IN THE CASE OF: Mr.
BOARD DATE: 4 February 2015
CASE NUMBER: AR20140001466
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.
2. The applicant states, in pertinent part and in effect, he received an Article 15 for DUI. His chain of command knew of his drinking issues and did very little to help him. VA has diagnosed him with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result of the PTSD, he was depressed, had nightmares, and was drinking very heavily. He started to get help for his PTSD. He plans to help reaching out to others like him to seek help. An upgrade would allow him to use his G.I Bill and help him to better his career with AT&T, a corporate he worked with for three and a half years. He served his country proudly and would not change that for the world, but would like for his actions, which were shown in wartime, to be reflected solely as honorable.
DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:
a. Application Receipt Date: 22 January 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 5 September 2008
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Serious Offense), AR 635-200,
Paragraph 14-12c, JKQ, RE-3
e. Unit of assignment: B Co, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT,
82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 2 October 2006, 3 years and 21 weeks
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 11 month, 4 days
h. Total Service: 1 year, 11 month, 4 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: None
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-3
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 11B1P, Infantryman
m. GT Score: 91
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA
p. Combat Service: Iraq (070326-071103)
q. Decorations/Awards: AAM; NDSM; ICM; GWOTSM; ASR; CIB
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: None
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
The record shows the applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 2 October 2006, for a period of 3 years and 21 weeks (ETS 25 February 2010). He was 20 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He was trained in and awarded military occupational specialty (MOS) 11B1P, Infantryman. He served in Iraq. He earned an AAM. He completed 1 year, 11months, and 4 days of active duty service.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:
1. The evidence contained in the applicants service record indicates that on 25 July 2008, 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 misconduct (serious offense), specifically for the following offenses:
a. wrongfully appropriating a 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (080223) and
b. driving while impaired having a blood alcohol content of 0.20 (080223).
2. Based on the above misconduct, the unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge and advised the applicant of his rights.
3. On 7 August 2008, the applicant consulted with legal counsel, was advised of the impact of the discharge action and did not submit a statement on his own 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 with a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
4. On 15 August 2008, 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 5 September 2008, with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200, for misconduct (serious offense), 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. A Report of Mental Status Evaluation, dated 18 April 2008, indicates the applicant was mentally responsible for his behavior, can distinguish right from wrong, and possessed sufficient mental capacity to participate in the proceedings; that there was no evidence of emotional or mental disorder of psychiatric significance that would warrant disposition through medical channels; and he was psychiatrically cleared for any administrative action deemed appropriate by his command. It provided no diagnosis.
2. Article 15, dated 17 April 2008, for wrongful appropriating a vehicle of a value over $500, property of another Soldier (080223). The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $670 per month for two months, and 30 days of extra duty and restriction, (FG).
3. Two negative counseling statements, dated 1 April 2008, for his DUI; deciding to take another Soldiers vehicle without his permission; unsatisfactory behavior; failing to obey lawful orders; destruction of property; and reckless endangerment.
4. A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMORO), dated 27 March 2008, indicates the applicant was reprimanded for driving while impaired.
5. Memorandum, dated 23 February 2008, subject: Commanders Inquiry Concerning Wide Spread Drug Use in [the applicants unit], rendered by the unit commander, presented facts, investigation results which indicated evidence showing multiple Soldiers abusing drugs within the unit, and recommendations involving several Soldiers including the applicant.
6. An MP Report, dated 24 February 2008, indicates the applicant was the subject of an investigation for a traffic accident, injury/destruction of property and traffic accident resulting in personal injury; impaired driving; and careless and reckless by manner.
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:
The applicant provided a self-authored statement and DD Form 214 for service under current review.
The applicant states, in effect, he has been working for AT&T, for three and a half years.
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 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.
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 incidents of misconduct, the applicant diminished the quality of his service below that meriting a fully honorable discharge.
3. The applicant contends that he had good service which included his wartime service. The applicants service accomplishments 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 repeated incidents of serious misconduct or by the negative counseling statements and the documented actions under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and a GOMOR.
4. The applicant provided no independent corroborating evidence demonstrating that either the command’s action was erroneous or that the applicants service mitigated the misconduct or poor duty performance.
5. The applicant contends his chain of command knew of his drinking issues and did very little to help him; that VA has diagnosed him with PTSD; that as a result of the PTSD, he was depressed, having nightmares, and drinking very heavily; and that he started to get help for his PTSD. However, the service record contains no evidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis and the applicant did not submit any evidence to support the contention that the discharge was the result of any medical condition. The applicants statement alone does not support a diagnosis of in service PTSD. Further, the record shows that on 18 April 2008, 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 he knew the difference between what was right and wrong as indicated by the mental status evaluation and it did not provide any PTSD diagnosis.
6. The applicant has expressed his desire to have better job opportunities and the benefits of the GI Bill. However, the Board does not grant relief for the purpose of gaining employment or enhancing employment opportunities, or to obtain veterans benefits. Further, 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.
7. The applicant contends that since leaving the Army he has been employed with AT&T. The applicants post-service accomplishments have 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.
8. The records show the proper discharge and separation authority procedures were followed in this case.
9. 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: 4 February 2015 Location: Washington, DC
Did the Applicant Testify, No Counsel/Representative: None Witnesses/Obsrvers: No
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) AR20140001466
Page 2 of 6 pages
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE