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rippingtons_fan
11-28-2004, 01:07 PM
On average, how many Dishonorable Discharges per year are given out to United States military personnel?

Is there a Dishonorable Discharge certificate issued to a person (much in the same way a person receiving an Honorable Discharge gets one), and if there is a Dishonorable Discharge certificate, what does it look like?

Do military personnel in the armed forces of the world's other nations have something similar to a Dishonorable Discharge, or are they just taken out and shot by a firing squad?

chique
11-28-2004, 04:32 PM
No clue about questions 1 and 3, but discharge papers are discharge papers - it's a DD214. There a slot on there for "type of discharge', or something like that, which indicates whether the discharge was honorable, other than honorable, dishonorable, or "at the convenience of the government", etc. I don't have mine handy right now but you can see a picture of them here (http://images.google.com/images?q=dd214&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&sa=N&tab=wi).

izzy
11-28-2004, 04:50 PM
I believe somewhere between 1% - 4% of discharges are Dishonorable. They're rare, and almost always given out on in cases where the crime was the equivalent of a civilian felony. Murder, robbery, etc. You got the specific military crimes like desertion, but desertion isn't always what civilians think it is, and even then it's not always given an outright Dishonorable. Dishonorable usually = Prison/Brig time, oftentimes both. Bad Conduct discharges are more common, and are usually things that would get you jail time in civilian life, like possesion of marijuana. A General Under Other Than Honorable Conditions discharges are another step up, and I think this runs the myriad of reasons, but I suppose they're the equivalent of getting fired in civlian life (except it really follows you around for the rest of your life, and can have adverse effects, ofcourse). The overwhelming majority get a straightout Honorable. Even more than a General Under Honorable Conditions. Mostly, all you have to do is not be a total screw up and commit any major crimes.

Take a look at George Carlin's Airforce record. He's done some crazy stuff (including punching out his officer or atleast telling him off or something), and still got a General Under Honorable discharge.

aldiboronti
11-28-2004, 05:25 PM
In the British Army things stand (or used to stand) thus. On leaving the service each soldier is given a small discharge book containing his service record. In the case of those discharged dishonourably each page of the record has DISCHARGED WITH IGNOMINY stamped across it.

MsRobyn
11-28-2004, 06:03 PM
My Navy discharge was General Under Honorable Conditions, and it hasn't affected me adversely at all. I wasn't eligible for the GI Bill, but I got all of the other benefits, and I have the status of "veteran" for employment purposes.

You have to earn an honorable discharge. It's not hard to do; your evaluations have to be higher than a certain level; you can't have any Article 15 proceedings or courts-martial, that sort of thing. I just didn't have any evaluations to qualify for the honorable. No big deal.

Robin

Bytegeist
11-28-2004, 06:37 PM
I believe somewhere between 1% - 4% of discharges are Dishonorable. They're rare, and almost always given out on in cases where the crime was the equivalent of a civilian felony. Murder, robbery, etc.

Given this, I'm curious. Was the punishment handed down in A Few Good Men realistic? (Two Marine enlisted men are sentenced to dishonorable discharges for a wrongful death, but with no prison term.) The equivalent civilian crime would be some form of manslaughter, I presume, though it's complicated by the fact that they were following orders in good faith.

It's all a movie, so it doesn't have to be real of course. I'm just wondering.

Diceman
11-28-2004, 06:43 PM
Actually, they were acquitted of murdering the guy (they were charged with murder), but were convicted of Conduct Unbecoming of a Marine, and given Dishonorable Discharges for that reason.

alterego
11-28-2004, 06:56 PM
My Navy discharge was General Under Honorable Conditions, and it hasn't affected me adversely at all. I wasn't eligible for the GI Bill, but I got all of the other benefits, and I have the status of "veteran" for employment purposes.

You have to earn an honorable discharge. It's not hard to do; your evaluations have to be higher than a certain level; you can't have any Article 15 proceedings or courts-martial, that sort of thing. I just didn't have any evaluations to qualify for the honorable. No big deal.

Robin

I have an honorable discharge. My outlook was much different than this. You have to earn anything other than honorable. If you stand at attention when your supposed to and don't do anything stupid they will give you one. Doing something that violates the contract you signed earns you a discharge less than what they were going to give you for just doing what you said you would.

fortytwo
11-28-2004, 07:04 PM
...........

Do military personnel in the armed forces of the world's other nations have something similar to a Dishonorable Discharge, or are they just taken out and shot by a firing squad?

I was really lucky. I was in the RAF and got an honourable discharge so it saved them having to shoot me.

rippingtons_fan
11-28-2004, 07:55 PM
I also have an Honorable Discharge from the USAF (which came with a nice certificate suitable for framing and a DD-214.) As I never personally knew anyone who ended-up getting a Dishonorable Discharge, I was just curious about it.

Spavined Gelding
11-28-2004, 09:28 PM
Things may well have changed in the time since I was familiar with the discharge system, but, the only way a Dishonorable Discharge could be given was by the sentence of a General Court Martial, approved by the Convening Authority, usually a Major General commanding a division size unit or a major post. The only way a soldier could get a Bad Conduct Discharge was by the action of a GCM or a Special Court Martial convened by a commander with GCM authority. Those two, the DD and the BCD were punitive discharges.

The were also administrative discharges given for unfitness (implying some degree of culpability and refusal to play along with the system), and unsuitability (implying an unintentional inability to play along with the system short of grounds for a medical discharge). There were also discharges for the good of the service, often an escape given to a long term NCO who had screwed up but who the General did not want to expose to a punitive discharge.

Administrative discharges came in three varieties: Honorable, General Discharge under Honorable Conditions and Undesirable Discharge. They primarily differed in the sort of VA benefits available. A kid with lots of non-judicial punishments and a minor SpCM conviction for some small offense would probably be eliminated for unfitness and would probably get an Undesirable Discharge, especially if he built up that record before he finished his training. A kid who developed some unpleasant personality disorder or who was just not mentally up to the task might get a General Discharge for unsuitability if he had not been too big a pain in the neck. Bed wetting was a standard unsuitability grounds.

Dishonorable Discharge and Undesirable Discharge are not the same thing.

Like I said, my experience was with an army of draftees. The system might well be different in an all volunteer force. I can't imagine that as much as 4% of the force would get an Dishonorable Discharge or an Undesirable Discharge.

Reeder
11-28-2004, 09:44 PM
My Navy discharge was General Under Honorable Conditions, and it hasn't affected me adversely at all. I wasn't eligible for the GI Bill, but I got all of the other benefits, and I have the status of "veteran" for employment purposes.

You have to earn an honorable discharge. It's not hard to do; your evaluations have to be higher than a certain level; you can't have any Article 15 proceedings or courts-martial, that sort of thing. I just didn't have any evaluations to qualify for the honorable. No big deal.

Robin

Not quite. I was court-martialed (drugs), convicted and sent to Leavenworth. Part of my sentence was a BCD but it was thrown out. Did my time went back into the Army and got my honorable discharge. I did have to make up the time I was in Leavenworth.

alterego
11-28-2004, 10:00 PM
Not quite. I was court-martialed (drugs), convicted and sent to Leavenworth. Part of my sentence was a BCD but it was thrown out. Did my time went back into the Army and got my honorable discharge. I did have to make up the time I was in Leavenworth.

:: blinks ::

Is it true what they say about the freely available ever replenishing ever diminishing infinite pile of condoms? Chain gangs?

Seriously. They threatened me with that crap for four years!~

robby
11-28-2004, 10:08 PM
You have to earn an honorable discharge. It's not hard to do; your evaluations have to be higher than a certain level; you can't have any Article 15 proceedings...
Robin
This is not quite accurate. I knew several sailors (and one Naval officer) who went to Captain's Mast (Article 15), and managed to ride out the precipitating incident and go on to get honorable discharges.

The officer was essentially fired, though, and removed from the nuclear submarine service. He spent the remainder of his career pushing papers before being separated for failure to promote (several years after the incident). He still received an honorable discharge, though, as well as separation pay.

Also, past evaluations have nothing to do with your type of discharge. One's type of discharge is only affected as a result of resolving some recent incident or failure to meet standards (such as excessive body fat). A incident that took place in the distant past that did not result in separation from the service at the time of the incident is irrelevant in determining the type of discharge years later.

Reeder
11-28-2004, 10:28 PM
What happened to me happened 30 yrs ago...Things may well have changed.

izzy
11-28-2004, 10:34 PM
So Dishonorable = Severe punishment, and I'm guessing carries along with it the bad things that a felony carries with it.

A Bad Conduct Discharge sounds to me like some version of a misdemeanor?

A General Under Other Than Honorable = non-punitive, but not good?

A General Under Honorable = Good, just not great benefits like an Honorable.

Honorable = Everything's dandy.

I imagine the first two carries similar price-tags as committing a crime in civilian life (criminal record, not being able to vote if it was a Dishonorable, etc). What what happens to a person who gets a Bad Conduct Discharge in civilian life? Is it the same as a one month stint in county jail on your record? What happens to the General Under Other Than Honrable? Can he/she still get a government job? That one sounds the vaguest to me, because it sounds like you can get it in so many ways. If it's a medical condition I imagine most wouldn't hold it against you, but what about "acting" up or whatever you mentioned?

You know, I'm still young, and seriously law for post-undergrad. I wonder if military law is actually a good field to go for. Sounds like a niche without much competition.

Spavined Gelding
11-29-2004, 12:35 AM
You know, I'm still young, and seriously law for post-undergrad. I wonder if military law is actually a good field to go for. Sounds like a niche without much competition.

In the old days there were a handful of American lawyers in Frankfurt, Germany, who did mostly Court Martial defense and divorce work for soldiers and dependents. With the reduction of forces in Europe I donít know if that practice is still viable. You might have to go to Baghdad to have a Court Martial defense practice today. That doesnít sound like a good idea to me, even if you could set up an office inside the Green Zone. Otherwise you would have to set up in some town adjacent to a base. Iíve seen Waynesville, Missouri and Columbus, Georgia, and Junction City, Kansas. I would not recommend it.

The other course is to try for an appointment to the Judge Advocate Generalís Corps of one of the uniformed services. Those corps are small, the appointment involves an extended commitment, and many if not most of the slots go to regular officers who have completed a tour as a line officer and have gone to law school on a government program. If conscription is reinstated the opportunity to join the JAGCs will improve but right now there is a fair amount of competition for the slots that are available. Even during the Vietnam build up and the institution of the changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice that mandated qualified defense counsel, and by implication qualified prosecutors, in Special Courts Martial, when the JAGCs had to about double in size on one yearís notice, the requirements for direct commissions or branch transfers were pretty stiff. My own judgement is that the 100 or so members of the 47th Basic Class at the Judge Advocate Generalís School - Army in the fall of 1967 were about as fancy a bunch of young lawyers as I have ever seen.

Kegg
11-29-2004, 04:40 AM
When I was in the Navy (1950s) being gay was an automaatic undesirable discharge. You lost all benifets and were not paid for leave time not taken. They were handed out with no court marshal not even a mast. and there were many of them handed out.
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Spelling and grammer subject to change without notice.

Paul in Qatar
11-29-2004, 07:24 AM
Have you noticed how the whole Gays in the Military thing went away when we go into a shooting war?

SkeptiJess
11-29-2004, 08:29 AM
Here (http://usmilitary.about.com/library/weekly/aa092500a.htm)'s a fairly clear cut page about military discharges. It mentions the one I haven't seen mentioned here -- the Entry Level Separation for people with less than 180 days of service. This is what my brother-in-law got when he was sent home from boot camp. He has no veterans benefits -- in fact, it's just like he was never in the service at all.

The main thing I remember about Dishonorable and Bad Conduct Discharges is that you are supposed to reveal them when asked, for example, on a job application. Now, I daresay, many people with these types of discharges lie on job applications -- either leaving out their military service completely or by just flat-out writing Honorable instead of Dishonorable or BCD. And I'd guess most empoyers don't double-check, although they could. It would definately come out in a Security Clearance check, though, and would, I'm thinking, prevent you from getting a high-level clearance.

Any of you call a BCD the Big Chicken Dinner? I was in for 6 years and never heard this term used. My husband (26 years in) uses it all the time, though.

JonG
11-29-2004, 10:58 AM
That was the only way we refered to a BCD as a "big chicken dinner". After some one went to captain's mast you could hear a conversation like this discribing what was "awarded" to the person who went to mast. "He went and played pool with the old man and lost. The old man gave him a big chicken dinner and sent him home." When a person went to captain's mast the table the Captain sat behind always had a green felt table cloth on it, not unlike a pool table's. If the offence warrented a BCD the person was sent to base security and started proccessing for getting out of the Navy.

Padeye
11-29-2004, 11:32 AM
That was the only way we refered to a BCD as a "big chicken dinner". After some one went to captain's mast you could hear a conversation like this discribing what was "awarded" to the person who went to mast.That is not the case. Commanding officers are limited to nonjudicial punishment listed in article 15 of the UCMJ (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/justicelawlegislation/l/blucmj15.htm) for captain's mast, office hours, etc. It is typically forfeiture of pay for a period of time, reduction in rank by one pay grade and various restrictions such as confinement to quarters/base. BCD requires a court-martial AFAIK.

I was fortunate to have only made it to XOI (executive officer's inquiry), the last stop before captain's mast, once in my six years. He let me go because my accuser had no evidence and I even managed to get a good conduct medal* for that period.

*A maroon ribbon and medal inscribed "fidelity, zeal, obediance." Awarded for four consecutive years of undetected crime.

Scruloose
11-29-2004, 12:12 PM
*A maroon ribbon and medal inscribed "fidelity, zeal, obediance." Awarded for four consecutive years of undetected crime.

:D

A---MEN!

Signed, Scruloose. A man who hopes the company he keeps isn't too good at math when persusing my GC ribbons. ;)

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