AR20140001557

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 14 January 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140001557
___________________________________________________________________________

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.

Presiding Officer

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, in his notice of disagreement letter to the VA, he disagrees with the VAs decision for denying his educational benefits. He states unforeseen medical circumstances involved suffering a back injury while on active duty led to his current discharge; wherein, he offered to resign from the Army with a GD and he was informed he would not be losing any of his VA benefits. An upgrade would allow him his educational benefits.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 16 January 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 13 December 2013
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200, Paragraph
14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: 34th Sapper Co, 84th Engr Bn (CE), Schofield
Barracks, HI
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 6 November 2012, 3 years, 18 weeks
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 1 month, 8 days
h. Total Service: 1 year, 1 month, 8 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: None
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-2
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 12B10, Combat Engineer
m. GT Score: 95
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: None
p. Combat Service: None
q. Decorations/Awards: NDSM
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: None
t. Counseling Statements: NIF
u. Prior Board Review: No

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The record shows the applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 13 December 2013, for a period of 3 years and 18 weeks. He was 19 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He was trained in and awarded military occupational specialty (MOS) 12B10, Combat Engineer. His record documents no acts of valor or significant achievement. He completed 1 year, 1 month, and 8 days of active duty service.

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 digitally authenticated by the applicants signature. The record also contains the separation authoritys decision memorandum.

2. On 20 November 2013, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions.

3. The DD Form 214 indicates that on 13 December 2013, the applicant was discharged under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c(2), AR 635-200, for misconduct (drug abuse), with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions. The DD Form 214 also shows a Separation Program Designator (SPD) code of JKK and a reentry (RE) code of 4.

4. The applicants available record does not show any recorded actions under the UCMJ, unauthorized absences or time lost. However, he was separated as a PVT/E-1 and the action that caused his reduction is not contained in the service record.

5. On 25 November 2013, HQDA USAG-Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, HI, Orders Number 329-0007, amended by Orders Number 337-0001, dated 3 December 2013, discharged the applicant from the Army, effective 13 December 2013.

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

There is no record of any negative counseling statements.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided his self-authored letter to the VA, entitled Notice of Disagreement.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant provided none.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY:

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 military records and the issue submitted with the application, there are insufficient 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. 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 the presumption of government regularity prevails in the discharge process.

3. The DD Form 214 shows the applicant was discharged under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c(2), AR 635-200, for misconduct (drug abuse), with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions as approved by the separation authority. Barring evidence to the contrary, it appears that all requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant would have been protected throughout the separation process.

4. The applicant requests an upgrade of his characterization to honorable. However, by regulation, a UOTHC discharge is normally appropriate for a member separated by reason of misconduct. It appears the applicants generally good record of service was the basis for his receiving a general, under honorable conditions discharge instead of the normal under other than honorable conditions discharge. However, his misconduct clearly diminished his overall record of service below that meriting a fully honorable discharge.

5. The applicant has expressed a desire to have the benefits of the GI Bill. 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 continue to contact a local office of the Department of Veterans Affairs for further assistance. The Board does not grant relief solely for the purpose of obtaining VA benefits.

6. If the applicant desires a personal appearance hearing, it is 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.

7. Therefore, based on the available evidence and the presumption of government 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: 14 January 2015 Location: Washington, DC

Did the Applicant Testify, NA

Counsel: None

Witnesses/Observers: NA

Board Vote:
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
Other: NA

Legend:
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) AR20140001557

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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