AR20140002543

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 15 December 2014

CASE NUMBER: AR20140002543
___________________________________________________________________________

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 overall length and quality of service to include his combat service, and he is receiving 100 percent disability for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 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 discharge from general, under honorable conditions to honorable.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he was awarded a 100 percent service disability for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was not diagnosed at the time of discharge. This led to his self-medication with alcohol, and subsequently formed his discharge characterization and behavioral issues.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 4 February 2014
b. Discharge received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 22 February 2012
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200, Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: 615th ASB (R)(P), 1st Air Cav Bde (R)(P), 1st Cav Div (R)(P), Fort Hood, TX
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 19 October 2009, NIF
g. Current Enlistment Service: 2 years, 4 months, 4 days
h. Total Service: 4 years, 10 months, 19 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: RA-070404-091018/HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 25B10, IT Specialist
m. GT Score: 111
n. Education: GED
o. Overseas Service: Korea, Southwest Asia
p. Combat Service: Afghanistan (081201-091128)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, AGCM, ACM-w/CS, NDSM, GWOTSM, KDSM, ASR, OSR-2, NATO MDL
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: None
t. Counseling Statements: None
u. Prior Board Review: No

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 4 April 2007, for a period of 4 years. His DD Form 214 indicates he reenlisted 19 October 2009, for an unknown period of time. He was 31 years old at the time of reenlistment and had a high school equivalency (GED). His record indicates he served a period of combat in Afghanistan and served in Korea; achieved the rank of SPC/E-4; and earned several awards to include the ARCOM and AGCM. He completed
4 years, 10 months, and 19 days of total active duty service.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. The applicants service record is void of the complete facts and circumstances concerning the events which led to the discharge from the Army to include the unit commander’s notification memorandum, the applicant’s elections of rights and the chain of command’s recommendation.

2. The applicant’s service record does contain the separation authorities memorandum, dated 31 January 2012, which indicates the separation authority waived rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200, by reason misconduct (serious offense) for the abuse of illegal drugs.

3. The record also contains a properly constituted DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), which was authenticated by the applicants signature.

4. On 8 February 2012, DA, HQ III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, TX, Orders Number 039-0112, discharged the applicant from the Army effective 22 February 2012.

5. The DD Form 214 indicates that on 22 February 2012, 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.

6. The applicants available service record does not contain any evidence of unauthorized absences or time lost.

7. The applicants available record does not show any recorded actions under the UCMJ. However, the applicant’s record shows he achieved the rank of SPC/E-4 and he was separated as a PVT/E-1, however the action that caused his reduction is not contained in the service record.

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

1. A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand dated 30 March 2011, for his refusal to take a lawfully requested test to measure the alcohol content of his breath on 13 February 2011, when there was a reasonable belief that he was driving under the influence of alcohol.
2. An MP Report dated 7 December 2011, which indicates the applicant was the subject of an investigation for driving while intoxicated, speeding, and having an open container of alcohol in his motor vehicle.

3. A General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand dated 12 January 2012, for driving an automobile while intoxicated on 18 November 2011.

4. Chain of command’s recommendation memorandum which MAJ E.B.S.; indicates in his comments that the applicant received a DUI a week after he was released from inpatient treatment (30 days) for substance abuse. His command had made numerous attempts to rehabilitate the Solider.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided a DD Form 293 and pages one and two of his Department of Veterans Affairs Rating Decision letter, dated 14 November 2012, which indicates service connection for post traumatic stress disorder was granted with an evaluation of 100 percent effective 23 February 2012.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

None was provided 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 available record of service, the issues and documents submitted with the application, there are insufficient mitigating factors to merit an upgrade of the applicant’s discharge.

2. The applicants available record is void of the complete facts and circumstances concerning the events which led to his discharge from the Army. However, the record contains the separation authority’s approval memorandum and a properly constituted DD Form 214 which was authenticated by the applicant’s signature. These documents identify the reason and characterization of the discharge and government regularity is presumed in the discharge process.

3. The DD Form 214 also indicates the applicant was discharged under the provisions of Chapter 14, AR 635-200, paragraph 14-12c(2) by reason of misconduct (drug abuse), with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions. Barring evidence to the contrary, the presumption of government regularity prevails as it appears that all the requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant were fully protected throughout the separation process.

4. The applicant contends he was awarded a 100 percent service disability for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs, which was not diagnosed at the time of discharge. This led to his self medication with alcohol, and subsequently formed his discharge characterization and behavioral issues. The fact the Veterans Administration has granted the applicant service connection for medical conditions the applicant suffered while on active duty does not support a conclusion that these conditions rendered the applicant unfit for further service at the time of his discharge processing. The available record is void of any indication that the applicant was suffering from a disabling medical or mental condition during his discharge processing that would have warranted his separation processing through medical channels.

5. Furthermore, evidence in the record shows before initiating discharge proceedings, the applicant was place in an inpatient treatment facility for (30 days) for substance abuse. It appears the applicant’s command made an assessment of the applicant’s potential for becoming a fully satisfactory Soldier. The evidence contained in the available service record establishes the applicant was afforded a reasonable opportunity to overcome substance issues. As the applicant did not subsequently conform to required standards of discipline and performance, the command appropriately determined the applicant did not demonstrate the potential for further military service.

6. Additionally, there is insufficient evidence available in the official record to make a determination upon the applicant’s quality of service. If the applicant desires a personal appearance hearing, it will be 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 government presumption of regularity, it appears the reason for discharge and the characterization of service are both proper and equitable, thus the analyst recommends 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 overall length and quality of service to include his combat service, and he is receiving 100 percent disability for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs, 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

Counsel: None

Witnesses/Observers: NA

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: 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) AR20140002543

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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