IN THE CASE OF: Mr.
BOARD DATE: 17 December 2014
CASE NUMBER: AR20140000731
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 to upgrade the characterization of his service from general, under honorable conditions to fully honorable, and to change the narrative reason for his discharge.
2. The applicant states, in pertinent part and in effect, he served honorably over seven years. He helped train cadets at USMA-West Point. He received an AAM and a commendation for outstanding service and leadership, which reflects his outstanding and honorable character of service. His mental health was not viewed as an issue. He was charged with AWOL after being diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and chronic depression. He had a history of suicide attempts. He was under extreme stress and took prescribed medication with side effects that included extreme depression, mood changes, and suicidal ideations. He was diagnosed with a 70 percent service-connected disability for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In previous service, he received a Navy Achievement Medal and several other commendations for serving in the billet of a commissioned officer. He is working hard to set the example for his children, volunteers with the American Red Cross as an instructor for CPR and first aid, works as a community Emergency Medical Technician without pay, and is a peer mentor and alumni with wounded warrior project. He plans to continue working in the medical field and attending a specialty school. An upgrade would enable him to use his GI Bill. He regrets his record of discharge and believes he can continue to serve humanity in a medical capacity.
DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:
a. Application Receipt Date: 8 January 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 23 November 2004
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct, AR 635-200, Paragraph 14-12c, JKQ,
e. Unit of assignment: Co B, 10th Combat Spt Hosp, Fort Carson, CO
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 1 April 2003, 3 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 7 months, 23 days
h. Total Service: 8 years, 8 months, 11 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: MCRSC (960313-970121) / NA
USMC (970122-010214) / HD
MCRSC (010215-010221) / NA
USAR (010222-011031) / NA
IADT (011101-020412) / HD
USAR (020413-030331) / HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 91W10, Health Care Specialist / 13F10, Fire
m. GT Score: 116
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: Hawaii, Japan
p. Combat Service: None
q. Decorations/Awards: AAM; NAM; MGCM; NDSM; GWOTSM; N&MCEM;
r. Administrative Separation Board: No, waived
s. Performance Ratings: None
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
The record shows the applicant with previous service, enlisted in the Regular Army on 1 April 2003, for a period of 3 years. He was 26 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He was trained in and awarded military occupational specialty (MOS) 91W10, Health Care Specialist. He served in Hawaii and earned an AAM. He completed a total of 8years, 8 months, and 11 days of active duty and reserve service.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:
1. The evidence contained in the applicants service record shows that on 25 October 2004, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200, by reason of misconductcommission of a serious offense, for being AWOL (040330-040421), in violation of Article 86, UCMJ. (Note that a previous notification of separation proceedings, dated 13 October 2004, initiated during by a different unit commander and the applicants subsequent election of rights, dated 13/14October 2004, were made part of the current separation packet; however, they were labeled as an old packet as of 20 October 2004.)
2. The unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge and advised the applicant of his rights.
3. On 25 and 26 October 2004, the applicant consulted with legal counsel, was advised of the impact of the discharge action, voluntarily waived consideration of his case by an administrative separation board, and submitted matters with a sworn statement on his behalf. The unit commander subsequently recommended separation from the Army and waiver of further rehabilitative efforts. The intermediate commander reviewed the proposed action and recommended approval of the separation with a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
4. On 8 November 2004, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions.
5. The applicant was discharged from the Army on 23 November 2004, with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200, for misconduct, a Separation Program Designator code (SPD) of JKQ and an RE code of 3.
6. The applicants service record does not contain any evidence of unauthorized absences or time lost.
EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:
1. Article 15, dated 25 May 2004, for being AWOL (040330-040421). The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-3 and forfeiture of $370 (suspended), (CG).
2. Record of Supplementary Action under Article 15, UCMJ, dated 7 September 2004, indicates the suspended punishment of forfeiture imposed on 25 May 2004, was vacated on the basis of failing to sign off from leave (040823) and failing to be at his appointed place of duty at the prescribed time (040824).
3. Two negative counseling statements, dated 29 April 2004 and 30 August 2004, for being AWOL and failing to be at his appointed place of duty at the prescribed time.
4. DA Form 3822-R, Report of Mental Status Evaluation, dated 30 August 2004, indicates the applicant was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, partner relational problem, and dependent personality traits, but was cleared for any administrative action deemed appropriate by his command.
5. DA Form 1059, dated 5 September 2003, for period under current review, indicates the applicant achieved the course standards of the Primary Leader Development Course.
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:
The applicant provided DD Form 214 for service under current review; DD Form 214, dated 14February 2001, for service with the USMC-11; AAM certificate/recommendation, dated 4August 2004 and 25 July 2004, respectively; certificate of achievement; three USMC certificates of commendation; NAM certificate; and DA Form 1059, Service School Academic Evaluation Report, dated 5 September 2003.
The applicant states, in effect, he is working very hard to set the example for his children, volunteers with the American Red Cross as an instructor for CPR and first aid, works as a community Emergency Medical Technician without pay, and is a peer mentor and alumni with a wounded warrior project.
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.
4. Army Regulation 635-5-1 (Separation Program Designator (SPD) Codes) provides the specific authorities (regulatory or directive), reasons for separating Soldiers from active duty, and the SPD codes to be entered on the DD Form 214. It identifies the SPD code of “JKQ” as the appropriate code to assign enlisted Soldiers who are discharged under the provisions of Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, misconduct (serious offense).
5. The SPD Code/RE Code Cross Reference Table shows that a Soldier assigned an SPD Code of “JKQ” will be assigned an RE Code of 3.
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION:
1. The applicants request for an upgrade of the characterization of his discharge and to change the narrative reason for his discharge was carefully considered. However, after examining the applicants record of service, his military records, and the documents and issues submitted with the application, there are insufficient mitigating factors to merit an upgrade of the applicant’s discharge or a change to the narrative reason for his discharge.
2. The record confirms that the applicants discharge was appropriate because the quality of his 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 the serious misconduct, the applicant diminished the quality of his service below that meriting a fully honorable discharge. The applicants record of service was marred by two Article 15 actions for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and negative counseling statements.
3. The applicant provided no independent corroborating evidence demonstrating that either the command’s action was erroneous or insufficient evidence that the applicants service mitigated the misconduct or poor duty performance.
4. The applicant contends he was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and chronic depression with a history of suicide attempts and was prescribed medication that had side effects, and that he was charged with an AWOL offense after his medical diagnosis. However, the available medical evidence in the record is void of any indication that the applicant was suffering from a disabling medical or mental condition during his discharge processing that would have warranted his separation processing through medical channels. Therefore, this issue is without merit toward a consideration for an upgrade or a change to the narrative reason for his discharge.
5. Furthermore, a careful review of the entire record reveals that the aforementioned medical condition did not overcome the reason for discharge and characterization of service granted. The record shows that on 30 August 2004, the applicant underwent a mental status evaluation which indicates he was mentally responsible, with thought content as clear, and was able to recognize right from wrong. It appears the applicants chain of command determined that although he may have been suffering from mental health condition, he knew the difference between what was right and wrong as indicated by the mental status evaluation. The report further indicates the applicant was cleared for any administrative action deemed appropriate by his command, and subsequently, he was separated for a serious incident of misconduct.
6. The applicant contends the narrative reason for the discharge should be changed. However, the applicant was separated under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200 with a general, under honorable conditions discharge. The narrative reason specified by Army Regulations for a discharge under this paragraph is “Misconduct (Serious Offense),” and the separation code is “JKQ.” Army Regulation 635-5, Separation Documents, governs preparation of the DD Form 214 and dictates that entry of the narrative reason for separation, entered in block 28 and separation code, entered in block 26 of the form, will be exactly as listed in tables 2-2 or 2-3 of AR 635-5-1, Separation Program Designator (SPD) Codes. The regulation further stipulates that no deviation is authorized. There is no provision for any other reason to be entered under this regulation.
7. The applicant contends VA granted him with a 70 percent service-connected disability for PTSD. However, the service record contains no evidence of PTSD diagnosis and the applicant did not submit any evidence to support the contention that the discharge was the result of any medical condition.
8. The applicant contends that he had good service which included receiving medals and commendationshe helped train cadets at West Point, and during a prior period of service. The applicants service accomplishments during the current period under review, and the quality of his service prior to the incidents that caused the initiation of discharge proceeding were carefully considered. However, this service was determined not to be sufficiently mitigating to warrant an upgrade to the characterization of discharge as shown by the serious incidents of misconduct or by the negative counseling statements and the documented actions under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
9. The applicants post-service accomplishments have also been noted as outlined on the application. However, in review of the applicants entire service record and the reasons for the discharge, it appears that these accomplishments did not overcome the reason for discharge and characterization of service granted.
10. The applicant has expressed his desire to have better job opportunities and the benefits of the GI Bill. 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. Further, the Board does not grant relief for the purpose of gaining employment or enhancing employment opportunities, or obtaining education benefits.
11. The record does not contain any indication or evidence of arbitrary or capricious actions by the command and all requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant were fully protected throughout the separation process. The character of the applicants discharge is commensurate with his overall service record. Accordingly, the records show the proper discharge and separation authority procedures were followed in this case.
12. Therefore, the reason for discharge and the characterization of service being both proper and equitable, recommend the Board deny relief.
SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:
Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 17 December 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) AR20140000731
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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE