1. Applicants Name:
a. Application Date: 15 December 2015
b. Date Received: 26 February 2016
c. Counsel: None
2. REQUEST, ISSUES, BOARD TYPE, AND DECISION: The applicant requests an upgrade of his general, under honorable conditions discharge to honorable. The applicant seeks relief contending, in effect, the toxicity of the working environment of the NCOs, battle fatigue, possible PTSD and lack of sleep, led him to behave in uncharacteristic ways. He would like the record to reflect that he was never violent before or after the incident, which led to his discharge.
Per the Board’s Medical Officer, based on the information available for review at the time, there was insufficient evidence to determine if there was a nexus between a behavioral health or medical condition and the misconduct which led to the applicants separation from the Army. No Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA) records available. Mental Status Exam from 7 March 2005 indicated diagnosis of Occupational Problem in which he was psychiatrically cleared.
In a personal appearance hearing conducted at Arlington, VA on 22 August 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: Misconduct / AR 635-200 / Chapter 14-12c / JKQ / RE-3 / General, Under Honorable Conditions
b. Date of Discharge: 14 June 2005
c. Separation Facts:
(1) Date of Notification of Intent to Separate: 21 April 2005
(2) Basis for Separation: The applicant was informed of the following reasons: For willfully striking a superior noncommissioned officer.
(3) Recommended Characterization: General, Under Honorable Conditions
(4) Legal Consultation Date: 9 May 2005
(5) Administrative Separation Board: NA
(6) Separation Decision Date/Characterization: 17 May 2005 / General, Under Honorable Conditions
4. SERVICE DETAILS:
a. Date/Period of Enlistment: 23 October 2002 / 4 years
b. Age at Enlistment/Education/GT Score: 30 / HS Graduate / 102
c. Highest Grade Achieved/MOS/Total Service: E-2 / 88M1P, Motor Transport Operator / 2 years, 7 months, and 10 days
d. Prior Service/Characterizations: None
e. Overseas Service/Combat Service: None
f. Awards and Decorations: NDSM, GWTSM, ASR
g. Performance Ratings: N/A
h. Disciplinary Action(s)/Evidentiary Record:
CG Article 15, dated 11 February 2005, for assaulting SGT D, a superior noncommissioned officer, who was in the execution of his office, by standing in his face with an aggressive manner (on or about 3 February 2005). The punishment consisted of a reduction to E-1 (suspended), forfeiture of $100.00 pay; and, extra duty for 14 days.
DA Form 4856 (Developmental Counseling Form), dated 3 March 2005, for disrespect and assault toward a noncommissioned officer (2 March 2005).
Summary Court-Martial dated 15 March 2005, reflects the applicant was charged with two specifications of violating Article 91, UCMJ; disrespectful in language toward SGT D, a noncommissioned officer, who was in the execution of his office, by saying to him f-k you, or words to that effect (on or about 2 March 2005), and striking SGT D, a noncommissioned officer, who was in the execution of his office, by shoving him with his hands (2 March 2005). The sentence was adjudged on 15 March 2005. The punishment imposed consisted of reduction to the grade of E-1, and confinement for 15 days.
Report of Mental Status Evaluation (DA Form 3822), dated 7 March 2005, reflects the applicant was cleared for administrative actions deemed appropriate by the command. The applicant had the mental capacity to understand and participate in the proceedings and could appreciate the difference between right and wrong. The applicant was diagnosed with (Axis I) Occupational Problem and (Axis II) Cluster B Traits.
Two DA Forms 4187 (Personnel Action), dated between 27 June 2005, reflect the applicants duty status changed as follows:
From Present for Duty (PDY) to Confinement, effective 15 March 2005; and,
From Confinement to PDY, effective 27 March 2005;
i. Lost Time: 11 days (Confinement, 15 March 2005 – 26 March 2005)
j. Diagnosed PTSD/TBI/Behavioral Health: As described in preceding paragraph 4h.
5. APPLICANT-PROVIDED EVIDENCE: DD Form 149; a copy of his DD Form 214; and, a copy of a request for DD Form 215 (memo), dated 18 July 2005.
6. POST SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: None submitted with the application.
7. REGULATORY CITATION(S): 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.
Paragraph 14-12c states a Soldier is subject to action per this section for commission of a serious military or civilian offense, if the specific circumstances of the offense warrant separation and a punitive discharge is, or would be, authorized for the same or a closely related offense under the Manual for Courts-Martial.
Secretary of Defense Memorandum for Secretaries of the Military Departments (Subject: Supplemental Guidance to Military Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records Considering Discharge Upgrade Requests by Veterans Claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dated September 3, 2014), provided guidance to help ensure consistency across the military services in consideration of PTSD relevant to Service Members discharges.
Liberal consideration will be given in petitions for changes in characterization of service to service treatment record entries which document one of more symptoms which meet the diagnostic criteria of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or related conditions. Special consideration will be given to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determinations which document PTSD or PTSD-related conditions connected to military services. In cases where Service Records or any document from the period of service substantiated the existence of one or more symptoms of what is now recognized as PTSD or PTSD-related condition during the time of service, liberal consideration will be given to finding that PTSD existed at the time of service. Liberal consideration will also be given in cases where civilian providers confer diagnoses of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions, when case records contain narratives that support symptomatology at the time of service, or when any other evidence which may reasonably indicate that PTSD or a PTSD-related disorder existed at the time of discharge which might have mitigated the misconduct that caused the under other than honorable conditions characterization of service. This guidance in not applicable to cases involving pre-existing conditions which are determined not to have been incurred or aggravated while in military service.
Conditions documented in the record that can reasonably be determined to have existed at the time of discharge will be considered to have existed at the time of discharge. In cases in which PTSD or PTSD related conditions may be reasonably determined to have existed at the time of discharge, those conditions will be considered potential mitigating factors in the misconduct that caused the under other than honorable conditions characterization of service. Correction boards will exercise caution in weighing evidence of mitigation in cases in which serious misconduct precipitated a discharge with a characterization of service other than honorable conditions.
Potentially mitigating evidence of the existence of undiagnosed combat related PTSD or PTSD-related conditions as a causative factor in the misconduct resulting in discharge will be carefully weighed against the severity of the misconduct. PTSD is not a likely cause of premeditated misconduct. Correction Boards will also exercise caution in weighing evidence of mitigation in all cases of misconduct by carefully considering the likely causal relationship of symptoms to the misconduct.
8. DISCUSSION OF FACT(S): The applicant requests an upgrade of his general, under honorable conditions discharge to honorable. The applicants record of service, the issues and documents submitted with his application were carefully reviewed.
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 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, such that he should have been retained on active duty.
The applicant contends the event that caused his discharge from the Army was an isolated incident. Although a single incident, the discrediting entry constituted a departure from the standards of conduct expected of Soldiers in the Army. Army Regulation 635-200, in pertinent part, stipulates there are circumstances in which the conduct or performance of duty reflected by a single incident provides the basis for a characterization.
The applicant contends he may have been suffering from PTSD at the time of the incident, which led to his discharge. However, the service record contains no evidence of PTSD diagnosis and the applicant did not submit any evidence to support the contention that the discharge was the result of any medical condition.
The applicant contends he was in a toxic environment. However, the record does not contain any indication or evidence of arbitrary or capricious actions by the command and all requirements of law and regulation were met and the rights of the applicant were fully protected throughout the separation process. Additionally, 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. The character of the applicants discharge is commensurate with his overall service record.
The applicant contends that an upgrade of his discharge will allow him to obtain better employment. However, the Board does not grant relief for the purpose of gaining employment or enhancing employment opportunities.
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 documents:
1. Resume 1 page
2. Newspaper articles 3 pages
3. Certifications 3 pages
4. Career accolades 8 pages
5. Criminal record (no felonies/misdemeanors) 3 pages
b. The applicant presented no additional contentions.
c. Witness(es)/Observer(s): None
10. BOARD DETERMINATION: In a personal appearance hearing conducted at Arlington, VA on 22 August 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