AR20140002481

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 21 January 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140002481
___________________________________________________________________________

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 his under other than honorable conditions discharge be upgraded to honorable or general under honorable conditions.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he made a mistake that should have been handled differently, he believes he served his country respectfully, made it to the rank of Sergeant, and served in Iraq.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 5 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 14 October 2005
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Serious Offense), AR 635-200, 14-12c, JKQ, RE-3
e. Unit of assignment: B Battery, 3d Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Bragg, NC
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 19 August 2003, 3 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 7 months, 16 days
h. Total Service: 6 years, 10 months, 23 days
i. Time Lost: 190 days
j. Previous Discharges: ARNG 971102-980304/HD
ARNG 980305-980511/NA
RA 980512-000705/HD
RA 000706-030818/HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-5
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 13D10, Field Artillery Automation
m. GT Score: 87
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: Southwest Asia
p. Combat Service: Iraq (030511-031010)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM-2, AAM-2, AGCM, NDSM, ICM, GWOTSM, NCOPDR, ASR
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: Yes
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The applicant enlisted in the Army National Guard on 2 November 1997, and requested to enlist in the Regular Army on 12 May 1998, for a period of 3 years and subsequently reenlisted on two occasions with a later date of 19 August 2003. He was 25 years old at the time and a high school graduate. He served in Germany during a prior period of service and did a tour of combat in Iraq from 11 May 2003 until 10 October 2003. He earned two ARCOMs, two AAMs and an AGCM and completed a total of 6 years, 10 months, and 23 days of active duty service.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. On 21 September 2005, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under Army Regulation 635-200, paragraph 14-12c, specifically for the commission of serious offenses for being absent without leave (AWOL).

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

3. On 21 September 2005, the applicant waived his right to consult with legal counsel, was advised of the impact of the discharge action, unconditionally waived his right to an administrative separation board, and did not submit a statement in his own behalf. The unit commander subsequently recommended separation from the Army and waiver of further rehabilitative efforts. The intermediate commanders reviewed the proposed action and recommended approval with an under other than honorable conditions discharge.

4. On 22 September 2005, the separation authority directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of under other than honorable conditions.

5. The applicant was separated on 14 October 2005, under Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c, misconduct-commission of a serious offense, with an under other than honorable conditions discharge, an SPD code of JKQ, and an RE code of 3.

6. The applicants record contains several DA Forms 4187 which show the applicant has a period of time lost for being AWOL from 19 January 2005 until his apprehension by the civilian authorities and returned to military control on 28 July 2005, for a total of 190 days.

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

1. Article 15, dated 29 August 2005, for AWOL (050119-050727). The punishment imposed was a reduction to E-4; forfeiture of $978.00 pay per month for one month; extra duty for 45 days; and restriction for 45 days, suspended to be automatically remitted if not vacated before 29 November 2005.

2. Negative counseling statement dated 7 September 2005, recommending the applicants discharge from the military based on his AWOL offense on 19 January 2005 to 27 July 2005.

3. One NCOER covering the period of December 2003 to August 2004. The applicant was rated as Fully Capable and received a 2 in the Successful block from the senior rater.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided a DD Form 214 and DD Form 149 in lieu of a DD Form 293.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant did not provide any with the application.

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 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. By the misconduct (i.e., AWOL), the applicant diminished the quality of his service below that meriting a general or a fully honorable discharge. The applicants record of service was marred by an Articles 15 for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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 applicant contends he made a mistake that should have been handled differently, he believes he served his country respectfully, made it to the rank of Sergeant, and served in Iraq. He is trying to enroll with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The applicants service accomplishments and the quality of his service prior to the incident 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 incident of misconduct (i.e., AWOL) and the documented actions under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs through the use of the GI Bill, medical, etc, 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.

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.

SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:

Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 21 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) AR20140002481

Page 5 of 5 pages

ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

1