AR20140003556

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 6 February 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140003556
___________________________________________________________________________

Board Determination and Directed Action

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 the characterization of service was too harsh based on the overall length and quality of the applicant’s service, to include his combat service, 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 general, under honorable conditions. The Board further determined the reason for discharge was both 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 characterization to honorable.

2. The applicant states, in effect, he lost focus and was extremely stressed, which led him to self medicate. The applicant contends his actions leading to his discharge are not a true reflection of who he is, but rather a person filled with uncertainty. The applicant contends he led Soldiers as an NCO and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. The applicant states he would like to one day serve again.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 21 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 23 January 2013
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: Misconduct (Serious Offense), AR 635-200,
Chapter 14-12c, JKQ, RE-3
e. Unit of assignment: Echo Company, 2d Battalion, 3d Aviation
Regiment, 3d Combat Aviation Brigade (Rear
Provisional), Hunter Army Airfield, GA
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: 8 August 2008/5 years
g. Current Enlistment Service: 4 years, 5 months, 16 days
h. Total Service: 9 years, 1 month, 14 day
i. Time Lost: 71
j. Previous Discharges: USAR, 030718-050515, HD
RA, 050516-080807, HD
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-5
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 92G10, Food Service Operation
m. GT Score: 108
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA
p. Combat Service: Iraq (060808-070808)
Afghanistan (080117-090409)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCOM, AAM, NDSM, ACM-2CS, GWOTSM,
HSM, ASR, OSR, NATO MDL
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: No
t. Counseling Statements: Yes
u. Prior Board Review: No

SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The applicant enlisted in the Regular Army on 16 May 2005, and reenlisted on 8 August 2008, for a period of 5 years. He was 22 years old at the time of entry and a high school graduate. He served in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He earned an ARCOM and an AAM and completed 9 years, 1 month, and 14 day of total creditable military service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. The evidence contained in the applicants service record indicates on 20 December 2012, the unit commander notified the applicant of initiation of separation action under the provisions of AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12c, by reason of misconduct (serious offense). Specifically for being absent without leave (120123-120124), (120917-120927), (120807-120813), (120815-120823), (120825-120828), and (121006-121113), failed to report to his appointed place of duty on divers occasions, and disobeyed a lawful order.

2. Based on the above misconduct, the unit commander recommended an under other than honorable conditions discharge.

3. On 20 December 2012, the applicant waived legal counsel and his rights to an administrative separation board, was advised of the impact of the discharge action and elected not to submit a statement on 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 an under other than honorable conditions discharge.

4. On 10 January 2013, the separation authority waived further rehabilitation and directed the applicants discharge with a characterization of service of under other than honorable conditions.

5. The applicant was discharged from the Army on 15 July 2007, with a characterization of service of under other than honorable conditions under the provisions of AR 635-200, Chapter 14, paragraph 14-12c, for misconduct (Serious Offense), a Separation Program Designator code (SPD) of JKQ and an RE code of 3.

6. The applicant’s record shows he was absent without leave (AWOL) for a total of 71 days (120123-120124, 120807-120813, 120815-120823, 120825-120828, 120917-120927, and 121006-121113).

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

1. An Article 15, dated 10 April 2011, failed to go at the time prescribed to his appointed place of duty x2 (120122), (120126) and, without authority, absent himself from his unit (120123-120124). The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-3 (suspended), forfeiture of $462.00 pay, 14 days of extra duty (CG).

2. An Article 15, dated 3 October 2012, failed to go at the time prescribed to his appointed place of duty (120805, 120806 x2, 120824) and, without authority, absent himself from his unit (120807-120807), and failed to obey a lawful order issued by a CPT (120824). The punishment consisted of a reduction to the grade of E-2, a reduction to the grade of E-1 (suspended), forfeiture of $835.00 pay per month for two months (suspended),
45 days of extra duty and restriction (FG).

3. Five negative counseling statements, dated between 2 December 2011 and 13 November 2012, for non-recommendation to appear before the promotion board, failing to report, absent without leave, and initiation of separation proceedings.

4. Eleven DA Forms 4187 (Personnel Action), dated 7 August 2012 through 13 November 2012, reflects duty status changes from Present for Duty to Absent Without Leave and Dropped From Rolls.

5. DA Form 3822 (Report of Mental Status Evaluation), dated 3 December 2012, reflects that the applicant had a clear and normal thought process and was mentally responsible. In Section VIII, the applicant tested positive on the screening for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and was referred for a comprehensive mTBI evaluation.

6. Discharge Orders Number 015-0017, dated 15 January 2013, Headquarters, Third Infantry Division and Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, reflects the applicant was discharged from the Regular Army, effective 23 January 2013.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

1. The applicant provided a DD Form 293, dated 13 February 2014, a DD Form 214 covering the period of service under review.

2. National Student Clearinghouse Enrollment Verification Certificate, dated 16 February 2014, certifies the applicants full time student status.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

The applicant states he is a full time college student and has not had any issues with the law.

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.

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

a. Length of service: The applicant served 4 years, 5 months, and 16 days of a 5-year enlistment, thus the preponderance of his service was honorable.

b. Quality of service: The record confirms the applicant received an ARCOM for combat service in a designated imminent danger area (i.e., Afghanistan and Iraq).

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

4. In view of the foregoing, it appears the characterization of the discharge is now inequitable and it is recommended the Board grant partial relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to general, under honorable conditions. However, the reason for the discharge was fully supported by the record and therefore, remains both proper and equitable.

5. The applicant contends that he lost focus and was extremely stressed, which led him to self medicate. His actions leading to his discharge are not a true reflection of who he is, but rather a person filled with uncertainty. He would like to one day serve again. The applicant request for an upgrade of his discharge to honorable was carefully considered. However, by the misconduct, the applicant diminished the quality of his servcie below that meriting a fully honorable discharge. Further, the applicant had many legitimate avenues through which to obtain assistance or relief and there is no evidence in the record that he ever sought such assistance before committing the misconduct which led to the separation action under review. If the applicant desires to reenlistment, he should contact a local recruiter to determine his eligibility to reenlist. Recruiters can best advise a former service member as to the needs of the Army at the time, and are required to process waivers of reentry eligibility (RE) codes if appropriate. (See response to paragraph 4 above.)

SUMMARY OF ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD HEARING:

Type of Hearing: Records Review Date: 6 February 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) AR20140003556

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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