1. Applicants Name:
a. Application Date: 22 May 2016
b. Date Received: 31 May 2016
c. Counsel: None
2. REQUEST, ISSUES, BOARD TYPE, AND DECISION: The applicant requests an upgrade of her general (under honorable conditions) discharge to honorable. The applicant seeks relief contending, in effect, after she arrived at her first duty station, she got married and gave birth to their first child. As a dual military couple, she elected to stay in the Army as a spouse and an Army mom. Her marriage began to falter, their marital problems were no longer contained and resolved behind closed doors, and eventually each of their commanders learned of their issues. It was only when her leadership learned of her marital issues that she was suddenly being treated with bias.
As a first term Soldier, she had not received proper guidance or education in handling the situations that was experiencing. She looked for guidance and confided in her leadership about her spouse’s infidelities, only to be met with ridicule, indifference, negative counseling, and a verbal reprimand. She was discouraged from attending behavioral health and was deprived of services offered by the Army Community Services; she had invested hope in attending marriage retreats with her spouse. She had been accused of malingering and was hassled about taking her child to her pediatric and other appointments.
The applicant had physical altercations with her spouse and the female service member that her spouse had admitted to being intimately involved with; however, she was the only one to receive UCMJ action for the incident. She was not discharged for drug offenses or other acts of serious misconduct. The applicant contends that she was separated from the Army for venting her frustrations after repeatedly reaching out for guidance from her leadership.
The applicant states that her discharge has caused her financial hardships, which included being denied unemployment insurance and educational benefits, as well as being unsuccessful in finding adequate employment. The applicant states that her spouse has abandoned their child and that she no longer lives with him. She receives a housing allowance, but her spouse and his chain of command have been elusive as she has been pursuing financial child support. The applicant believes that, in her three years of service, she had not been such a problematic Soldier to the point of being unjustly chaptered out of the military.
In a personal appearance hearing conducted at Warner Robins, GA on 16 November 2016, and by a 5-0 vote, the Board determined the discharge is now inequitable. The Board found the applicants overall length of service, the circumstances surrounding her discharge (i.e. capricious acts by the command), and her personal testimony mitigated the discrediting entry in her service record. Accordingly, the Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to honorable and changes to the separation authority to AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12a, the narrative reason for separation to Misconduct (Minor Infractions), and the separation code to JKN. No change to RE-Code.
(Board member names available upon request)
3. DISCHARGE DETAILS:
a. Reason / Authority / Codes / Characterization: Pattern of Misconduct / AR 635-200 / Chapter 14-12b / JKA / RE-3 / General (Under Honorable Conditions)
b. Date of Discharge: 27 October 2015
c. Separation Facts:
(1) Date of Notification of Intent to Separate: 23 September 2015
(2) Basis for Separation: The applicant was informed of the following reasons:
disobeyed a lawful order (13 May 2015);
failed to go at the time prescribed to her appointed place of duty on divers occasion (10 May,
10 and 11 June 2015);
unlawfully shoved PFC J.A. with her hands (7 June 2015); and,
failed to obey a lawful general regulation (7 May 2015).
(3) Recommended Characterization: General (Under Honorable Conditions)
(4) Legal Consultation Date: 30 September 2015
(5) Administrative Separation Board: NA
(6) Separation Decision Date / Characterization: 8 October 2015 / General (Under Honorable Conditions)
4. SERVICE DETAILS:
a. Date / Period of Enlistment: 31 July 2012 / 3 years, 27 weeks
b. Age at Enlistment / Education / GT Score: 18 / HS Graduate / 97
c. Highest Grade Achieved / MOS / Total Service: E-4 / 91J10, Quartermaster and Chemical Repairer / 3 years, 2 months, 27 days
d. Prior Service / Characterizations: None
e. Overseas Service / Combat Service: None
f. Awards and Decorations: AGCM, NDSM, ASR
g. Performance Ratings: NA
h. Disciplinary Action(s) / Evidentiary Record:
Numerous Developmental Counseling Forms for failing to report to her appointed place of duty at time prescribed; disobeying a lawful order; violations of AR 670-1; and, assault.
Law Enforcement Report, dated 16 July 2015, reflects the applicant was the subject of an investigation for assault.
FG Article 15, dated 30 July 2015, for disobeying a lawful order (13 May 2015); failing to report to her appointed place of duty at the time prescribed (10 May, 10 and 11 June 2015); unlawfully shove PFC J.A. with her hands (7 June 2015); and, failing to obey a lawful general regulation (7 May 2015). The punishment consisted of a reduction to E-1, forfeiture of $773 pay per month for two months, extra duty for 45 days, and restriction for 45 days (suspended).
Report of Mental Status Evaluation, dated 23 July 2015, reflects the applicant was cleared for administrative actions deemed appropriate by the command. The applicant could understand the difference between right and wrong and could participate in the proceedings.
i. Lost Time / Mode of Return: None
j. Diagnosed PTSD / TBI / Behavioral Health: None
5. APPLICANT-PROVIDED EVIDENCE: DD Form 293; DD Form 214; a self-authored statement; Army Community Service Programs and Service information; a copy of her military dependent identification card; and an extract of AR 608-1.
6. POST SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: None submitted with her 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 14-12b addresses a pattern of misconduct consisting of either discreditable involvement with civilian or military authorities or discreditable conduct and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline including conduct violating the accepted standards of personal conduct found in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Army Regulations, the civilian law and time-honored customs and traditions of the Army.
8. DISCUSSION OF FACT(S): The applicant requests an upgrade of her general (under honorable conditions) discharge to honorable. The applicants record of service, the issues and documents submitted with her application were carefully reviewed.
The record confirms that the applicants discharge was appropriate because the quality of her 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 be retained on active duty.
The applicant contends that she was young and immature at the time of the discharge. The record shows the applicant met entrance qualification standards to include age. There is no evidence to indicate the applicant was any less mature than other Soldiers of the same age who successfully completed military service.
The applicant contends that she was having family issues that affected her behavior and ultimately caused her to be discharged. However, she had many legitimate avenues through which to obtain assistance or relief and there is no evidence in the record that she ever sought such assistance before committing the misconduct which led to the separation action under review.
The applicant contends that she was treated with ridicule, indifference, and bias by members of her chain of command; however, she had many legitimate avenues through which to obtain assistance or relief and there is no evidence in the record that she ever sought such assistance before committing the misconduct which led to the separation action under review. Likewise, she has provided no evidence that she should not be held responsible for her misconduct. Accordingly, this argument is not sufficient to support her request for an upgrade of her discharge.
The applicant contends that instead of receiving help, she received punishment. 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. The character of the applicants discharge is commensurate with her overall service record.
The applicant has expressed her desire to have better job opportunities and the benefits of the GI Bill. However, the Board does not grant relief for the purpose of gaining employment or enhancing employment opportunities. Further, eligibility for veteran’s benefits to include educational benefits under the Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill does not fall within the purview of the Army Discharge Review Board. Accordingly, the applicant should contact a local office of the Department of Veterans Affairs for further assistance.
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 no additional documents o0r contentions.
b. Witness(es) / Observer(s): None
10. BOARD DETERMINATION: In a personal appearance hearing conducted at Warner Robins, GA on 16 November 2016, and by a 5-0 vote, the Board determined the discharge is now inequitable. The Board found the applicants overall length of service, the circumstances surrounding her discharge (i.e. capricious acts by the command), and her personal testimony mitigated the discrediting entry in her service record. Accordingly, the Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade of the characterization of service to honorable and changes to the separation authority to AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12a, the narrative reason for separation to Misconduct (Minor Infractions), and the separation code to JKN. No change to RE-Code.
11. BOARD ACTION DIRECTED:
a. Issue a New DD-214: ` Yes
b. Change Characterization to: Honorable
c. Change Reason to: Misconduct (Minor Infractions)
d. Change SPD / RE Code to: JKN, AR 635-200, Chapter 14-12a
No change to RE-Code
e. Restore (Restoration of) Grade to: NA
COL, US ARMY
Army Discharge Review Board
AWOL – Absent Without Leave GD – General Discharge NCO Noncommissioned Officer 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 NOS Not Otherwise Specified SPD – Separation Program Designator
CG – Company Grade Article 15 IADT – Initial Active Duty Training OAD – Ordered to Active Duty TBI Traumatic Brain Injury
CID – Criminal Investigation Division MP Military Police OMPF – Official Military Personnel File UNC – Uncharacterized Discharge
ELS Entry Level Status MST Military Sexual Trauma PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder UOTHC – Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
FG – Field Grade Article 15 NA – Not applicable RE – Reentry VA Veterans Affairs
ARMY DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD CASE REPORT AND DIRECTIVE