AR20140002340

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 25 June 2014

CASE NUMBER: AR20140002340
___________________________________________________________________________

Board Determination and Directed Action

After carefully examining the applicants record of service during the period of enlistment under review and notwithstanding the analysts 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 his combat service and the circumstances surrounding his discharge 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.

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 an upgrade of his general, under honorable conditions discharge to fully honorable and a change to the narrative reason for discharge.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he had problems adjusting to normal life after his deployment to Afghanistan. He states the combat stress and the stress of losing one of his best friends was very difficult. He began to drink excessively and lost his military bearing. He contends he never received any assistance with his issues. He decided to use drugs after he could not sleep and had nightmares. He states this was an isolated incident and was a terrible mistake. He states he has turned his life around. He works at a hospital which requires drug screenings. He is requesting an upgrade of his discharge in order to correct the mistake he made and return a sense of honor to himself. He did not present any issues of propriety or equity for the Board to consider.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 3 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 7 June 2012
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200
Chapter 14-12c, JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: HHC, 2-502nd Infantry Regiment (Rear)
(Provisional), Fort Campbell, KY
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 11 March 2009/3 years, 17 weeks
g. Current Enlistment Service: 3 years, 2 months, 27 days
h. Total Service: 3 years, 2 months, 27 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: None
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 11B1P, Infantryman
m. GT Score: 103
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA
p. Combat Service: Afghanistan (100605-110531)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, VUA, NDSM, GWOTSM, ASR, OSR
NATO MDL, CIB, ACM-CS
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 11 March 2009, for a period of 3 years and 17 weeks. He was 19 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He served in Iraq and earned an ARCOM. He completed 3 years, 2 months, and 27 days of active duty service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Fort Campbell, KY.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. On 14 May 2012, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c, for misconduct (serious offense). Specifically, for wrongful use of cocaine between 22 February 2012, and 27 February 2012.

2. Based on the above misconduct, the unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge.

3. On an unknown date, the applicant waived his right to consult with legal counsel, was advised of the impact of the discharge action; however, and the record does not reflect his election to submit a statement in 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 18 May 2012, 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 7 June 2012, 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. There is one positive urinalysis report contained in the record:

IR, Inspection Random, 27 February 2012, cocaine

2. Article 15, dated 26 March 2012, for wrongful use of cocaine, a schedule I substance. The punishment consisted of reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $745 per month for two months, 45 days of extra duty and restriction (FG)

3. DA 3822 (Report of Mental Status Evaluation), dated 13 April 2012, reflects the applicant had no obvious impairments and could understand the difference between right and wrong. He was diagnosed with alcohol abuse and a anxiety disorder NOS. The applicant was screened for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury and found to exhibit symptoms of PTSD but did not meet the criteria for a medical evaluation board. He was encouraged to seek assistance through the Veterans Administration.

4. One negative counseling statement dated 16 March 2012, for a positive urinalysis.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided an online application, dated 29 January 2014, a DD Form 214 covering the period of service under review, and three letters of support of his application that attest to his exceptional moral and ethical maturity, as well as his professionalism.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant states he works in a hospital and goes through drug screenings.

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.

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 “JKK” as the appropriate code to assign enlisted Soldiers who are discharged under the provisions of Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14, misconduct (drug abuse).

5. The SPD Code/RE Code Cross Reference Table shows that a Soldier assigned an SPD Code of “JKK” will be assigned an RE Code of 4.

ANAYLSTS DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

1. The applicants request for an upgrade of the characterization of his discharge and a change to the narrative reason was carefully considered. However, after examining the applicants service record and the documents submitted with the application, there are insufficient mitigating factors to merit a change to the characterization and narrative reason for the discharge.

3. The applicant, by violating the Army’s policy not to possess or use illegal drugs, compromised the special 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 that ultimately caused his discharge from the Army.

4. The record confirms 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 an Article 15 and negative counseling statement.

5. The applicant contends the incident that caused his discharge was the only one in his entire Army career. Although a single incident, the discrediting entry constituted a departure from the standards of conduct expected of Soldiers in the Army. The applicable Army regulation states there are circumstances in which the conduct or performance of duty reflected by a single incident provides the basis for a characterization. The applicant’s incident of misconduct adversely affected the quality of his service, brought discredit on the Army, and was prejudicial to good order and discipline.

6. The applicant contends he received no assistance from his chain of command. However, AR 635-200, paragraph 1-16d(2), entitled counseling and rehabilitative requirements, states the rehabilitative requirements may be waived by the separation authority in circumstances where common sense and sound judgment indicate that such transfer will serve no useful purpose or produce a quality Soldier. Further, AR 600-85, paragraph 3-8 entitled self-referrals, states the applicant could have self-referred to the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) counseling center for assistance.

7. The applicants service record contains documentation that supports a diagnosis of in service Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (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 13 April 2012, the applicant underwent a mental status evaluation which indicates he had no obvious impairments and was able to recognize right from wrong. It appears the applicants chain of command determined that although he exhibited symptoms of 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.

8. Therefore, the reason for discharge and the characterization being both proper and equitable, recommend the Board deny relief.

BOARDS 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 his combat service and the circumstances surrounding his discharge 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: 25 June 2014 Location: Washington, DC

Did the Applicant Testify, No

Counsel: None

Board Vote:
Character Change: 3 No Change: 2
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: No Change
Change RE Code to: No Change
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) AR20140002340

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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