The civilian population commonly believes that there are two types of military discharge: honorable discharge or dishonorable discharge. However, this is not the case. While there are two broad types of military discharge, Administrative and Punitive, each of these has many sub-categories.
The discharge authority typically gives administrative discharge. More specifically, a high-ranking commanding officer usually issues this.
Punitive discharge, meant to be punishing, is given by court-martial. Military Discharge Upgrade Lawyers work to change your type of discharge to a more favorable class.
It’s important to learn about the specific nature of your discharge. Knowing more about it will help you and your family understand your future options and VA benefits. Not all types of discharges are bad: many are simply procedural. But, if you did receive a punitive discharge, you will probably want to consider fighting it.
Although the military will provide you with an attorney, finding an independent attorney will almost always benefit you in the long run. Military-appointed attorneys are smart, hard-working professionals. However, private civilian criminal defense attorneys tend to have more experience and don’t have any conflict of interest.
Located in Jacksonville, Aden Wilkie of Wilkie Law Firm serves the entire state of North Carolina as well as its surrounding states. He is also able to service any military installation located in the United States, but travel fees will apply.
Military Discharge Upgrade FAQs
What is Military Discharge?
The U.S. Military discharges service members when they decide to release them from their obligation to serve. Usually enlisting in the U.S. armed forces requires an eight-year commitment. This usually comes with a combination of active and reserve service. Service men and women who voluntarily separate themselves from active duty with fewer than 8 years fulfill the rest of their commitment with the IRR. The IRR is the Individual Ready Reserve. Members that are seriously disabled are retired, known as a medical retirement, rather than discharged.
There are several types of Military Discharges. Each specific branch of the U.S. Military may have their own unique names for each of these discharge types. For example, in the Air Force, Administrative Separation does not require a court-martial. It is a process for military discharge usually referred to in shorthand as Admin. Sep.
What are the Types of Military Discharges?
- Honorable discharge
- Other than honorable discharge
- General discharge under honorable conditions
- Bad conduct discharge
- Medical separation
- Entry-level separation
- Dishonorable discharge
- Separation for convenience of the government
What is Honorable Discharge?
Honorable discharge is the best type of discharge a service man or woman can receive. This is given to those who performed their duties well. Those with an honorable discharge executed their missions devotedly. They were generally considered an asset to whichever branch of military in which they served.
What is Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge?
- An Other Than Honorable discharge is the most severe type of administrative discharge. It does not require a court martial.
- It is usually given for:
- Security violations
- Trouble with civilian authorities
- Drug possession or other violations
- The reason for an OTH depends on the severity of the offense and precedent in your specific branch of the military
- Receiving an OTH is a barrier to future military service
What is General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions?
- This type of discharge indicates that service was satisfactory. However, it did not deserve the highest level of discharge due to performance and conduct.
- Many veterans with this type of discharge may have engaged in minor misconduct.
- Service men and women that receive this type of discharge are still eligible for most VA benefits.
How Does Someone Receive a Bad Conduct Discharge?
- A Court martial issues Bad Conduct Discharges
- Prison time is possible depending on the severity of the bad conduct.
- This is not an administrative discharge
- Bad Conduct discharges are barriers to future military service.
When is a Medical Separation Discharge Issued?
- A medical separation is issued when a service member has a medical condition. This can include a mental health condition. A qualifying medical condition is one that makes it impossible to perform required duties.
- To determine medical fitness, the Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) or the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) confers.
What is Entry-Level Separation?
This is not characterized as a “good” or “bad” discharge. It’s simply for people who entered the service and left before completing 180 days.
What is a Dishonorable Discharge?
- Dishonorable Discharges are like Bad Conduct Discharges. However, they are punitive rather than administrative.
- In order to get this type of discharge, you must be convicted at a general court martial
- This is reserved for very serious offenses such as:
- Sexual assault
What Does Separation for Convenience of the Government Mean?
- This is a general, catch-all type of voluntary separation or discharge.
- The military uses this when it wants a service member to leave but doesn’t have a reason according to any other type of discharge or separation.
What is Military Discharge Upgrade?
Military Discharges from any branch of military service that are anything other than honorable will have serious consequences. In many cases, you can lose your VA benefits. It might also be difficult to find employment. Your future is at stake and you should do everything in your power to fight your discharge.
It is possible to upgrade your discharge. The Discharge Review Board hears these requests. They examine your case and the circumstances in order to determine if you are eligible for an upgrade. Skilled, experienced Military discharge upgrade lawyers can help you improve your situation.
When the Discharge Review Board hears your case, they will consider the following factors:
- The specific reasons for your discharge
- Letters of reference and recommendation
- Your general conduct
- Any educational achievements
- Your record of community service
- The amount of time since your discharge
- Your family relationships
- Any relevant employment history
Having an experienced attorney at your side to help prepare your case is essential.
How Do You Get an Other Than Honorable Discharge Upgrade?
You are not eligible for VA benefits if you received an Other Than Honorable Discharge. Given this, you will almost certainly want to try to upgrade it.
You can begin by applying for VA compensation or pension through your local Veterans Service Office. Also, you can apply through eBenefits. Since you received an OTH, a Character of Service review will be triggered. This will start a review at the VA regional office. It will determine if your service was honorable enough for you to be able to receive VA health care and compensation.
In most cases, your compensation will originally be denied if you have an OTH discharge. However, those with General Discharges are generally eligible for all VA benefits except educational ones through the GI bill.
You will need to submit evidence that your service was honorable. An experienced military discharge upgrade lawyer will be best equipped to help you prepare this evidence.
How Do you Upgrade Military Discharge from General to Honorable?
Upgrading your General Military Discharge will depend on the amount of time since the discharge, whether or not you’ve applied for an upgrade already, and your prior conduct. Hiring a military record correction lawyer offers you your best chance at upgrading your discharge.
As of recently, every branch of the military has made it easier to apply for a Military Discharge upgrade if your case involved:
- PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder
- Other mental health conditions
- TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Sexual assault or harassment during your time of military service
- Sexual Orientation (this includes the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy)
However, this is not an exhaustive list. There are other circumstances in which you might be eligible for an upgrade from general to honorable.
How Do You Prepare a Discharge Review Case?
Preparing your Discharge Review Case is difficult but not impossible. First, you want to make sure that your attorney knows all the necessary procedures and protocols. A military defense attorney like Aden Wilkie has many years of experience in court martial, criminal defense, and military service. He knows how to present your case in the best possible light.
With the advice of your attorney, you will begin to gather the necessary materials to establish the reasons you deserve an upgrade. Aden Wilkie has successfully defended many servicemen and women that went on to lead productive and responsible lives. He will work tirelessly on your behalf and stop at nothing to get you the upgrade you deserve.
Get A Consultation with Military Discharge Upgrade Attorney, Aden Wilkie
If granted an upgrade, doors will open for you. Your future as well as the future of your family will be brighter. The Wilkie Law firm understands how important this is. Attorney Aden Wilkie has established a reputation as not only a fearless marine but as one of the most aggressive military discharge upgrade lawyers in practice. Wilkie is located in Jacksonville, NC and services armed forces at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg as well as other bases, camps, stations, and posts across the United States. Give him a call today to schedule your confidential consultation at 910-333-9626.