When a servicemember leaves the military – voluntarily or involuntarily – they receive a discharge certificate. These discharges range from honorable to dishonorable, but the one that no servicemember wants is a dishonorable discharge due to the long-lasting, adverse effects it will have on their life.
In some cases, an enlisted servicemember can receive a punitive discharge from a military court. For example, a bad conduct discharge is given as part of a punishment for being absent without leave, driving under the influence of alcohol, or disorderly conduct. A dismissal would be given to a military officer for similar offenses.
Most discharges are given administratively in the form of an honorable discharge, general discharge (under honorable conditions), or other than honorable discharge. These include satisfactory completion of a servicemember’s term of service, separation for medical reasons, or for overall honorable service that included offenses such as failure to maintain military standards or minor misconduct.
Why is the dishonorable discharge the worst type of separation a servicemember can receive?
By definition, a dishonorable discharge means:
- Termination of a person’s military service because of serious misconduct.
- Certificate of discharge from the military listing the reason as “dishonorable.”
A dishonorable discharge can only be given to a convicted servicemember through a general court-martial, which only are reserved for the most serious offenses which include murder, manslaughter, or other more serious offenses.
How are servicemembers punished by a dishonorable discharge?
Upon receiving a dishonorable discharge the convicted servicemember forfeits all (or nearly all) benefits. And once a prison sentence is completed, or if it is avoided, it is still the equivalent of a felony conviction on their civilian record.
As a result, those who transition to civilian life with a dishonorable discharge are often unable to find meaningful employment, unable to vote, unable to possess a firearm, unable to obtain government backed loans, unable to be admitted to most university programs, and more.
These challenges present obstacles not only for the servicemember but also for their family by making it difficult to provide for them.
Are all dishonorable discharges warranted?
Sadly, some of our nation’s Warriors are wrongfully accused and convicted of “War Crimes” and US military prosecutors have used the following against them:
RIGHTS – Prosecutors have denied our Warriors all their Rights
Some of our Nation’s Warriors are wrongfully accused and convicted of “War Crimes” and US military prosecutors have used the following against them:
EVIDENCE – Prosecutors have Failed to share that which they must by US Law, “exculpatory evidence”
Any information which could be used to defend and exonerate our Warriors of guilt
MITIGATING FACTORS – Prosecutors have prevented juries from hearing mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances
Any information which might result in reduced charges or a lesser sentences for our Warriors
FALSE STATEMENTS – Prosecutors have publicly misrepresented facts associated with cases.
Most recently that a Warrior was convicted of changing the Rules of Engagement (ROEs), when the jury actually acquitted him of that accusation
ENEMY COMBATANTS – Prosecutors have secretly flown enemy combatants into America, on commercial airlines which contained US citizens, to testify against our Warriors.
Specifically, bomb-makers who have killed US citizens – not concerned innocent civilians from another country. While we are technically still at war, these are people who have a vested interest in making false allegations against our Warriors.
UAP supports American servicemembers by generating Presidential, Congressional, and public awareness and funding the legal representation used to fight their legal battles. Your financial support is critical to our success, and most importantly, the success of our Warriors!