AR20140003505

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 23 January 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140003505
___________________________________________________________________________

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 quality of service and the circumstances surrounding the discharge that include a diagnosis of mental health issues and no evidence of the chain of commands efforts for rehabilitation, 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 honorable.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he believes his discharge was inequitable because it was based on an isolated incident. He contends he did not receive a proper mental evaluation. He states, since his discharge he has been diagnosed by the Department of Veteran Affairs with an anxiety disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He believes if he would have been diagnosed while in the Army, the outcome of his discharge would have been different. He states, the behavioral health provider did not provide a correct screening.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 20 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: General, Under Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 9 September 2011
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Drug Abuse), AR 635-200,
Chapter 14-12c(2), JKK, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: 2-8th Cavalry Regiment (Rear)(Provisional),
Fort Hood, TX
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 23 December 2009/6 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 1 year, 4 months, 17 days
h. Total Service: 3 years, 7 months, 9 days
i. Time Lost: None
j. Previous Discharges: ARNG, 080131-080226, NA
IADT, 080227-080630, HD
ARNG, 080701-091222, HD (Concurrent Service)
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 13F10, Fire Support Specialist
m. GT Score: NIF
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA
p. Combat Service: Iraq, 090205-100205
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, ICM-3CS, NDSM, ASR, OSR-2
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 Army National Guard (ARNG) on 31 January 2008, for a period of 8 years. He was 18 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He reenlisted in the Regular Army on 1 July 2008, for a period of 3 years and reenlisted on 23 December 2009, for a period of 6 years. He served in Iraq and did not earn any significant awards of valor or achievement. He completed 3 years, 7 months, 9 days of total military service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Fort Hood, Texas.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. On 22 July 2011, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under the provisions of Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 14-12c, misconduct (serious offense). Specifically for wrongfully using of marijuana between 19 March 2011 and 19 April 2011.

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

3. On 25 July 2011, the applicant waived his right to consult 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 23 August 2011, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of general, under honorable conditions.

5. The applicant was separated on 9 September 2011, 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:

IU, Inspection Unit, 19 April 2011, marijuana

2. Article 15, dated 6 June 2011, for wrongful use of marijuana. The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $733 per month for two months, 45 days of extra duty and restriction (suspended) (FG).

3. One negative counseling statement dated 27 April 2011, for a positive urinalysis test.

4. DA Form 3822 (Report of Mental Status Evaluation), dated 9 June 2011, reflects the applicant had no obvious impairments and could understand the difference between right and wrong. He had no psychiatric conditions and screened negative for PTSD however, he had a positive screening for mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). He was cleared for administrative action deemed appropriate by the unit once cleared for TBI.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

The applicant provided a DD Form 293, dated 17 July 2011, a DD Form 214, DA Form 3822, dated 9 June 2011, a disability rating from the VA showing he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (claimed as PTSD and insomnia), and a statement from 1LT C, dated 12 July 2011.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant did not provide any in support of his 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. 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 negative counseling statement and a positive urinalysis test for marijuana.

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 his discharge was inequitable because it was based on one isolated incident. 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.

5. The applicant contends the Veterans Administration has granted him a service connected disability for 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 9 June 2011, the applicant underwent a mental status evaluation by a competent medical authority that indicated he had no obvious impairments and no psychiatric diagnoses. Although he screened positive for mTBI, he was able to recognize the difference between right and wrong and indicated by the mental status evaluation. Further, there are many Soldiers with the same condition that completed their service successfully.

6. The applicant contends he did not receive a proper mental health evaluation. However, evidence reflects the applicant was screened by competent medical authority on 9 June 2011. It was determined the applicant did not have any obvious impairments or psychiatric conditions, had a negative screening for PTSD but screened positive for mTBI. He was cleared for administrative action deemed appropriate by the unit one cleared for his TBI.

7. The records show the proper discharge and separation authority procedures were followed in this case.

8. 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 quality of service and the circumstances surrounding the discharge which includes the applicants diagnosis of mental health issues and no evidence of the chain of commands efforts for rehabilitation, 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: 23 January 2015 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) AR20140003505

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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