AR20180002002

1. Applicant’s Name:

a. Application Date: 1 February 2018

b. Date Received: 5 February 2018

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, that his situation centered around his family. He contends his wife could not
adjust to the military way of life which caused problems with his unit. He had two children at that
time and she could not understand that it was a mission first lifestyle. She would constantly leave
their kids at the sitters after hours at which time he would get the call to come pick them up. He
tried to explain to her that his command could not tolerate these unscheduled time off request and
she was putting his career in danger. His wife did not get it, in fact she left him and went back to
Maryland. During that time some of her frustration was due to his year deployment and her being
a single parent during this time, and his return as a different person/husband than he was before
he left. He suffered unknowingly from PTSD. Therefore, this added stress to an already difficult
time. His command at that time did not recognize he was struggling and needed help at the time.
He was far from his home in Maryland and had no support system. He even attempted to have
his mother come to assist with the care of his kids. His mother came but due to the climate and
her medical conditions she had to return to Maryland. He went to his command again and asked
for a compassionated reassignment, which was rejected and he was told to come up with a family
care plan. He felt shunned and alienated by his leadership due to his situation. He was told by
his leadership that he should have gotten a divorce and not let it get to this extent, but he loved
and to this day still love his wife. He contends they are currently co-parenting and with the help of
the VA and counseling he is on his way to a possible reconciliation. He was a good Soldier and
loved serving his country. He was promoted while deployed to Iraq due to his good service and
feels that the Army at that time did not know how to assist those of them that had a hard time re-
acclimating to family life and an environment outside of theater.

Per the Board’s Medical Officer, based on the information available for review at the time
including the applicant’s electronic military medical records in AHLTA. A review of VA behavioral
health records indicated an 80% disability rating for diagnoses of PTSD, Anxiety, and Major
Depression. He continues to experience marital difficulties and he attributed his parenthood
discharge to difficulties related to his wife separating from him at the time. He further noted
difficulty managing the amount of stress the military was putting on his family and marriage.
Although, behavioral health conditions are not mitigating for failing to have an active family care
plan, they appear to be contributing factors.

In a records review conducted at Arlington, VA on 16 March 2018, and by a 5-0 vote, the Board
determined that the characterization of service was improper based on the applicant’s length
and quality of service, to include combat service, a prior period of honorable service, arbitrary
and capricious actions by the chain of command, and the circumstances surrounding the
discharge (i.e. severe family matters, a post-service diagnosis of PTSD, and separation
notification was not conducted IAW AR 600-200, CH5, paragraph 5-1(b)). Accordingly, the
Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade to the characterization of service to
honorable. The Board determined the narrative reason, SPD code and RE code were proper
and equitable and voted not to change them.

(Board member names available upon request)

3. DISCHARGE DETAILS:

a. Reason / Authority / Codes / Characterization: Parenthood / AR 635-200, Paragraph
5-8 / JDG / RE-3 / General (Under Honorable Conditions)

b. Date of Discharge: 15 February 2006

c. Separation Facts:

(1) Date of Notification of Intent to Separate: 9 November 2005

(2) Basis for Separation: The applicant was informed of the following reason: failing to
obtain a working active family care plan

(3) Recommended Characterization: Honorable

(4) Legal Consultation Date: 9 November 2005

(5) Administrative Separation Board: NA

(6) Separation Decision Date / Characterization: NIF / General (Under Honorable
Conditions)

4. SERVICE DETAILS:

a. Date / Period of Enlistment: 25 February 2005 / 6 years

b. Age at Enlistment / Education / GT Score: 33 / HS Graduate / 96

c. Highest Grade Achieved / MOS / Total Service: E-5 / 19K20, M1 Armor Crewman /
7 years, 25 weeks

d. Prior Service / Characterizations: RA, 21 January 1999 to 21 October 2001 / HD
RA, 22 October 2001 to 24 February 2005 / HD

e. Overseas Service / Combat Service: SWA / Iraq (6 March 2004 to 1 February 2005)

f. Awards and Decorations: ARCOM-2, AGCM, NDSM, GWOTEM, GWOTSM, NOPDR,
ASR

g. Performance Ratings: July 2004 to June 2005, Fully Capable
July 2005 to December 2005, Fully Capable

h. Disciplinary Action(s) / Evidentiary Record: Development Counseling Forms for
failing to have a valid family care plan and having an incomplete family care plan.

i. Lost Time / Mode of Return: None

j. Diagnosed PTSD / TBI / Behavioral Health: None in the file; however, a document
submitted by the applicant from the Department of Veterans Affairs, dated 31 January 2018,
shows the applicant is currently a patient at the Glen Burnie VA Outpatient Clinic, and has been
receiving care since 21 September 2015, after being diagnose with PTSD, unspec, depressive
disorder and anxiety disorder, and treated with antidepressant.

5. APPLICANT-PROVIDED EVIDENCE: DD Form 293; letter from his psychiatrist; letter from his
former manager; letter from a battle buddy; copies of awards and medals.

6. POST SERVICE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: None submitted with the application.

7. REGULATORY CITATION(S): Army Regulation 635-200 provides the basic authority for the
separation of enlisted personnel. Paragraph 5-8 provides that a Soldier may be separated
when parental obligations interfere with fulfillment of military responsibilities. Specific reasons
for separation because of parenthood include inability to perform prescribed duties satisfactorily,
repeated absenteeism, late for work, inability to participate in field training exercises or perform
special duties such as CQ and Staff Duty NCO, and non-availability for worldwide assignment or
deployment according to the needs of the Army.

Unless the reason for separation requires a specific characterization, a Soldier being separated
for the convenience of the government will be awarded a character of service of honorable,
general under honorable conditions or an uncharacterized description of service if in entry-level
status.

No Soldier will be awarded a characterization of service under honorable conditions under this
Chapter unless the Soldier is notified, using the notification procedure, of the specific factors in
his/her service record that warrant such a characterization.

National Defense Authorization Act 2017 provided specific guidance to the Military Boards for
Correction of Military/Naval Records and Discharge Review Boards when considering discharge
upgrade requests by Veterans claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic
Brain Injury (TBI) in connection with combat or sexual assault or sexual harassment as a basis
for discharge review. Further, it provided that Boards will include, as a voting board member, a
physician trained in mental health disorders, a clinical psychologist, or a psychiatrist when the
discharge upgrade claim asserts a mental health condition, including PTSD; TBI; as a basis for
the discharge.

In August 2017, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness
provided further clarifying guidance to the Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for
Correction of Military/Naval Records when considering requests by Veterans for modification of
their discharge due to mental health conditions, including PTSD; TBI; sexual assault; or sexual
harassment. Liberal consideration will be given to Veterans petitioning for discharge relief when
the application for relief is based in whole or in part on matters relating to mental health
conditions, including PTSD; TBI; sexual assault; or sexual harassment. Special consideration
will be given to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determinations that document a mental
health condition, including PTSD; TBI; or sexual assault/harassment potentially contributed to
the circumstances resulting in a less than honorable discharge characterization. Special
consideration will also be given in cases where a civilian provider confers diagnoses of a mental
health condition, including PTSD; TBI; or sexual assault/harassment if the case records contain
narratives supporting symptomatology at the time of service or when any other evidence which
may reasonably indicate that a mental health condition, including PTSD; TBI; or sexual
assault/harassment existed at the time of discharge might have mitigated the misconduct that
caused a discharge of lesser characterization.

Conditions documented in the service 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 a mental health condition, including PTSD; TBI; or sexual assault/harassment 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 characterization of
service in question. All Boards will exercise caution in weighing evidence of mitigation in cases
in which serious misconduct precipitated a discharge with a less than Honorable
characterization of service. Potentially mitigating evidence of the existence of undiagnosed
combat related PTSD, PTSD-related conditions due to TBI or sexual assault/harassment as
causative factors 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. Caution
shall be exercised 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 applicant’s record of service, the issues and
documents submitted with his application were carefully reviewed.

Army Regulation 635-200, Chapter 5, paragraph 5-1(b) states that no Soldier will be awarded a
character of service under honorable conditions under this chapter unless the Soldier is notified
of the specific factors in his/her service record that warrant such a characterization, using the
notification procedure.

The record confirms that the applicant was not properly notified of the specific factors in the
service record that warranted such a characterization. The record shows the proper discharge
and separation authority procedures were not followed in this case.

The discharge was not consistent with the procedural and substantive requirements of the
regulation, was not within the discretion of the separation authority, and the applicant was not
provided full administrative due process.

9. BOARD DETERMINATION: In a records review conducted at Arlington, VA on 16 March 2018,
and by a 5-0 vote, the Board determined that the characterization of service was improper
based on the applicant’s length and quality of service, to include combat service, a prior period
of honorable service, arbitrary and capricious actions by the chain of command, and the
circumstances surrounding the discharge (i.e. severe family matters, a post-service diagnosis of
PTSD, and separation notification was not conducted IAW AR 600-200, CH5, paragraph 5-1(b)).
Accordingly, the Board voted to grant relief in the form of an upgrade to the characterization of
service to honorable. The Board determined the narrative reason, SPD code and RE code were
proper and equitable and voted not to change them.

10. BOARD ACTION DIRECTED:

a. Issue a New DD-214: Yes
b. Change Characterization to: Honorable
c. Change Reason to: No Change
d. Change Authority to: No Change
e. Change SPD Code to: No Change
f. Change RE Code to: No Change

AUTHENTICATING OFFICIAL:

Legend:
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
AR20180002002
1