IN THE CASE OF: Mr.
BOARD DATE: 21 January 2015
CASE NUMBER: AR20140002864
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 his combat service, the circumstances surrounding the discharge, which includes no evidence of rehabilitation for one time drug use, and his diagnosis of 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 honorable and a change to the narrative reason for discharge.
2. The applicant states, in effect, he served his country honorably. He worked in a highly stressful and very dangerous environment and was in complete denial that he needed help when he returned from deployment. He contends he started to self-medicate with marijuana, knowing it was the wrong thing to do. He states he was told they would take all his rank away and he couldnt work on helicopters anymore, which was his passion. He states he is currently receiving health and substance abuse treatment. He has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with an adjustment and mood disorder. He never regretted fighting for his country.
DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:
a. Application Receipt Date: 10 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 4 October 2006
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200,
Chapter 14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: Delta Company, 1-52nd Aviation Regiment, Fort
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 15 January 2004/6 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 2 years, 8 months, 20 days
h. Total Service: 2 years, 8 months, 20 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: None
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 15U10, CH-47 Helicopter Repairer
m. GT Score: 99
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: None
p. Combat Service: None
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, NDSM, GWOTEM, GWOTSM, 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 15 January 2004, for a period of 6 years. He was 22 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He earned an ARCOM and completed 2 years, 8 months, and 20 days of active duty service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:
1. On 30 August 2006, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c, misconduct, commission of a serious offense (drug abuse). Specifically for the wrongful use of marijuana between 18 March 2006 and 18 April 2006.
2. Based on the above misconduct, the unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
3. On 6 September 2006, the applicant consulted with legal counsel, was advised of the impact of the discharge action 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 commander reviewed the proposed action and recommended approval with a general, under honorable conditions discharge.
4. On 14 September 2006, 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 4 October 2006, 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, 18 April 2006, marijuana
2. Article 15, dated 20 June 2006, for failing to go at the time prescribed to his appointed place of duty x 4 (060530, 060602, 060605, and 060606) and wrongful use of marijuana. The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $636 per month for two months (suspended), and 45 days of extra duty and restriction (FG).
3. A MP Report, dated 23 May 2006 reflects the applicant was the subject of any investigation for use and possession of marijuana.
4. Several negative counseling statements dated between 23 May 2006 and 6 June 2006, for a positive UA for marijuana (060523 and 060606), and failure to report x 4 (060530,
060606 x 3).
5. Report of Behavioral Health Evaluation, dated 23 August 2006, reflects the applicant had clear and normal thought content, was mentally responsible and diagnosed with episodic cannibus abuse.
EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:
The applicant provided an online application, dated 26 December 2013, a DD Form 214, a letters from the Department of Veterans Affairs, dated 21 January 2014 and 31 January 2014, a letter of support from Mr. S, dated 6 January 2013, and a confidential VA problem list dated between 6 January 2014 and 15 January 2014.
The applicant states he is currently receiving treatment for health and substance abuse treatment.
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).
DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION:
1. The applicants request for an upgrade of the characterization of his discharge and change to the narrative reason 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 characterization of service or change the narrative reason for the 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 diminished the quality of his service below that meriting a fully honorable discharge. The applicants record of service was marred by a FG Article 15, a positive urinalysis and several negative counseling statements.
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 applicant requests a change to the narrative reason for discharge. However, 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, paragraph 14-12c(2), for drug offenses. The regulation further stipulates that no deviation is authorized.
5. The applicant contends he was diagnosed post-service with PTSD and an adjustment and mood disorder. 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 23 August 2006, the applicant underwent a mental status evaluation which indicates he was mentally responsible and had thought content as clear. Further, there are many Soldiers with the same condition that completed their service successfully.
6. The records show the proper discharge and separation authority procedures were followed in this case.
7. 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 his combat service, the circumstances surrounding the discharge, which includes no evidence of rehabilitation for one time drug use, and his diagnosis of 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: 21 January 2015 Location: Washington, DC
Did the Applicant Testify, NA
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
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) AR20140002864
Page 6 of 6 pages
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)
CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE