IN THE CASE OF: Mr.
BOARD DATE: 12 November 2014
CASE NUMBER: AR20140000724
Board Determination and Directed Action
After carefully examining the applicant’s record of service during the period of enlistment under review, and considering the Discussion and Recommendation which follows, the Board determined the discharge was both proper and equitable and voted to deny relief.
I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Department of the Army Discharge Review Board in this case.
THE APPLICANTS REQUEST AND STATEMENT:
1. The applicant requests an upgrade of his general, under honorable conditions discharge to honorable.
2. The applicant states, in effect, he desires to use his Montgomery GI Bill to further his education in order to provide a better life for his family. He states he has dedicated more than six years to serving his nation and its people. He has lost several of his fellow Soldiers in combat and to the alcohol culture that remains prevalent in the Army. He contends alcohol in combination with the stress of a post-combat lifestyle adjustment and flagrant infidelity had begun to eat away at the person he was. He contends his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), flagrant infidelity and serious problems with his wife tore him apart. He began to drink more so he approached his chain of command for assistance. He contends he was not taken seriously because he performed well as a Soldier. During his leave from Germany, he found out his wife was not adequately taking care of his children and was not faithful to him, so he began to drink heavily. Upon his arrival in Germany, he enrolled himself into an alcohol and drug counseling program. His chain of command recommended him for an Article 15 and he completed his punishment without incident. He was recommended for discharge as well for use of illegal drugs. He does not believe he should have all his VA benefits terminated for this action. He contends his chain of command treated him more harshly because he was in a leadership position. Since his discharge he has divorced his wife, provides the necessary child support for his children, and volunteers for the local football team as the head conditioning coach. He wants to continue his education and become the first person in his family to receive a college degree.
DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:
a. Application Receipt Date: 7 January 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 23 March 2013
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Serious Offense), AR 635-200
Chapter 14-12c, JKQ, RE-3
e. Unit of assignment: A Battery, 77th Field Artillery, APO AE
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 30 November 2008/6 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 4 years, 3 months, 24 days
h. Total Service: 6 years, 5 months, 8 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: DEP, 061016-061115, NA
RA, 061116-081129, HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-5
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 91P10, Artillery Mechanic
m. GT Score: 98
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA, Germany
p. Combat Service: Iraq (080830-090823)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM-4, AAM-3, MUC, AGCM, NDSM
ACM-2CS, GWOTSM, ICM-2CS, NOPDR ASR, OSR-2, NATO MDL
r. Administrative Separation Board: NIF
s. Performance Ratings: Yes
t. Counseling Statements: NIF
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
The applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 16 November 2006, for a period of 4 years and 28 weeks. He was 22 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earned four ARCOMs and three AAMs. He completed 6 years, 5 months, 8 days of active duty service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving in Germany.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:
1. The applicants service record is void of the specific facts and circumstances concerning the events which led to the discharge from the Army. However, the record contains a properly constituted DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), which was authenticated by the applicants signature.
2. The DD Form 214 indicates that on 23 March 2013, the applicant was discharged under the provisions of Chapter 14, AR 635-200, for misconduct (serious offense), with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions. The DD Form 214 also shows a Separation Program Designator (SPD) code of JKQ and a reentry (RE) code of 3.
3. The applicants available record does not show any recorded unauthorized absences or time lost.
4. On 11 March 2013, HQDA Installation Management Command Europe, Schweinfurt, Germany, Orders Number 070-0004, discharged the applicant from the Army effective
23 March 2013.
EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:
1. Discharge Orders Number 070-0004, dated 11 March 2013.
2. Article 15, dated 3 September 2011, for failing to obey a lawful regulation by wrongfully possessing spice and drug paraphernalia. The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-4 and forfeiture of $1,115 (FG).
3. A MP Report, dated 4 February 2011, reflects the applicant was the subject of an investigation for failure to obey a general order (spice and drug paraphernalia) in violation of Article 92, UCMJ.
4. Article 15, dated 24 September 2012, for wrongful possession of marijuana. The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-4, forfeiture of $1,133 pay (suspended), and 45 days of extra duty and restriction (FG).
5. A NCOER covering the period of 1 July 2010 through 30 June 2011. The applicant received a Fully Capable rating from his rater. His senior rater assessed him a 2/2 rating for his Overall Performance/Overall Potential.
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:
The applicant provided a DD Form 293, dated 4 June 2013, a DD Form 214, a self-authored statement, and ten character statements.
The applicant states he volunteers with a local football team as the head conditioning coach.
1. Army Regulation 635-200 sets forth the basic authority for the separation of enlisted personnel. Chapter 14 establishes policy and prescribes procedures for separating members for misconduct. Specific categories include minor disciplinary infractions, a pattern of misconduct, and commission of a serious offense, to include abuse of illegal drugs, convictions by civil authorities and desertion or being absent without leave. Action will be taken to separate a member for misconduct when it is clearly established that rehabilitation is impractical or unlikely to succeed. Army policy states that an under other than honorable conditions discharge is normally considered appropriate; however, a general, under honorable conditions or an honorable discharge may be granted.
2. Army Regulation 635-200, paragraph 3-7a, provides that an honorable discharge is a separation with honor and entitles the recipient to benefits provided by law. The honorable characterization is appropriate when the quality of the members service generally has met the standards of acceptable conduct and performance of duty for Army personnel, or is otherwise so meritorious that any other characterization would be clearly inappropriate. Whenever there is doubt, it is to be resolved in favor of the individual.
3. Army Regulation 635-200, paragraph 3-7b, provides that a general discharge is a separation from the Army under honorable conditions. When authorized, it is issued to a Soldier whose military record is satisfactory but not sufficiently meritorious to warrant an honorable discharge. A characterization of under honorable conditions may be issued only when the reason for the Soldiers separation specifically allows such characterization.
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION:
1. The applicants request for an upgrade of the characterization of his discharge was carefully considered. However, after examining the applicants record of service, his military records, the issues and documents submitted with the application, there are insufficient mitigating factors to merit an upgrade of the applicant’s discharge.
2. The applicants record is void of the specific facts and circumstances concerning the events which led to his discharge from the Army. However, the record contains a properly constituted DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), which was authenticated by the applicant’s signature. This document identifies the reason and characterization of the discharge and government regularity is presumed in the discharge process.
3. The DD Form 214 also indicates the applicant was discharged under the provisions of Chapter 14, AR 635-200, paragraph 14-12c by reason of misconduct (serious offense), with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions. Barring evidence to the contrary, the presumption of government regularity prevails as it appears that all the requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant were fully protected throughout the separation process.
4. The applicant’s contends he served more than six years of his life to serving his nation. However, there is insufficient evidence available in the official record to make a determination upon the applicant’s quality of service. Moreover, there is a presumption of regularity in the conduct of governmental affairs which is applied in all Army discharge reviews unless there is substantial credible evidence to rebut the presumption. There is no evidence in the record, nor has the applicant produced any evidence, to support a change to the characterization of service granted. The applicants statements alone do not overcome the presumption of government regularity and the application contains no documentation or further evidence in support of this request for an upgrade of the discharge.
5. The applicant further contends he requested assistance from his chain of command because he began to drink more. However, he had many legitimate avenues through which to obtain assistance or relief and he attests that he self-referred himself to an alcohol and drug counseling program for assistance before committing the misconduct which led to the separation action under review. Likewise, he has provided no evidence that he should not be held responsible for his misconduct.
6. Lastly, the applicant contends his chain of command treated him more harshly because he was in a leadership position. However, the evidence of record shows the command attempted to assist the applicant in performing and conducting himself to Army standards by the imposition of non-judicial punishment. The applicant failed to respond appropriately to these efforts. Further, the quality of the applicants service was not consistent with the Army’s standards for acceptable personal conduct and performance of duty by military personnel. It brought discredit on the Army, and was prejudicial to good order and discipline. By violating the Army’s policy not to possess or use illegal drugs, compromised the trust and confidence placed in a non-commissioned officer. The applicant, as an NCO, had the duty to support and abide by the Army’s drug policies. He abused illegal drugs, therefore he knowingly risked a military career and diminished the quality of his service below that meriting an honorable discharge.
7. The applicant desires to use his Montgomery GI Bill to further his education. However, eligibility for veteran’s benefits to include educational benefits under the Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill does not fall within the purview of the Army Discharge Review Board. Accordingly, the applicant should contact a local office of the Department of Veterans Affairs for further assistance.
8. If the applicant desires a personal appearance hearing, it will be his responsibility to meet the burden of proof and provide the appropriate documents (i.e., the discharge packet) or other evidence sufficient to explain the facts, circumstances, and reasons underlying the separation action, for the Boards consideration because they are not available in the official record.
9. Therefore, based on the available evidence and the government presumption of regularity, it appears the reason for discharge and the characterization of service are both proper and equitable, thus recommend the Board deny relief.
SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:
Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 12 November 2014 Location: Washington, DC
Did the Applicant Testify, NA
Character Change: 0 No Change: 5
Reason Change: 0 No Change: 5
(Board member names available upon request)
Board Action Directed:
Issue a new DD Form 214: No
Change Characterization to: No Change
Change Reason to: No Change
Change Authority for Separation: NA
Change RE Code to: NA
Grade Restoration to: NA
AMHRR – Army Military Human Resource Record FG – Field Grade IADT Initial Active Duty Training RE – Reentry
AWOL – Absent Without Leave GD – General Discharge NA – Not applicable SCM- Summary Court Martial
BCD – Bad Conduct Discharge HS – High School NIF – Not in File SPCM – Special Court Martial
CG – Company Grade Article 15 HD – Honorable Discharge OAD – Ordered to Active Duty UNC – Uncharacterized Discharge
CID – Criminal investigation Department MP Military Police OMPF – Official Military Personnel File UOTHC – Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
ADRB Case Report and Directive (cont) AR20140000724
Page 6 of 6 pages
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE