IN THE CASE OF: Mr.
BOARD DATE: 15 December 2014
CASE NUMBER: AR20140001658
Board Determination and Directed Action
After carefully examining the applicants record of service during the period of enlistment under review and notwithstanding the Discussion and Recommendation which follows, the Board determined that the characterization of service was too harsh based on the applicants length and quality of his service to include the circumstances surrounding the discharge, his awards, which include an ARCOM, and a 100 percent service-connected disability of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and as a result it is inequitable. Accordingly, the Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to honorable. The Board determined the reason for discharge was proper and equitable and voted not to change it.
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 fully honorable.
2. The applicant did not present any issues of equity or propriety for the Board to consider.
DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:
a. Application Receipt Date: 22 January 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 22 October 2010
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200,
Chapter 14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: HHC, 4-6th Infantry Regiment, Fort Bliss, TX
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 31 December 2008/3 years, 16 weeks
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 9 months, 22 days
h. Total Service: 1 year, 9 months, 22 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: None
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-3
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 11C10, Indirect Fire Infantryman
m. GT Score: 100
n. Education: GED
o. Overseas Service: SWA
p. Combat Service: Iraq (090502-100501)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, NDSM, GWOTSM, ICM-CS, ASR,
r. Administrative Separation Board: NA
s. Performance Ratings: NA
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:
The applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 31 December 2008, for a period of 3 years and 16 weeks. He was 21 years old at the time of entry and had a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). He served in Iraq and earned an ARCOM. He completed 1 year, 9 months, 22 days of active duty service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Fort Bliss, Texas.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:
1. On 7 October 2010, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c(2), for misconduct-abuse of illegal drugs. Specifically for a testing positive on a urinalysis test for marijuana (100606) and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (100909).
2. Based on the above misconduct, the unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
3. On 7 October 2010, the applicant consulted with legal counsel and voluntarily waived consideration of his case by an administrative separation board, contingent upon his receiving a characterization of service of no less favorable than general, under honorable conditions. The applicant 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 an under other than honorable conditions discharge. As a note, the election of rights form is dated 4 October 2010; however, the separation action control sheet reflects the actual date the applicant made his elections.
4. On 15 October 2010, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation efforts and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions.
5. The applicant was separated on 22 October 2010, under Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c(2) with a general, under honorable conditions discharge, an SPD code of JKK, and an RE code of 4.
6. The applicants record does not contain any evidence of unauthorized absences or time lost.
EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:
1. Article 15, dated 30 July 2010, for wrongful use of marijuana. The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $426 pay per month for two months, and 45 days of extra duty and restriction (FG).
2. A counseling statement, dated 28 September 2010, for positive urinalysis test for using designer amphetamines (MDA and MDMA) Ecstacy.
3. A Report of Behavioral Health Evaluation, dated 27 September 2010, reflects the applicant had a depressed, irritable, and anxious mood. However, he had a clear thought process and was mentally responsible for the events that led to the evaluation. He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and cannabis abuse. The evaluation noted the applicant needed treatment for PTSD.
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:
The applicant provided a DD Form 293, dated 14 January 2014, a DD Form 214, and a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs reflecting he has a 100 percent service-connected disability for PTSD.
The applicant did not provide any in support of his application.
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 documents and the 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. The applicant, by violating the Army’s policy not to possess or use illegal drugs, compromised the trust and confidence placed in a Soldier. The applicant, as a Soldier, had the duty to support and abide by the Army’s drug policies. By abusing illegal drugs, the applicant knowingly risked a military career and diminished the quality of his service below that meriting an honorable discharge. The applicants record of service was marred by a FG Article 15 and a negative counseling statement.
3. 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.
4. The applicants service record contains documentation that supports a diagnosis of in service PTSD; however, a careful review of the entire record reveals that this medical condition did not overcome the reason for discharge and characterization of service granted. The record shows that on 27 September 2010, the applicant underwent a mental status evaluation which indicates he was mentally responsible and had thought content that was clear. It appears the applicants chain of command determined that although he was suffering from PTSD, he knew the difference between what was right and wrong as indicated by the mental status evaluation. Further, there are many Soldiers with the same condition that completed their service successfully.
5. The records show the proper discharge and separation authority procedures were followed in this case.
6. Therefore, the reason for discharge and the characterization of service being both proper and equitable, recommend the Board deny relief.
BOARD DETERMINATION AND DIRECTED ACTION:
After carefully examining the applicants record of service during the period of enlistment under review and notwithstanding the Discussion and Recommendation, the Board determined that the characterization of service was too harsh based on the applicants length and quality of his service to include the circumstances surrounding the discharge, his awards, which include an ARCOM, and a 100 percent service-connected disability of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and as a result it is inequitable. Accordingly, the Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to honorable. The Board determined the reason for discharge was proper and equitable and voted not to change it.
SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:
Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 15 December 2014 Location: Washington, DC
Did the Applicant Testify, NA
Character Change: 4 No Change: 1
Reason Change: 0 No Change: 5
(Board member names available upon request)
Board Action Directed:
Issue a new DD Form 214: Yes
Change Characterization to: Honorable
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) AR20140001658
Page 5 of 6 pages
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE