INVOLUNTARY SEPARATIONS FROM ACTIVE DUTY

These adverse personnel actions are governed by federal law, DOD directives and military regulations and are generally for alleged “substandard performance of duty” or “misconduct” allegedly committed by officers or enlisted service members and may result in an adverse and stigmatizing Discharge Certificate (DD Form 214) from military service. The service member has the right to the assistance of military and/or civilian legal counsel at any stage of an involuntary separation action. Officers with five or more years of active military service, or an enlisted service member with six or more years of active military service (non-probationary service members), have the right to a full administrative hearing (board of inquiry) to present evidence, cross examine or present witnesses, and to testify or make a sworn, or unsworn, statement. Those service members who do not have this amount of active military service (probationary service members), do not have the right, by regulation, to such an administrative hearing, but do have the right to submit written rebuttals in defense or mitigation of the adverse allegations, unless the commander’s recommendation for the character of discharge is “Other than Honorable,” in which case the probationary officer or enlisted service member is enlisted to a full administrative hearing to defend against the involuntary separation from active duty.