Administrative Separation from the Military
Enlisted servicemembers may be administratively separated from the service for a variety of reasons, but frequently the basis for separation includes an allegation of misconduct. An “allegation” of misconduct is sufficient for a command to initiate administrative separation processing. Unlike a court-martial, an administrative separation proceeding is an administrative hearing. Therefore, the rules of evidence do not apply and the burden of proof is only a “preponderance of the evidence” vice “beyond a reasonable doubt” as in a criminal trial.
An administrative separation board must make three determinations. First, the board must determine if the evidence substantiates the basis for separation. If so, then the board must determine if separation is warranted. If separation is appropriate, the board must determine what characterization of service is suitable based upon the offense and the servicemembers overall record.
An administrative separation board may award one of three “characterizations of service.” An “Honorable” characterization is appropriate when the overall quality of a military service meets acceptable standards of conduct and performance of duty. An Honorable discharge entitles the servicemember to all benefits authorized by law.
A “General” (Under Honorable Conditions) characterization is appropriate when service has been honest and faithful, but significant negative aspects of a servicemember’s performance of duty or conduct outweigh the positive aspects. A General (under honorable conditions) characterization of service may deny the servicemember certain benefits, to include the use of G.I. Bill education benefits. Therefore, any contributions made by the servicemember toward their education benefits will be lost.
An “Under Other Than Honorable Conditions” (OTH) characterization is appropriate when the servicemember’s separation is based upon conduct constituting a significant departure from the conduct expected of military members. An OTH characterization essentially denies a servicemember of the benefits authorized by law, although the VA will make its own determination as to any potential VA benefits the servicemember may be entitled.
Given an administrative discharge proceeding is administrative in nature, combined with the potential loss of benefits, experienced counsel is essential to present the best evidence possible.
Facing an Administrative Separation?
Make sure that you get the right help from a qualified Administrative Separation Defense Attorney, in San Diego or Worldwide, built to support your needs. Military Law Center Is Ready to Help You – Right Now. Military Law Center will aggressively advise and defend you – Know Your Military Legal Rights.