More on the Dishonorable Discharge

More details are coming out from The Post-Gazette:

Records indicate that Mr. [Bonehead] was dishonorably discharged from the corps during basic training. Friends said he wanted out so he could rejoin his girlfriend.

Unless he strangled someone,or murdered his drill sergeant, I’m having a hard time believing he got a DD from basic.  More likely, I think, is that he got a less than honorable discharge.  An actual DD only happens after a Court Martial, usually for a pretty serious offense.  It is, for all intents and purposes, considered a felony conviction, and not just for firearms.  My understanding is that if you desert, that’s grounds for a Court Martial and a Dishonorable Discharge, but that’s usually accompanied by time in prison.  I think eighteen months is the going rate.  Used to be desertion got you lined up in front of a firing squad.

12 thoughts on “More on the Dishonorable Discharge”

  1. The worst you can get without a court marshal is an Administrative Discharge under less than honorable conditions. Well, at least way back when I was in. It takes a General Court Marshal to render a Dishonorable Discharge. A General Court is as bad as it gets.

  2. With the Navy, anything that would cause a not-good discharge within the first 90 days of one’s enlistment (given the boot camp situation, this might have been in that window) was almost automatically categorized as an Administrative Discharge under Other Than Honorable conditions. Rarely are commands willing to put forward the time, effort, and money to pursue a Court Martial unless it is really worth it (especially since most JAGs recommend against Courts Martial unless the situation really warrants it).

    Hell, as a Legal Officer, and then Administrative Officer, at two separate commands, I saw enough AWOLs and almost-desertions to almost start a third command, and none of them went up to a CM. Worst you can do with those cases is keep them enlisted…

  3. I don’t know about Marine boot camp, but I saw a couple guys in Army basic wiggle out of the paperwork so they could run home to momma. It seemed stupid to me since life got 100x harder once the drill sergeants knew about it and more often than not it took longer than just finishing the course. You could talk to the Chaplain or have daddy call a congressman’s banker. There’s always a way.

  4. I just reread my missive. Darn spell checker did it to me again. Marshal indeed. good grief how did I miss that.

  5. My neighbors son got an DD for leaving base several times to visit his girlfriend. I think he was gone long enough that the MP were sent out to look for him.

    If you really want out, why doesn’t a person walk in and declare they are gay.

  6. I’ve a cousin who completed basic with the Air Force, washed planes for about 6 months, then went AWOL to marry a woman who it turns out was married in another state. I was told he got a “Less than honorable discharge” which I take to mean “Administrative Discharge under Other Than Honorable Conditions”.

    It serves the purpose, getting rid of a bad apple (along with putting a nice stain on their resume) and doing so without the costs of any sort of trial or adding to the prison population.

    My understanding is that in my cousin’s case, the threat of a CM was used to encourage him to cooperate with the discharge process.

  7. We’re not used to the media providing factual evidence when they talk of “assault weapons”. Why would we expect them to know (or care) about the difference between a DD and a less then honorable or administrative discharge?

    On another note, it is being reported that this sh**tbag did have a PFA back in 05. How long is a person prohibited after a PFA order?

  8. Most people are actually convicted of going AWOL. Desertion is a extremely difficult charge to prove. Military appeals courts have ruled that if you show the slightest intention to return to duty, you can not be convicted of desertion. The current standard is that if you keep at least one uniform it is only AWOL and not desertion. As far as the death penalty goes, UCMJ allows that penalty only in wartime. Most military legal scholars agree that it requires an actual declaration of war in order for that punishment to apply.

  9. Skullz: He stays prohibited until he applies for and gets federal relief.

    The Prez has to sign off on it, and they stopped doing so since Bush Mk. I.

  10. I remember my drill sgt telling us to put a bus ticket in the pocket of a complete uniform hanging in the closet if we ran off to avoid desertion charges….

Comments are closed.