Military Law

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Navy Questions

The Navy is a branch of the armed forces which conducts military services from the water. The Navy protects our borders by sea and offers an excellent source of defense for our other branches of the military. Navy questions such as the ones answered below are often asked out of curiosity or confusion about Navy regulations and laws.

How do I get out of the Navy without getting a dishonorable discharge?

You will find that getting into the Navy was much easier than getting out. The military invests a large amount of money and time to train their service people and are not keen on the idea of letting them leave before they have secured their investment. In other words, the navy probably isn't going to make it easy for you if you want out early. More than likely, you will have to receive an Administrative separation.

If you can, you should try to receive a voluntary separation versus an involuntary separation. By receiving a voluntary separation, you will usually be given an honorable discharge. Here are a few situations that are rated voluntary:
  • Conscientious objector
  • Hardship
  • Pregnancy
  • Early release to further education

If your situation doesn't fall in any of these factors, you may want to finish your service time. Receiving a discharge that is less than honorable will cost you veteran benefits and will make finding a decent nearly impossible. Regardless of what you choose, having the support of your commander will greatly increase your chances of a successful separation.

If a sailor is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after re-enlisting, will they have to re-pay the re-enlistment bonus if they are medically discharged?

Usually, the Navy won't seek repayment if you leave the military due to a medical issue. Being medically discharged is not the same as being discharged due to misconduct. You might try asking for a waiver for the bonus pay due to the type 2 diabetes. The Secretary of the navy will be the one to determine if you pay the bonus money or not.

Is it true that there is a Navy regulation that an ex-spouse must pay a percentage of their retirement? VA said my ex husband couldn't stop paying me retirement pay.

The Uniform Service Former Spouse Protection Act is the only way a person would be eligible for any retirement pay from an ex-spouse and this would be determined in a divorce. This isn't a naval regulation, it is a law. A judge would have to place the order for you to receive a portion of your ex-spouses retirement pay. If this wasn't done during your divorce, you will have to reopen the divorce and ask for the retirement pay to be included in the divorce settlement. This can be done by hiring a divorce attorney.

Can the Navy force a couple to put their kids in daycare instead of allowing an early release based on hardship? Should the couple hire an attorney?

If the Navy chooses to refuse your early release, this could force you to use a daycare. You really wouldn't have many options aside from putting your children in daycare. If the cost of the daycare were an issue, you probably wouldn't receive much compassion from the Navy. Their view may be that if you don't want to pay for expensive daycare costs, then don't have children. You should probably speak with your command before hiring an attorney. If you can relate to your command the struggles or issues that you are facing, you may convince them that an early release would be beneficial. With your commands understanding and approval, you stand a much better chance of early discharge.

Is a person eligible for re-enlistment if they have a criminal record but no convictions? The charges were thrown out and never went to court.

The military doesn't need as many people at this time which means they are not as eager to sign people up for the military services. You can apply for a waiver with the Service Secretary for the branch that you choose to enlist. Generally, when the military doesn't need as many recruits, waivers are often denied. However, certain exceptions may apply to those who can offer specialized skills.

When dealing with Navy regulations, many people are unsure about their rights. Understanding the Navy rules can help you avoid any uncertain issues. However, if you do have concerns or questions, it's always best if you speak with an Expert in Military Law who can review your individual situation and offer legal insight.
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