Administrative Discharges: Fight All The Way
Note: The information on this page is intended for individuals who are still members of the military and are facing administrative separation. If you have already been separated from the military and want to upgrade your discharge, please visit our Discharge Upgrades page.
You worked hard to build a career in the military, and you’ve given both time and effort. Now, you face being “fired.” While it looks like your whole command is united against you, there is still hope, but you must have someone who understands the process and is willing to take the time to lead you through this dangerous minefield.
Reasons for an administrative separation may include serious misconduct, a pattern of misconduct, nonperformance of duties, substandard performance, failure to adapt, or homosexual conduct.
Many just want out of the military. Given their experiences, this is understandable, but you must also understand that the consequences of not fighting an administrative separation may be dire. This starts with your characterization of service.
We represent officers and enlisted personnel who face administrative separations, eliminations, and boards of inquiry.
Everyone wants an honorable discharge, but those facing an adverse administrative separation rarely receive one. With an honorable discharge, you receive all benefits reserved for America’s veterans.
General, Under Honorable Conditions
This is often called a “General Discharge.” For adverse administrative discharges, this is the most common characterization given. It sounds positive because it contains the phrase “honorable conditions,” but do not be fooled. With this characterization of service, you lose your GI Bill as well as other veterans benefits. This is huge considering that the GI Bill equals a nearly free college education–especially considering the terms of the Post-9-11 GI Bill. Many join the military primarily to receive GI Bill benefits. Also, because this is not an Honorable Discharge, you may find yourself unable to gain meaningful employment or college admissions.
Other than Honorable
We will not sugar-coat this one. It is bad. You lose almost every substantial benefit afforded to veterans. Also, like a General, Under Honorable Conditions, it can substantially harm your ability to get a job or further your education. It will haunt you for the rest of your life.
What can you do?
- Ensure that you have a military attorney who will represent your interests and fight for you. Make sure it is someone who knows the process and will prioritize your case.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Find your career folder/file, update it, or create one. Look up old friends, colleagues, and leaders who know and like you. Prepare to share all of this with your lawyer in order to prepare a smart and thorough response to your proposed separation.
- Understand the process. Depending on your years of service, the type of administrative separation, the reasons for separation, and the characterization of service sought, you may be entitled to a board. This means that a panel of impartial officers and NCOs will review your file in a setting similar to a trial. They will hear what your command says, but they will also listen to what you have to say. Your chances of keeping your job increase if you have a board.
Whatever you do, do not give up. You owe it to yourself and everyone who cares about you.
If you need representation, please Contact Us.