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member, except in cases where the member's conduct was solely the result of a desire to avoid or terminate military service.

f. Findings regarding the existence of the limited circumstances warranting a member's retention under paragraph H.1.c. are required only if:

(1) The member clearly and specifically raises such limited circumstances; or

(2) The Board or Separation Authority relies upon such circumstances to justify the member's retention.

g. Nothing in these procedures:

(1) Limits the authority of the Secretary concerned to take appropriate action in a case to ensure that there has been compliance with the provisions of this part;

(2) Precludes retention of a member for a limited period of time in the interests of national security as authorized by the Secretary concerned;

(3) Authorizes a member to seek Secretarial review unless authorized in procedures promulgated by the Secretary concerned;

(4) Precludes separation in appropriate circumstances for another reason set forth in this part; or

(5) Precludes trial by court-martial in appropriate cases.

I. Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Failure. 1. Basis. a. A member who has been referred to a program of rehabilitation for personal drug and alcohol abuse may be separated for failure through inability or refusal to participate in, cooperate in, or successfully complete such a program in the following circumstances:

(1) There is a lack of potential for continued military service; or

(2) Long-term rehabilitation is determined necessary and the member is transferred to a civilian medical facility for rehabilitation.

b. Nothing in this provision precludes separation of a member who has been referred to such a program under any other provision of this part in appropriate cases.

c. Drug abuse rehabilitation failures shall be reported separately from alcohol abuse rehabilitation failures. If separation is based on both, the primary basis shall be used for reporting requirements.

2. Characterization or description. When a member is separated under this provision, characterization of service as Honorable or General (under honorable conditions) is authorized except when an Entry Level Separation is required under section C. of part 2. The relationship between voluntary submission for treatment and the evidence that may be considered on the issue of characterization is set forth in subparagraph C.2.c.(6) of part 2. The relationship between mandatory urinalysis and the evidence that may be considered on the issue of characterization is set forth in subparagraph C.2.c.(7) of part 2.

3. Procedures. The Notification Procedure (section B. of part 3) shall be used.

J. Alcohol Abuse Rehabilitation Failure. 1. Basis. a. A member who has been referred to a program of rehabilitation for drug and alcohol abuse may be separated for failure through inability or refusal to participate in, cooperate in, or successfully completo such a program in the following circumstances:

(1) There is a lack of potential for continued military service; or

(2) Long-term rehabilitation is determined necessary and the member is transferred to a civilian medical facility for rehabilitation.

b. Nothing in this provision precludes separation of a member who has been referred to such a program under any other provision of this part in appropriate cases.

c. Alcohol abuse rehabilitation failures shall be reported separately from drug abuse rehabilitation failures. If separation is based on both, the primary basis shall be used for reporting purposes.

2. Characterization or description. When & member is separated under this provision, characterization of service as Honorable or General (under honorable conditions) is authorized except when an Entry Level Separation is required under section C. of part 2.

3. Procedures. The Notification Procedure (section B. of part 3) shall be used.

K. Misconduct. 1. Basis. a. Reasons. A member may be separated for misconduct when it is determined under the guidance set forth in section A. of part 2 that the member is unqualified for further military service by reason of one or more of the following circumstances:

(1) Minor disciplinary infractions. A pattern of misconduct consisting solely of minor disciplinary infractions. If separation of a member in entry level status is warranted solely by reason of minor disciplinary infractions, the action should be processed under Entry Level Performance and Conduct (section F., above).

(2) A pattern of misconduct. A pattern of misconduct consisting of (a) descreditable involvement with civil or military authorities or (b) conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.

(3) Commission of a serious offense. Commission of a serious military or civilian offense if in the following circumstances:

(a) The specific circumstances of the offense warrant separation; and

(b) A punitive discharge would be authorized for the same or a closely related offense under the Manual for Courts-Martial, 1969 (Revised Edition), as amended.

(4) Civilian conviction. (a) Conviction by civilian authorities or action taken which is tantamount to a finding of guilty, including similar adjudications in juvenile proceedings, when the specific circumstances of the offense warrant separation, and the following conditions are present:

1 A punitive discharge would be authorized for the same or a closely related offense under the Manual for Courts-Martial; or

2 The sentence by civilian authorities includes confinement for six months or more without regard to suspension or probation.

(b) Separation processing may be initiated whether or not a member has filed an appeal of a civilian conviction or has stated an intention to do so. Execution of an approved separation should be withheld pending outcome of the appeal or until the time for appeal has passed, but the member may be separated prior to final action on the appeal upon request of the member or upon direction of the Secretary concerned.

b. Reporting. The Deputy Assistant Secretary (Military Personnel and Force Management), Office of the ASD (MRA&L), shall require separate reports under each subparagraph in paragraph K.1.a. for misconduct by reason of drug abuse, unauthorized absence, and such other categories as may be appropriate.

c. Related separations. Misconduct involving homosexuality shall be processed under section H. Misconduct involving a fraudulent enlistment is considered under subsection E.4., above.

2. Counseling and rehabilitation. Separation processing for a pattern of misconduct (subparagraphs K.1.a. (1) and (2)) may not be initiated until the member has been counseled formally concerning deficiencies and has been afforded an opportunity to overcome those deficiencies as reflected in appropriate counseling or personnel records. If the sole basis of separation is a single offense (subparagraph K.1.a.(3)) or a civilian conviction or a similar juvenile adjudication (subparagraph K.1.a.(4)), the counseling and rehabilltation requirements are not applicable.

3. Characterization or description. Characterization of service normally shall be Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, but characterization as General (under honorable conditions) may be warranted under the guidelines in section C. of part 2. For respondents who have completed entry level status, characterization of service as Honorable is not authorized unless the respondent's record is otherwise so meritorious that any other characterization clearly would be Inappropriate and the separation is approved by a commander exercising general courtmartial jurisdiction or higher authority as specified by the Secretary concerned. When characterization of service Under Other Than Honorable Conditions is not warranted for a member in entry level status under section C. of part 2, the separation shall be described as an Entry Level Separation.

4. Procedures. The Administrative Board Procedure (section C. of part 3) shall be used, except that use of the Notification Procedure (section B. of part 3) 18 authorized if separation is based upon subparagraphs K.1.a.(1)

and K.1.a.(2) and characterization of service Under Other Than Honorable Conditions is nct warranted under section C. of part 2.

L. Separation in Lieu of Trial by Court-Martial. 1. Basis. A member may be separated upon request of trial by court-martial if charges have been preferred with respect to an offense for which a punitive discharge is authorized and it is determined that the member is unqualified for further military service under the guidance set forth in section A. of part 2. This provision may not be used when section B. of paragraph 127c of the Manual for Courts-Martial provides the sole basis for a punitive discharge unless the charges have been referred to a court-martial empowered to adjudge a punitive discharge.

2. Characterization or description. Characterization of service normally shall be Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, but characterization as General (under honorable conditions) may be warranted under the guidelines in section C. of part 2. For respondents who have completed entry level status, characterization of service as Honorable is not authorized unless the respondent's record is otherwise so meritorious that any other characterization clearly would be inappropriate. When characterization of service Under Other Than Honorable Conditions is not warranted for a member in entry level status under section C. of part 2, the separation shall be described as an Entry Level Separation.

3. Procedures. a. The request for discharge must be submitted in writing and signed by the member.

b. The member shall be afforded opportunity to consult with counsel qualified under Article 27(b)(1) of the UCMJ. If the member refuses to do so, counsel shall prepare a statement to this effect, which shall be attached to the file, and the member shall state that he or she has waived the right to consult with counsel.

c. Except when the member has walved the right to counsel, the request shall be signed by counsel.

d. In the written request, the member shall state that he or she understands the following:

(1) The elements of the offense or offenses charged;

(2) That characterization of service Under Other Than Honorable Conditions is authorized; and

(3) The adverse nature of such a characterization and possible consequences thereof.

e. The Secretary concerned shall also require that one or both of the following matters be included in the request:

(1) An acknowledgment of guilt of one or more of the offenses or any lesser included offenses for which a punitive discharge is authorized; or

(2) A summary of the evidence or list of documents (or copies thereof) provided to the member pertaining to the offenses for which a punitive discharge is authorized.

f. The Separation Authority shall be a commander exercising general court-martial jurisdiction or higher authority as specified by the Secretary concerned.

g. Statements by the member or the member's counsel submitted in connection with a request under this subsection are not admissible against the member in a court-martial except as authorized under Military Rule of Evidence 410, Manual for Courts-Martial.

M. Security. 1. Basis. When retention is clearly inconsistent with the interest of national security, a member may be separated by reason of security and under conditions and procedures established by the Secretary of Defense in DoD 5200.2-R.

2. Characterization or description. Characterization of service or description of a separation shall be in accordance with section C. of part 2.

N. Unsatisfactory Participation in the Ready Reserve. 1. Basis. A member may be separated for unsatisfactory participation in the Ready Reserve under criteria established by the Secretary concerned under 32 CFR part 100 (DoD Directive 1215.13).

2. Characterization or description. Characterization of service or description of a separation shall be in accordance with section C. of part 2 and 32 CFR part 100 (DOD Directive 1215.13).

3. Procedures. The Administrative Board Procedure (section C. of part 3) shall be used, except that the Notification Procedure (section B. of part 3) may be used if characterization of service Under Other Than Honorable Conditions is not warranted under section C. of part 2

O. Secretarial Plenary Authority.

1. Basis. Notwithstanding any limitation on separations provided in this part the Secretary concerned may direct the separation of any member prior to expiration of term of service after determining it to be in the best interests of the Service.

2. Characterization or description. Honorable or General (under honorable conditions) as warranted under section C. of part 2 unless an Entry Level Separation is required under section C. of part 2.

3. Procedures. Prior to involuntary separation, the Notification Procedure (section B. of part 3) shall be used, except the procedure for requesting an Administrative Board (paragraph B.1.g. of part 3) is not applicable.

P. Reasons Established by the Military Departments. 1. Basis. The Military Departments may establish additional reasons for separation for circumstances not otherwise provided for in this part to meet specific requirements, subject to approval by the ASD (MRA&L).

2. Counseling and rehabilitation. Separation processing may not be initiated until the member has been counseled formally concerning deficiencies and has been afforded an opportunity to overcome those deficiencies as reflected in appropriate counseling or personnel records except when the Military Department concerned provides in its implementing document that counseling and rehabilitation requirements are not applicable for the specific reason for separation.

3. Characterization or description. Characterization of service or description of a separation shall be in accordance with section C. of part 2.

4. Procedures. The procedures established by the Military Departments shall be consistent with the procedures contained in this part insofar as practicable. PART 2 GUIDELINES ON SEPARATION AND

CHARACTERIZATION A. Separation. 1. Scope. This general guidance applies when referenced in part 1. Further guidance is set forth under the specific reasons for separation in part 1.

2. Guidance. a. There is a substantial investment in the training of persons enlisted or inducted into the Military Services. As a general matter, reasonable efforts at rebabilitation should be made prior to initiation of separation proceedings.

b. Unless separation is mandatory, the potential for rehabilitation and further useful military service shall be considered by the Separation Authority and, where applicable, the Administrative Board. If separation is warranted despite the potential for rehabilitation, consideration should be given to suspension of the separation, if authorized.

c. Counseling and rehabilitation efforts are a prerequisite to initiation of separation proceedings only insofar as expressly set forth under specific requirements for separation in part 1. An alleged or established inadequacy in previous rehabilitative efforts does not provide a legal bar to separation.

d. The following factors may be considered on the issue of retention or separation, depending on the circumstances of the case:

(1) The seriousness of the circumstances forming the basis for initiation of separation proceedings, and the effect of the member's continued retention on military discipline, good order, and morale.

(2) The likelihood of continuation or recurrence of the circumstances forming the basis for initiation of separation proceedings.

(3) The likelihood that the member will be a disruptive or undesirable influence in present or future duty assignments.

(4) The ability of the member to perform duties effectively in the present and in the future, including potential for advancement or leadership.

(5) The member's rehabilitative potential.

(6) The member's entire military record. (a) This may include:

1 Past contributions to the Service, assignments, awards and decorations, evaluation ratings, and letters of commendation;

2 Letters of reprimand or admonition, counseling records, records of nonjudicial punishment, records of conviction by courtmartial and records of involvement with civilian authorities; and

3 Any other matter deemed relevant by the Board, if any, or the Separation Authority, based upon the specialized training, duties, and experience of persons entrusted by this part with recommendations and decisions on the issue of separation or retention.

(b) The following guidance applies to consideration of matter under subparagraph A.2.d.(6)(a):

1 Adverse matter from a prior enlistment or period of military service, such as records of nonjudicial punishment and convictions by courts-martial, may be considered only when such records would have a direct and strong probative value in determining whether separation is appropriate. The use of such records ordinarily shall be limited to those cases involving patterns of conduct manifested over an extended period of time.

2 Isolated incidents and events that are remote in time normally have little probative value in determining whether administrative separation should be effected.

3. Limitations on separation actions. A member may not be separated on the basis of the following:

a. Conduct that has been the subject of judicial proceedings resulting in an acquittal or action having the effect thereof except in the following circumstances:

(1) When such action is based upon a judicial determination not going to the guilt or innocence of the respondent; or

(2) When the judicial proceeding was conducted in a state or foreign court and the separation is approved by the Secretary concerned.

b. Conduct that has been the subject of a prior Administrative Board in which the Board entered an approved finding that the evidence did not sustain the factual allegations concerning the conduct except when the conduct is the subject of a rehearing ordered on the basis of fraud or collusion; or

c. Conduct that has been the subject of an administrative separation proceeding resulting in a final determination by a Separation Authority that the member should be retained, except in the following circumstances:

(1) When there is subsequent conduct or performance forming the basis, in whole or in part, for a new proceeding;

(2) When there 18 new or newly discovered evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the prior proceeding; or

(3) When the conduct is the subject of a rehearing ordered on the basis of fraud or collusion.

B. Suspension of Separation. 1. Suspension. a. Unless prohibited by this part a separation may be suspended for a specified period of not more than 12 months by the Separation Authority or higher authority if the circumstances of the case indicate a reasonable likelihood or rehabilitation.

b. During the period of suspension, the member shall be afforded an opportunity to meet appropriate standards of conduct and duty performance.

c. Unless sooner vacated or remitted, execution of the approved separation shall be remitted upon completion of the probationary period, upon termination of the member's enlistment or period of obligated service, or upon decision of the Separation Authority that the goal of rehabilitation has been achieved.

2. Action during the period of suspension. a. During the period of suspension, if there are further grounds for separation under part 1, one or more of the following actions may be taken:

(1) Disciplinary action;
(2) New administrative action; or

(3) Vacation of the suspension accompanied by execution of the separation if the member engages in conduct similar to that for which separation was approved (but suspended) or otherwise fails to meet appropriate standards of conduct and duty performance.

b. Prior to vacation of a suspension, the member shall be notified in writing of the basis for the action and shall be afforded the opportunity to consult with counsel (as provided in paragraph B.1.f. of part 3) and to submit a statement in writing to the Separation Authority. The respondent shall be provided a reasonable period of time, but not less than 2 working days, to act on the notice. If the respondent identifies specific legal issues for consideration by the Separation Authority, the matter shall be reviewed by a judge advocate or civilian lawyer employed by the government prior to final action by the Separation Authority.

C. Characterization of Service or Description of Separation. 1. Types of characterization or description. a. At separation, the following types of characterization of service or description of separation are authorized under this part:

(1) Separation with characterization of service as Honorable, General (under honorable conditions), or Under Other Than Honorable Conditions.

(2) Entry Level Separation.

(3) Order of release from the custody and control of the Military Services by reason of void enlistment or induction.

(4) Separation by being dropped from the rolls of the Service.

b. Any of the types of separation listed in this section may be used in appropriato circumstances unless a limitation set forth in this section or in part 1 (Reasons for Separation).

2. Characterization of service. a. General considerations. (1) Characterization at separation shall be based upon the quality of the member's service, including the reason for separation and guidance in paragraph C.2.b., below, subject to the limitations set forth under various reasons for separation in part 1. The quality of service will be determined in accordance with standards of acceptable personal conduct and performance of duty for military personnel. These standards are found in the 10 U.S.C., sections 801-940, UCMJ, directives and regulations issued by the Department of Defense and the Military Departments, and the time-honored customs and traditions of military service.

(2) The quality of service of a member on active duty or active duty for training is affected adversely by conduct that is of a nature to bring discredit on the Military Seryices or is prejudicial to good order and discipline, regardless of whether the conduct is subject to UCMJ jurisdiction. Characterization may be based on conduct in the civilian community, and the burden is on the respondent to demonstrate that such conduct did not adversely affect the respondent's service.

(3) The reasons for separation, including the specific circumstances that form the basis for the separation, shall be considered on the issue of characterization. As a general matter, characterization will be based upon a pattern of behavior rather than an isolated incident. There are circumstances, however, in which the conduct or performance of duty reflected by a single incident provides the basis for characterization.

(4) Due consideration shall be given to the member's age, length of service, grade, aptitude, physical and mental condition, and the standards of acceptable conduct and performance of duty.

b. Types of characterization. (1) Honorable. The Honorable characterization is appropriate when the quality of the member's service generally has met the standards of acceptable conduct and performance of duty for military personnel, or is otherwise so meritorious that any other characterization would be clearly inappropriate. In the case of an Honorable Discharge, an Honorable Discharge Certificate (DD Form 256) will be awarded and a notation will be made on the appropriate copies of the DD Form 214/5 in accordance with 32 CFR part 45 (DoD Directive 1336.1).

(2) General (under honorable conditions). If a member's service has been honest and faithful, it is appropriate to characterize that service under honorable conditions. Characterization of service as General (under hon

orable conditions) 18 warranted when signiflcant negative aspects of the member's conduct or performance of duty outweigh positive aspects of the member's military record.

(3) Under Other Than Honorable Conditions. (a) This characterization may be issued in the following circumstances:

1 When the reason for separation is based upon a pattern of behavior that constitutes a significant departure from the conduct expected of members of the Military Services.

2 When the reason for separation is based upon one or more acts or omissions that constitute a significant departure from the conduct expected of members of the Military Services. Examples of factors that may be considered include the use of force or violence to produce serious bodily injury or death, abuse of a special position of trust, disregard by a superior of customary superior-subordinate relationships, acts or omissions that endanger the security of the United States or the health and welfare of other members of the Military Services, and deliberate acts or omissions that seriously endanger the health and safety of other persons.

(b) This characterization is authorized only if the member has been afforded the opportunity to request an Administrative Board, except as provided in section L. of part 1 (Separation in Lieu of Trial by CourtsMartial).

c. Limitations on characterization. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, characterization will be determined solely by the member's military record during the current enlistment or period of service to which the separation pertains, plus any extensions thereof prescribed by law or regulation or effected with the consent of the member.

(1) Prior service activities, including records of conviction by courts-martial, records of absence without leave, or commission of other offenses for which punishment was not imposed shall not be considered on the issue of characterization. To the extent that such matters are considered on the issue of retention or separation (subsection A.2. of this part 2), the record of proceedings may reflect express direction that such information shall not be considered on the issue of characterization.

(2) Preservice activities may not be considered on the issue of characterization except as follows: in a proceeding concerning fraudulent entry into military service (subsection E.4. of part 1), evidence of preservice misrepresentations about matters that would have precluded, postponed, or otherwise affected the member's eligibility for enlistment or induction may be considered on the issue of characterization.

(3) The limitations in subsection A.3., above, as to matters that may be considered on the issue of separation are applicable to matters that may be considered on the issue of characterization.

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