Active Duty Enlisted Separations
Active duty enlisted separations are governed by AR 635-200.
Reserve and Guard Enlisted Separations
Active duty enlisted separations are governed by AR 135-178
Article on Reserve and National Guard Suspended Separations and Probationary Periods
Active Duty Officer Separations
Active duty enlisted separations are governed by AR 600-8-24
Reserve and Guard Officer Separations
Active duty enlisted separations are governed by AR 135-175
ADMINISTRATIVE DISCHARGES IN LIEU OF COURT MARTIAL
Each branch allows members to administratively separate instead of going through a court-martial. For example, Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 10, allows Soldiers to avoid a court-martial by requesting a discharge and admitting to at least one charge. This is a quick way to exit the service without a conviction. The government has to approve the discharge - of course.
The process starts when a Servicemember makes a request to the Separation Authority - usually through counsel - requesting discharge instead of a court-martial. Each Soldier must submit a written memorandum explaining various reasons why the administrative separation should be granted in his or her case.
A Soldier considering an administrative discharge instead of a court-martial has several rights. They include to:
a. submit statements on your own behalf.
b. waive all of the rights in wring.
c. consult with an attorney.
Most often, administrative discharges in lieu of a court-martial result in an ‘Other Than Honorable’ conditions discharge. This means that a Soldier is automatically reduced to the rank of PV1.
SEPARATION FOR SERIOUS MISCONDUCT
Under Chapter 14, there are four types of separation actions:
(1) conviction by a civil court;
(2) pattern of minor military disciplinary infractions;
(3) pattern of military or civilian misconduct; and
(4) commission of a serious offense.
Each type is different from the others and requires separate grounds for separation.
(1) Conviction by a Civil Court (paragraph 14-5). Separation is not mandatory after a conviction by a civilian court. The commander must believe that specific circumstances exist to warrant separation. The conviction must be for an offense that if tried by court-martial, would authorize a punitive discharge, or the sentence by civilian authorities includes confinement for 6 months or more, without regard to suspension or probation.
(2) Pattern of Minor Military Disciplinary Infractions (paragraph 14-12a). The command must have evidence of a pattern of misconduct. That means two or more minor military disciplinary infractions. Before initiating separation under Chapter 14, the commander must insure that the Soldier has had adequate counseling and an adequate opportunity for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation efforts vary, but may include a transfer to a new section or platoon within the unit or to a new unit. We often appeal these types of separations on a account of lack of counseling or rehabilitative efforts.
(3) Pattern of Military or Civilian Misconduct (paragraph 14-12b). Similar to (2) above, the commander must have evidence of discreditable involvement with civil or military authorities that is prejudicial to good order and discipline in the Army. Before initiating separation under Chapter 14, the commander must insure that the soldier has had adequate counseling and an adequate opportunity for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation efforts vary, but may include a transfer to a new section or platoon within the unit or to a new unit.
(4) Commission of a Serious Offense (paragraph 14-12c). The commander must provide evidence of a specific military or civilian offense that the commander believes warrants separation from the Army. The offense, if tried by a court-martial would authorize a punitive discharge upon conviction.
Soldiers have the right to consult with a military trial defense service attorney or with private civilian counsel at their own expense and to submit matters for the separation authority to consider before the separation authority makes a final decision regarding separation.
Additionally, soldiers with six or more years of service OR soldiers who are facing the possibility of an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge are entitled to an Administrative Separation Board. All soldiers pending Chapter 14 separation should consult with an attorney before making any decisions concerning the Chapter 14 separation.
The separation authority is normally the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is typically the first colonel in the chain of command. However, if an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge is recommended, the separation authority is normally the General Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is typically the Commanding General.
An honorable, general, or OTH discharge is possible under Chapter 14 proceedings. Soldiers in an entry level status (which means they have 180 days active duty service or less) may receive an uncharacterized description of service.
Separation pay is not authorized.
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