, your only real choice is to continue to do so. You could go over your commander's head with the request, but in the military separations are controlled by commanders.

There simply are no loopholes anymore. After nearly 3 decades of continuous deployment and warfare, the military has closed them all. If you are going to be separated, it will only happen with the approval of your commander. Requesting a General Discharge doesn't help the matter, because that separation would still have to be initiated by and approved by your command.

Even breaking the law doesn't work, though it is true that a failed drug test would force command to at least process a separation. That could cause hardship though for the rest of your life, effecting potentially the colleges you can go to, the jobs you can get, etc.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. 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.