1. Applicants Name:
a. Application Date: 6 October 2015
b. Date Received: 23 December 2015
2. REQUEST, ISSUES, BOARD TYPE, AND DECISION: The applicant requests an upgrade of his under other than honorable conditions discharge to general, under honorable conditions and a change to the narrative reason for his separation. The applicant seeks relief contending, in effect, he was not a bad soldier. He was under a lot of personal stress and heart torn from what caused his downfall. He found out that his father (decorated Vietnam Veteran) was smoking crack cocaine and did not know how to cope with it. He felt hopeless, like no one was there to help and ran because he felt that was his only choice at the time. He asked that his bar to reenlistment be lifted so he can have a second chance in life.
In a personal appearance review conducted at Arlington, VA on 11 July 2016, and by a 5-0 vote, the Board denied the request upon finding the separation was both proper and equitable.
(Board member names available upon request)
3. DISCHARGE DETAILS:
a. Reason/Authority/Codes/Characterization: In Lieu of Trail by Court-Martial / AR 635-200, Chapter 10 / KFS / RE-4 / Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
b. Date of Discharge: 15 June 2009
c. Separation Facts:
(1) Date of Notification of Intent to Separate: The charges were preferred against the applicant on 19 May 2009
(2) Basis for Separation: DD Form 458 (Charge Sheet) indicates the applicant was charged with Article 85 desertion, in that he did on or about (9 January 2009 13 May 2009) without authority absent himself from his unit.
(3) Recommended Characterization: Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
(4) Legal Consultation Date: 19 May 2009
(5) Administrative Separation Board: NA
(6) Separation Decision Date/Characterization: 3 June 2009 / Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
4. SERVICE DETAILS:
a. Date/Period of Enlistment: 16 August 2006 / 4 years
b. Age at Enlistment/Education/GT Score: 19 / HS Graduate / 96
c. Highest Grade Achieved/MOS/Total Service: SPC / 68R10 Veterinary Food Inspector / 2 years, 5 months and 9 days
d. Prior Service/Characterizations: None
e. Overseas Service/Combat Service: None
f. Awards and Decorations: NDSM, GWOTSM, ASR
g. Performance Ratings: None
h. Disciplinary Action(s)/Evidentiary Record:
DA Forms 4187 (Personnel Action), dated 19 May 2009, reflects the applicants duty status changed as follows:
From Present for Duty to Absent Without Leave, effective 8 January 2009, and Dropped From the Rolls to Present for Duty, effective 13 May 2009.
DD Form 458 (Charge Sheet), dated 19 May 2009, reflects the applicant was being charged for violating the UCMJ, Articles 85, Desertion.
Two DA Forms 4856 (Developmental Counseling), dated between 17 July 2008 and 23 July 2008, for failing to pay rent and failing to report to his appointed place of duty.
i. Lost Time: 141 days for being AWOL from (11 June 2008 25 June 2008) and
(8 January 2009 13 May 2009). The applicant surrendered to the military authorities at Fort Eustis, VA.
j. Diagnosed PTSD/TBI/Behavioral Health: NA
5. APPLICANT-PROVIDED EVIDENCE: Online application dated 6 October 2015, three supporting letters (i.e., character reference letters) and a DD Form 214 for the period of service under review.
6. POST SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The applicant did not provide any with the application.
7. REGULATORY CITATION(S): Army Regulation 635-200 sets forth the basic authority for the separation of enlisted personnel. Chapter 10 provides, in pertinent part, that a member who has committed an offense or offenses for which the authorized punishment includes a punitive discharge may submit a request for a 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 individuals admission of guilt.
Army policy states that although an honorable or general, under honorable conditions discharge is authorized, a discharge under other than honorable conditions is normally considered appropriate.
AR 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 “KFS” as the appropriate code to assign enlisted Soldiers who are discharged under the provisions of Army Regulation 635-200, chapter 10, in lieu of trial by court-martial.
3. The SPD Code/RE Code Cross Reference Table shows that a Soldier assigned an SPD Code of “KFS” will be assigned an RE Code of 4.
8. DISCUSSION OF FACT(S): The applicant requests to upgrade his under other than honorable conditions discharge to general, under honorable conditions discharge.
The applicants record of service, the issues and documents submitted with his application were carefully reviewed.
The evidence of record confirms the applicant was charged with the commission of an offense punishable under the UCMJ with a punitive discharge. All requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant were fully protected throughout the separation process.
The under other than honorable conditions discharge received by the applicant was normal and appropriate under the regulatory guidance. His record documents no acts of significant achievement or valor and did not support the issuance of an honorable or a general discharge by the separation authority at the time of his separation from active duty.
The applicant seeks relief contending he was not a bad soldier. He was under a lot of personal stress and his heart was torn from what caused his downfall. He found out that his father (decorated Vietnam Veteran) was smoking crack cocaine and did not know how to cope with it. He felt hopeless, like no one was there to help and ran because he felt that was his only choice at the time. While the applicant may believe his stress at home was the underlying cause of his misconduct, the record of evidence does not demonstrate that he sought relief from stress through his command or the numerous Army community services like the Chaplain, Army Community and Family Support Services, Community Counseling Center, and other medical resources available to all Soldiers. Likewise, he has provided no evidence that he should not be held responsible for his misconduct.
The applicant request his bar to reenlistment be lifted so he can have a second chance in life. However, Soldiers being processed for separation are assigned reentry codes based on their service records or the reason for discharge. Based on Army Regulation 635-5-1 and the SPD Code/RE Code Cross Reference Table the applicant was appropriately assigned an RE code of 4. An RE code of 4 cannot be waived and the applicant is no longer eligible for reenlistment.
The applicant requests a change to the characterization of his service in order to rejoin the Army. However, at the time of discharge, the applicant received an under other than honorable conditions characterization of service. Army Regulation 601-280 stipulates that an under other than honorable conditions discharge constitutes a non-waivable disqualification, thus the applicant is no longer eligible for reenlistment.
The discharge was consistent with the procedural and substantive requirements of the regulation, was within the discretion of the separation authority, and the applicant was provided full administrative due process.
9. DOCUMENTS/TESTIMONY PRESENTED DURING PERSONAL APPEARANCE: In addition to the evidence in the record, the Board carefully considered the additional documents and testimony presented by the applicant at the personal appearance hearing.
a. The applicant submitted the following additional document(s):
1. Certificates of Achievement 4 pages
2. Warrior Leader Certificate Diploma, dated 22 May 2008 1 page
3. Army Combatives Program Certificate, dated 3 December 2007 1 page
b. The applicant presented no additional contentions.
c. Witness: Yes (Brother)
10. BOARD DETERMINATION: In a personal appearance review conducted at Arlington, VA on 11 July 2016, and by a 5-0 vote, the Board denied the request upon finding the separation was both proper and equitable.
11. BOARD ACTION DIRECTED:
a. Issue a New DD-214: No
b. Change Characterization to: No Change
c. Change Reason to: No Change
d. Change SPD/RE Code to: No Change
e. Restore (Restoration of) Grade to: NA
COL, US ARMY
Army Discharge Review Board
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
BH Behavioral Health HD – Honorable Discharge OAD – Ordered to Active Duty SPD – Separation Program Designator
CG – Company Grade Article 15 IADT – Initial Active Duty Training OMPF – Official Military Personnel File TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
CID – Criminal Investigation Division MP Military Police PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder UNC – Uncharacterized Discharge
ELS Entry Level Status MST Military Sexual Trauma RE – Reentry UOTHC – Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
FG – Field Grade Article 15
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE