AR20140003113

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 1 May 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140003113
___________________________________________________________________________

Board Determination and Directed Action

1. After carefully examining the applicants record of service during the period of enlistment under review, and considering 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; and documentary evidence showing mitigating factors that PTSD-related disorder may have existed at the time of his discharge, and as a result, it is inequitable. Accordingly, the Board voted to grant partial 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 to deny relief.

2. Further, and notwithstanding the recommendation which follows, the Board found that the applicant’s DD Form 214, blocks 25, 26, 27, and 28, contain erroneous entries.

3. The Board directed the following administrative corrections and reissue of the applicants DD Form 214, as approved by the separation authority:

a. block 25, separation authority, change to AR 635-200, paragraph 14-12c;
b. block 26, separation code, change to JKQ;
c. block 27, reentry code, change to 3; and
d. block 28, narrative reason for separation, change to Misconduct (Serious Offense).

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 to upgrade the characterization of his service from general, under honorable conditions to fully honorable and to change the narrative reason for his discharge.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he disagrees with the narrative reason for his discharge because he never abused drugs in his life, although he agrees with the misconduct. He was a good Soldier who never got into any trouble. However, when he returned from serving in OIF, he returned to a broken household, and on top of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he made a bad decision by smoking marijuana to take away his mental pain. The one-time incident was out of character for him and he regrets ever doing it.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 14 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 1 May 2006
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200, Paragraph
14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: HHC, 2nd Sqdn, 7th Cavalry, 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry
Division, Fort Bliss, TX
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 14 November 2004, 4 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 5 months, 18 days
h. Total Service: 6 years, 4 months, 21 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: ARNG (991211-020930) / HD
RA (021001-041113) / HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 19D10, Cavalry Scout
m. GT Score: NIF
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: Germany, Kosovo, SWA
p. Combat Service: Kuwait/Iraq (040210-050112)
q. Decorations/Awards: PH; ARCOM; NDSM; GWOTEM; GWOTSM; KCM;
ASR; VUA
r. Administrative Separation Board: No, unconditionally waived
s. Performance Ratings: None
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The record shows the applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 1 October 2002, and reenlisted on 14 November 2004, for a period of 3 years. He was 20 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He was trained in and awarded military occupational specialty (MOS) 19D10, Cavalry Scout. He served in Germany, Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq. He earned a PH and an ARCOM. He completed 6 years, 4 months, and 21 days of active duty and reserve service.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. The evidence contained in the applicants service record shows that on 31 March 2006, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, AR 635-200, by reason of misconductcommission of a serious offense, for testing positive for marijuana during a urinalysis (060117).

2. The unit commander recommended a general, under honorable conditions discharge and advised the applicant of his rights.

3. On 5 April 2006, the applicant waived his right to consult with legal counsel, indicated he understood the impact of the discharge action, voluntarily waived consideration of his case by an administrative separation board, and did not submit a statement on his 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 of the separation with a general, under honorable conditions discharge.

4. On 11 April 2006, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge under the provisions of AR 635-200, Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c for commission of a serious offense with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions.

5. The applicant was discharged from the Army on 1 May 2006, with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions under the provisions of Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c(2), AR 635-200, for misconduct (drug abuse), a Separation Program Designator code (SPD) of JKK, and an RE code of 4.

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

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

1. There is a positive urinalysis report contained in the record: IU, Inspection Unit, 17 January 2006, marijuana.

2. Article 15, dated 13 February 2006, for wrongfully using marijuana (051218-060117). The punishment consisted of a forfeiture of $636 per month for two months (suspended), 45 days of extra duty, and 45 days of restriction (suspended), (FG).

3. Summarized Article 15, dated 27 October 2005, for being disrespectful in language toward an NCO (051017). The punishment consisted of extra duty and restriction for 14 days.

4. Four negative counseling statements, dated between 17 October 2005 and 3 February 2006, for testing positive for marijuana during a urinalysis; being insubordinate toward an NCO; failing to obey an order or regulation; communicating an indecent language; and violating the Army Core Values.

5. DA Form 2807-1, Report of Medical History, 2 February 2006, completed by the applicant, indicates being injured in Iraq and the resulting symptoms he dealt with.

6. Reports of Mental Status Evaluation, dated 10 and 14 March 2006, indicate the applicant was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and occupational problem, respectively.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided VA decision correspondence, dated 4 August 2009 and 12 April 2011, and correspondence consisting of veterans service appointment and application for increased compensation based on unemployment, dated 24 May 2013.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant provided none.

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 “JKQ” as the appropriate code to assign enlisted Soldiers who are discharged under the provisions of Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, misconduct (serious offense).

5. The SPD Code/RE Code Cross Reference Table shows that a Soldier assigned an SPD Code of “JKQ” will be assigned an RE Code of 3.

DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

1. The applicants request for an upgrade of the characterization of his discharge and to change the narrative reason for his discharge was carefully considered.

2. After examining the applicants record of service, his military records, and the documents and issues submitted with the application, there are several mitigating factors to merit an upgrade of the applicant’s discharge to honorable for the following reasons:

a. Length and quality of service: The applicant served a total of 6 years, 4 months, and 21 days, thus the preponderance of his service was honorable.

b. The record confirms the applicant was awarded a PH and an ARCOM, one of which was for a tour in combat.

c. The applicants record reflects documentary evidence of his mental health issues and mitigating factors that PTSD-related disorder existed at the time of his discharge as outlined on his report of medical history while on active duty.

3. The applicant contends the Veterans Administration has granted him a service connected disability for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The documents provided by the applicant do not specifically address a PTSD diagnosis; however, in the Veterans Application for Increased Compensation Based on Un-employability, it references service-connected disability for PTSD.

4. This recommendation is made after full consideration of all of the applicants faithful and honorable service, as well as the record of misconduct. The evidence of mental health issues in this case supports a conclusion that the applicants characterization of service may now be too harsh and as a result inequitable.

5. In view of the foregoing, the characterization of the discharge appearing to be inequitable, it is recommended the Board grant relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to honorable. However, except for the following modification to the narrative reason for the applicants discharge, the modified reason for the discharge was fully supported by the record and therefore, remains both proper and equitable.

6. Upon a careful review of the applicants request, his military records, and the issues and documents submitted with his application, the service record reflects that someone in the discharge process erroneously entered on the applicant’s DD Form 214, block 25, separation authority as AR 635-200, paragraph 14-12c(2), block 26 separation code as “JKK,” block 27 as 4, and block 28, narrative reason for separation as Misconduct (Drug Abuse).

7. Therefore and as approved by the separation authority, the following administrative corrections are recommended:

a. block 25, separation authority to AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12c;
b. block 26, separation code to JKQ;
c. block 27, reentry code to 3; and
c. block 28, reason for separation to Misconduct (Serious Offense)

SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:

Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 1 May 2015 Location: Washington, DC

Did the Applicant Testify, NA

Counsel: None

Witnesses/Observers: NA

Board Vote:
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: Misconduct (Serious Offense) [administrative]
Change Authority for Separation: AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12c
Change RE Code to: 3
Grade Restoration to: NA
Other: Separation Program Designator (SPD) code to JKQ.

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) AR20140003113

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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