As they get closer to the end of their military career, many service members start to think about what is next. Some even embrace full retirement. The type of military discharge that they receive may impact what paths are open to a new veteran after their military service is over. There are a number of conditions under which a veteran can leave the military, whether it is at the end of a long career or just a few years of service. The first three are administrative, even though they may be the result of some misstep on the part of the service member.
The last two are punitive, meaning that they are the result of misconduct, criminal behavior, or even felony behavior on the part of the service member. For those who separate or retire from the military after doing well during their time in service, they can expect an honorable discharge. Following a career of faithful military service, the member is almost always given an honorable discharge.
To receive an honorable discharge, a service member has to fulfill the obligations set forward in their contract and met or even exceeded all of the qualification requirements they needed to meet. Those who separate or retire under an honorable discharge will receive all of the benefits available to veterans. Depending on their length of service, this can include retirement pay, GI bill benefits, medical and dental coverage, and home loan assistance.
Other benefits include disability compensation based on a medical evaluation at the time of separationemployment assistance, and federal hiring preferences. There are also numerous private organizations that offer assistance to veterans with an honorable discharge.
A general discharge may or may not mean that the service member did something wrong. This means that if a service member does something that warrants punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice UCMJ but does not break a civilian law. It is possible that a general discharge can be upgraded, provided that it goes through a formal appeal process and is approved for the upgrade.
Items punishable under the UCJM but are not considered serious civilian crimes often result in an other than honorable discharge. It may include instances where the service member serves time in a civilian prison for an offense.U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES 2020
Most of the time, those receiving an OTH discharge are not able to rejoin the military in the future. Other veterans benefits are most often not available, although an other than honorable discharge is still considered administrative. It is generally given when the service member has done something wrong and is punitive in nature. Service members often have to deal with a period of confinement following their Court-Martial and before their discharge.
Military members who receive a bad conduct discharge are ineligible for GI Bill benefits, VA housing programs, and are unable to join any branch of the military in the future. A dishonorable discharge is considered the worst type of military discharge.
It is the result of a serious crime, such as a felony, and is almost always awarded following military confinement. A dishonorable discharge is given in the most serious circumstances. It is another type of punitive discharge, meaning that it is the result of misconduct of the military member.
A dishonorable discharge also comes with a loss of personal civilian rights, such as the right to own a firearm. Click Here to read more about the consequences and reasons for dishonorable discharge. Here are the answers to a few questions that are commonly asked about military discharges, circumstances that result in separation from the military, and how to read the related documents.
The appeals process offers the chance for the military member or their family to make a case to upgrade the discharge status. It must be done within 15 years of the discharge. This could be due to inaccuracies in the report or unfair practices that resulted in the discharge.
During the process, the service member has the option to be represented by counsel or to represent themselves, either in person or through the written process. It should be mentioned that the majority of appeals are not approved. Working with an experienced attorney may help, but the circumstances of the discharge are often upheld.The first step in receiving your VA benefits, including your VA home loan benefits, is to prove that you are eligible for them.
You must prove that you served enough time and that you had the right type of discharge. Looking for Current Mortgage Interest Rates? Click Here. In general, you need a discharge other than dishonorable in order to receive VA benefits. This means honorable, under honorable conditions and general discharge. The only exception to this rule would be if there is some type of special circumstance that left you with a dishonorable discharge. This would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
General discharge means that you were discharged with satisfactory performance, but there is some area that you did not meet the requirements. If you can prove you served enough time and that you have the right type of discharge, you are eligible for the VA loan. Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates.
You have to prove that you can afford the loan. The VA does have flexible guidelines when it comes to qualifying, but you still have to prove that you can afford it. These are the general guidelines set by the VA, with the exception of the credit score. VA approved lenders are also able to add what they call lender overlays. These additional requirements are on a lender-by-lender basis.
Each lender has different requirements and even charges different fees and interest rates. Find the lender that works the best for you and get the most out of your VA home loan benefit.
What is a General Discharge? You must serve at least: 91 days during wartime in the regular military days during peacetime in the regular military 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard If you can prove you served enough time and that you have the right type of discharge, you are eligible for the VA loan.For example, a General Discharge indicates some non-judicial action because of behavior or a failure to meet military standards.
It goes downhill from there. The next category usually removes all VA benefits. The last two types carry an element of criminal behavior. You can imagine how that affects character and credit checks for housing and employment.
In the case of Kristofer Goldsmith, the Army deemed his suicide attempt serious misconduct. They discharged him without treatment for the PTSD that led to his attempt. Yet the Army continues to deny his request for an honorable discharge, holding the line on its initial conclusion that a suicide attempt amounts to a serious act of misconduct.
Over a period of years, male and female victims of MST military sexual trauma have received Other than Honorable discharges or diagnoses of mental illness. The process all too often begins when they report sexual assault. To be fair, the military has implemented recent reforms. Hard to overstate the impact of bad papers.
Or to deny them the care and counseling they need? It makes it so hard for people to get the kind of care they need, but also to move on with their lives. I know this to be true. So few know about that.
As explained on the Department of Veterans Affairs websitethe way in which a soldier is discharged will affect his or her ability to receive VA benefits and services. An honorable discharge occurs when a service member has achieved either a good or excellent rating for his or her service. The soldier must also meet or exceed the requirements of performance and personal conduct to receive an honorable discharge.
Of course, this is the preferred way to exit the military, as it provides all of the benefits of being a veteran. There are certain reasons that may allow a soldier to be honorably discharged without completing his or her tour of duty.
If a soldier is incapable of performing his or her duties due to physical challenges, for instance, he or she may be honorably discharged from service. According to Wikipedia, Marines must achieve a proficiency and conduct rating of 3. Now that you know a little bit about honorable discharges, you might be wondering about general discharges. A general discharge is given to military servicemen and women who has satisfactory performance but with a considerable departure in duty and conduct.
This includes medical discharges and misconduct to name a few. The unit commander gives a general discharge as a means of disciplining soldiers who fail to meet the standards associated with their respective branch of the military. When giving a general discharge, however, the commander must reveal the reason or reasons for the discharge in writing.
Also known as an OTG, this is the worst type of discharge, as it represents a major departure from conduct and performance that is expected of all military servicemen and women. The stars are also embroidered in densely filled thread count. So you can be sure that the materials, construction, and labor are made in America only.
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Army General Discharge Benefits
Read more about correcting or changing your service discharge. Veterans Crisis Line: Press 1. Complete Directory. If you are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, visit VeteransCrisisLine.
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. Please switch auto forms mode to off. Hit enter to expand a main menu option Health, Benefits, etc. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. Get help from Veterans Crisis Line. Enter your search text Button to start search. Paul St. Correcting Military Records Each of the military services maintain a discharge review board with authority to change, correct or modify discharges or dismissals not issued by a sentence of a general court-martial.
Email Address Button to subscribe to email.This is a quick summary of several important benefits. The chart shows whether you may qualify, based on your discharge status. For more information, search for the benefit by name or follow the links in the left hand column. In the right hand column you can follow the links to the laws that relate to that benefit.
We have tried to make this chart updated and accurate. Please notify us of any errors or suggested changes. This chart screens for discharge status only. Pre-separation Counseling.
Montgomery G. Yellow Ribbon Program. Vocational Rehabilitation DV. Educational Assistance. Home and other Loans. Prosthetic Appliances DV. Special Housing DV.
Automobiles DV. Funeral and Burial Expenses. Burial Flag. Burial in National Cemeteries.
Types of Discharges in the Marines
Headstone Marker. Payment for Accrued leave. Death Gratuity. Wearing of Military Uniform. A R Army Board for Correction of Military Records. Army Discharge Review Board. Transportation to Home. Civil Service Retirement Credit.Upon separation from military service, each person receives a document identifying the type of service rendered as being honorable, general or dishonorable. These veterans have honorable discharges or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
Service members who receive a general discharge under honorable conditions are eligible for the following benefits: disability compensation, pension, VA medical care, health care and the GI Bill for education. General discharge is an administrative action that describes imperfect honorable service. This discharge prohibits future re-enlistment into any branch of the military. A general discharge does permit benefits, though, and is acceptable to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an important link in the chain of communications.
Some common reasons for the military to issue a general discharge include the following: mental instability, frequent or prolonged absences, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. A prospective employer rarely challenges a general discharge under honorable conditions, which means that this type of discharge avoids the stigma associated with a dishonorable discharge.
General discharges can convert to honorable discharges if the return to civilian life encourages formation of a stellar citizen. To petition for an upgrade in discharge status, the individual must establish a stellar civilian profile before petitioning for the change, which could take several years. A written request is necessary to begin the process for a change in separation status. A general discharge under honorable conditions satisfies the basic eligibility for veteran status with the Department of Veterans Affairs and provides the benefit of assistance from counselors at a local VA branch.
VA benefits are contingent upon time in service and possession of an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
Honorable vs General Discharge: What’s the Difference?
Honorable and general discharges qualify the veteran for most VA benefits. The Department of Veteran Affairs offers services ranging from education to health care to counseling for veterans and their families. Although a general discharge provides access to most benefits, petitioning for an upgrade in status is a good idea.
Make sure you understand the reason for your general discharge under honorable conditions. An upgrade from the general discharge under honorable conditions to an honorable discharge could happen if you follow all of the rules for case review and the following three circumstances occur: the upgrade results from an individual case review; the upgrade has its basis in Uniform Published Standards and Procedures that apply to everyone with an administrative discharge or anyone that leaves active military, naval or air service under less than honorable conditions; and the upgrade is consistent with every historical standard determining honorable service and no decision for awarding or denying an upgrade is made automatically.
Julie Scott began writing professionally in She has written numerous articles for several websites. The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer. About the Author.