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I’m in the ARNG and have made countless attempts at

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balancing my civilian life with...
I’m in the ARNG and have made countless attempts at balancing my civilian life with my military duties. Unfortunately the future in the ARNG will be damaging to my civilian career and in addition the time away from family. If I was to get activated for a year my annual salary would be deducted 30k which would put a massive finicial strain on my current living standards. Any advice on ending my contract mid way through would be much appreciated.
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Military Law
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11/29/2017
Military Lawyer: Blake, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Blake
Blake, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 107
Experience: Counsel at Warningstar Intelligence
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Hello, I am a licensed attorney with JustAnswer and I will be happy to help you with this. Please keep in mind that this conversation is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. Please wait one moment while I review this matter for you.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I look forward to hearing your reply.
Military Lawyer: Blake, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thank you for your patience. And thank you for your service. I am very sympathetic to your situation, and I understand that you are in a situation that could have a real impact on your life and financial well being if you were to be activated.

Unfortunately, as a general rule, military contracts are binding and you are expected to serve out the duration of your enlistment period, regardless of the fact that you have better employment opportunities elsewhere. On the other hand, if you can show that your activation causes a severe hardship to your immediate family, then you may be eligible for separation on those grounds (Please see the section on Military Hardship Discharge below).

I will list the ways to leave the military early (without being separated dishonorably) for your information and let you decide if you believe any of these options apply to you. It may be very helpful for you to have a confidential discussion about this decision for free with a JAG officer- you should be able to set up that kind of meeting through this website: http://www.jag.navy.mil/legal_services/legal_services_locator_rlso.htm

Conscientious Objector Discharge
A member who can convince the military that they are conscientious objectors may request a discharge. This is not as easy as it sounds.

First, you would have to show that your beliefs changed significantly after you joined the military because you must certify that you are not a conscientious objector at the time of voluntary enlistment.

You can't pick and choose which war you object to. By law, a conscientious objector is one who is opposed to participation in all wars. The person's opposition must be based on religious belief and training, and it must be deeply held.

The applicant must show that these moral and ethical convictions, once acquired, have directed his life in the way traditional religious convictions of equal strength, depth and duration have directed the lives of others. In other words, the belief upon which conscientious objection is based must be the primary controlling force in the applicant's life.

The burden of establishing a claim of conscientious objection as grounds for separation is on the applicant.

To this end, applicants must establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that the nature or basis of the claim comes within the definition of criteria prescribed by DoD Directive 1300.6, Conscientious Objectors, for conscientious objection and that their beliefs are sincere.

Sincerity is determined by an impartial evaluation of the applicant's thinking and living in its totality, past and present.

Information presented by the claimant must be sufficient to convince the commander that the claimant's personal history reveals views and actions strong enough to demonstrate that expediency or avoidance of military service is not the basis of his claim.

When evaluating applications for CO status, commanders consider relevant factors including: training in the home and church; general demeanor and pattern of conduct; participation in religious activities; whether ethical or moral convictions were gained through training, study, contemplation, or other activity comparable in rigor and dedication to the processes by which traditional religious convictions are formulated; credibility of the applicant; and credibility of persons supporting the claim.

Military Education Discharge - Early Release for Education
Department of Defense (DOD) Directives allow a military member to be discharged early to pursue their education if they are within 90 days of their normal separation date. Sometimes a service will approve an educational discharge request of more than 90 days.

For example, Air Force personnel can request separation after two years of service, if they have been accepted at an accredited school for medical training as physicians, dentists, osteopaths, veterinarians, optometrists, or clinical psychologists.

The Navy Personnel Manual allows sailors to request a discharge for education in excess of 90 days, but the approval authority for a 90 day (or less) discharge is the commanding officer (special court-martial authority), and for discharges for more than 90 days before the normal separation date, it goes all the way up to the commander of the Navy Personnel Command.

Neither the Army regulation (AR 635-200) nor the Marine Corps Regulation (MCO P1900-16F) allow for educational separations of more than 90 days prior to normal separation date.

Military Hardship Discharges
All of the services have procedures where a service member can request a discharge based on a valid hardship. Nine times out of ten, however, applicants find that they don't qualify. What is a hardship to you, does not necessarily meet the military's definition of a hardship.

All of the services are pretty much on the same page concerning hardship separations, so we'll just list the Army's definition to illustrate how hard it can be to qualify: "In order to qualify for separation under this provision, the hardship must not be of a temporary nature; must have developed or become increasingly worse since entry on active duty; discharge or release from active duty is the only readily available means of alleviation; and the individual must have made reasonable effort to relieve the conditions through other means available and appropriate to the family circumstances."

You can apply for a discharge based on the “genuine dependency or undue hardship” being a member of the military is causing if all of the following conditions are met:

-The hardship is severe and not temporary.
-It has developed or gotten worse since your entry into the military.
-You have made every reasonable effort to improve the situation before applying for a hardship discharge.
-Separation from the military is the only solution to the problem.
Consider applying for a hardship or dependency discharge if you have a sick parent, spouse or child who needs your care, or a family member is unable to make ends meet without your presence and help.

Applying for a hardship or dependency separation can result in either discharge or transfer to the inactive reserves. Servicemembers may also apply to be reassigned closer to home for hardships of shorter length. Characterization of service will be Honorable or General (under Honorable Conditions).

Hardship and dependency conditions are based on the financial, emotional, and physical needs of a your immediate family. However, families of servicemembers often experience some financial hardship or psychological strain because of the disruptions of family life associated with normal military duty. To be granted discharge, you must be experiencing conditions that are worse than what is normal for military service. In the words of the military, grounds for hardship or dependency discharge do “not necessarily exist solely because of altered present or expected income, family separation, or other inconveniences normally incident to Military Service.” For example, you are not eligible for a discharge simply because you could be making more money as a civilian.

Some Facts About Applying for a Dependency or Hardship Discharge

Hardship and dependency discharges often go hand in hand, but account for different situations. A hardship discharge is based on the financial difficulty being in the military is causing. Dependency discharges are based on the emotional hardship being in the military is causing. Criteria for the two discharges are the same.

The military has strict standards for hardship and dependency discharges, and the chances of getting a discharge are greatly increased if the claim is carefully thought out and thoroughly documented.

A discharge application cannot be denied because you are in debt to the military, or government, or because your services are needed by the military.

If applying for a hardship discharge based on financial considerations, you must prove that you will be able to earn more money, or save a significant amount of money, as a civilian. If applying for a dependency discharge, you must show that:

-Your presence will, if discharged, significantly improve the situation or keep it from getting worse; and
-No one else can provide the same help.

Documentation is likely to make or break a case. The request for discharge will be reviewed by military officials who don’t know your family’s situation. The decision of whether to grant discharge will be based on the information supplied by you; because of this, the application must be as clear, factual, and complete as possible. If both dependency and hardship conditions exist, make clear the severity of both the hardship and dependency conditions. You can ask the Red Cross office for your base to help gather documentation for your application.

Convenience of the Government - Miscellaneous Reasons for Discharge
This is kind of a catch-all for voluntary separations that don't fall under specific programs. Note that it's called "convenience of the government," not "convenience of the servicemember." One example would be discharged in order to enter a commissioning program.

The military can also use this provision when it would really rather that you get out but doesn't have a basis to require your separation under any other separation program. For example, if you won the state lottery and became a multi-millionaire overnight, the services probably would not find it conducive to moral and discipline to have a 3-striper millionaire arriving at work every day in his private helicopter. In such cases, they would most likely gladly approve a discharge request under "convenience of the government."

If you would like more information on the hardship discharge, there is a hotline and much more information available here: https://girightshotline.org/en/military-knowledge-base/regulation/dependency-or-hardship-discharge/army

Again, I am very sorry to here that you are in this situation. I sincerely ***** ***** this information is useful for you and I wish you all the best with this.

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If you are satisfied with this answer, please press the “accept” button now and leave a 5 star rating so that I may be given credit for the service that I provided you.

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If there is any way I can provide better service, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I appreciate the long drawn out response you gave by copying and pasting a bunch of irrelevant types of discharges that don’t apply to me. Unfortunately your response is deserving of a 1 star rating considering I paid 50$ for an answer I could of found by doing a google search. I was hoping for a response specific to my situation. Getting out of the military isn’t an option, I see it affecting my life negatively and burdening the my future and family life.
Military Lawyer: P. Simmons, Military Lawyer replied 4 months ago
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 36,600
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
Verified

different expert here...are you still looking for an answer to your question?

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