AR20140003559

IN THE CASE OF: Mr.

BOARD DATE: 6 February 2015

CASE NUMBER: AR20140003559
___________________________________________________________________________

Board Determination and Directed Action

After carefully examining the applicant’s record of service during the period of enlistment under review and notwithstanding the Discussion and Recommendation which follows, the Board determined the discharge to be proper and equitable and voted to deny relief.

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 under other than honorable conditions discharge to honorable.

2. The applicant states, in effect, this was the one and only incident in his entire career. He states his mother became ill and that he could not leave her.

DISCHARGE UNDER REVIEW INFORMATION:

a. Application Receipt Date: 21 February 2014
b. Discharge Received: Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
c. Date of Discharge: 7 March 2007
d. Reason/Authority/SPD/RE Code: In Lieu of Trial By Court-Martial, AR 635-200,
Chapter 10, KFS, RE-4
e. Unit of assignment: 211th Maintenance Company, Newark, OH
f. Current Enlistment Date/Term: OAD/30 October 2004, 545 days
g. Current Enlistment Service: 8 months, 4 days
h. Total Service: 23 years, 3 months, 28 days
i. Time Lost: 614 days
j. Previous Discharges: USAR, 810512-810917, N/A
ADT, 810918-820320, HD
USAR, 820321-870927, HD
ARNG, 870928-900701, GD
USAR (IRR), 900702-910130, HD
ADT, 910131-910427, HD
ARNG, 910428-970427, HD
(Break in Service)
ARNG 980220-041029, N/A
k. Highest Grade Achieved: E-4
l. Military Occupational Specialty: 63W10, Wheel Vehicle Repairer
m. GT Score: 81
n. Education: HS Graduate
o. Overseas Service: SWA/(prior service)
p. Combat Service: Saudi Arabia (910217-910422)
Iraq (041229-050415)
q. Decorations/Awards: ARCAM, NDSM-2, SWASM W/2BSS, ICM,
ASR, AFRM w/M and X Devices, SAKULIBM,
KUKULIBM/(prior service)
r. Administrative Separation Board: No
s. Performance Ratings: N/A
t. Counseling Statements: No
u. Prior Board Review: No
SUMMARY OF SERVICE:

The applicant enlisted in the Army Reserve on 12 May 1981, for a period of 6 years. He was 19 years old at the time and reenlisted on several occasions. He was a high school graduate. After a brief break in service, he reenlisted into the Army National Guard on 20 February 1998, for a period of 6 years. He completed 8 months and 4 days of military service during the period of service under review. During his prior periods of service he served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and completed a total of 23 years, 3 months and 28 days of creditable military service. When his discharge proceedings were initiated, he was serving at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

SEPARATION FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES:

1. The evidence of record contains a DD Form 458, Charge Sheet, which indicates that on
1 February 2007, the applicant was charged with absenting himself, without authority, from his organization on or about (050513-070117).

2. On 1 February 2007, the applicant consulted with legal counsel and voluntarily requested, in writing, discharge under the provisions of AR 635-200, Chapter 10, in lieu of trial by court-martial. In this request, the applicant admitted guilt to the offense. The applicant indicated he understood he could receive an under other than honorable conditions discharge and that the discharge would have a significant effect on eligibility for veterans benefits. The applicant submitted a statement on his own behalf. The unit commander [and intermediate commanders] recommended approval of an under other than honorable conditions discharge.

3. On 14 February 2007, the separation authority approved the Chapter 10 request and directed the discharge with a characterization of service of under other than honorable conditions. The applicant was reduced to the lowest enlisted rank.

4. The applicant was discharged from the Army on 7 March 2007, with a characterization of service of under other than honorable conditions.

5. The applicants record of service indicates 613 days of time lost for being AWOL from 13 May 2005 until he surrendered to military authorities on 5 January 2007.

EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM THE APPLICANT’S RECORD:

1. Charge Sheet, dated 1 February 2007, reflects applicant, on or about 13 May 2005, without authority, absent himself from his organization and did remain so absent until on or about
17 January 2007. While in an AWOL status the applicant was confined by the civilian authorities from (070105-070117) and was released to the military authorities upon completion of his civil confinement.

2. Four DA Forms 4187 (Personnel Action) reflects the following duty status changes from:

a. Present for Duty to Absent Without Leave, effective 13 May 2005,
b. Absent Without Leave to Dropped From Rolls, effective 12 June 2005,
c. Dropped From Rolls to Present for Duty, effective 17 January 2007, and
d. Confined Civilian Authorities to Present for Duty, effective 17 January 2007.

3. Assignment Orders Number 29-9, dated 29 January 2007, U.S. Army Armor Center and Fort Knox, KY, reassigned applicant to the Special Processing Company, United States Army Personnel Control Facility, Fort Knox, Kentucky, with an effective date of 5 January 2007. Additional instructions state Soldier surrendered to military authorities 1330 hours, 5 January 2007.

EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY THE APPLICANT:

1. The applicant provided a DD Form 293, dated 18 February 2014, a DD Form 214 covering the period of service under review.

2. Active Duty Orders Number 203-176, dated 14 October 2004, Adjutant Generals Department, 2825 West Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio, reflects the applicant was called to active duty, for a period not to exceed 545 days, in support of contingency operation Iraqi Freedom, with a reporting date to home station on 30 October 2004.

3. DA Form 4836 (Oath of Extension of Enlistment or Reenlistment), dated 8 February 2004, reflects applicant extended his expiration term of service (ETS) for one year. His new ETS reflects 19 February 2005.

4. Self-authored statement, dated 27 January 2014, applicant states he served in the military well over 20 years, appeared before and passed a medical review board prior to deploying to Iraq, and that this was the one and only isolated incident in his entire military service. He further states his mother became ill prior to his rest and recuperation leave from Iraq and was eventually sent to hospice. Therefore, he could not leave his mom.

5. Character Letter, unknown date, written by Ms. P, states she has known the applicant for over ten years. She states the applicant had been through alot within the past years, citing the applicants physical health problems, taking care of and financially providing for his mother while she battled cancer, his mothers passing, and the recent loss of his brother.

POST-SERVICE ACTIVITY:

None provided with the application.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY:

1. Army Regulation 635-200 (Personnel Separations) sets forth the basic authority for the separation of enlisted personnel. Chapter 10 provides that a member who has committed an offense or offenses for which the authorized punishment includes a punitive discharge may submit a request for discharge for the good of the service in lieu of trial by court-martial. The request may be submitted at any time after charges have been preferred and must include the individual’s admission of guilt. Although an honorable or general discharge is authorized, a discharge UOTHC is normally considered appropriate.

2. 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 member’s 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.

3. 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.

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, his military records, 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 23 years, 3 months, and 28 days of total military service, thus the preponderance of his service was honorable.

b. Quality of service: The record confirms the applicant served two tours in combat during a prior period of service, and

c. The circumstances surrounding the discharge (i.e., a severe family illness).

3. 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 in this case supports a conclusion that the applicants characterization of service may now be too harsh and as a result 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 the incident that caused his discharge was the only one in his entire Army career. 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.

6. The applicant contends that he could not leave his mother during her terminal illness, which ultimately caused him to be discharged. However, he 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. (See response to paragraph 4 above).

BOARD DETERMINATION AND DIRECTED ACTION

After carefully examining the applicant’s record of service during the period of enlistment under review and notwithstanding the Discussion and Recommendation, the Board determined the discharge to be proper and equitable and voted to deny relief.

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: 2 No Change: 3
Reason Change: 0 No Change: 5
(Board member names available upon request)

Board Action Directed:
Issue a new DD Form 214: No
Change Characterization to: No Change
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) AR20140003559

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ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (ADRB)

CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE

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