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Types of Army Discharges

The United States Army, there are several different types of discharges that a soldier could possibly receive. So let’s talk about those. What’s up, friends? In this video, we are talking about the different types of discharges that a soldier could possibly receive. Obviously, they have one in mind that they would like to receive, but there are other possibilities based on some different factors that could possibly end up resulting in a soldier leaving the army. So we’ll jump right into it. And of course, the first one, the main one that people want to receive and should strive to receive is an Honorable Discharge. And that could happen a number of ways. It could happen from a soldier simply doing X amount of years and retiring from the army, or something like I did where I ETSed from the army or expiration of term of service, simply just meaning that I decided not to extend my army contract any further and just simply separate from the army. And that results in a Honorable Discharge. There are also going to be other circumstances, of course, that a soldier could possibly be honorably discharged from the army, things like medical reasons, maybe they receive some injury in a combat zone or in training or something, to where they cannot continue being in the military.

They’re going to be med boarded, they go through the whole medical process and they will still receive an honorable discharge. Also, if a soldier is medically retired, the same circumstances. If they are medically retired from the army because they can’t continue, but they could have been able to do 20 some odd years or whatever, then they may be medically retired, which still results in an Honorable Discharge. Obviously, that is what people want to strive to receive is an Honorable Discharge that allows them to receive all the veteran benefits, allows them to have that extra perk for a lot of employers, especially for federal jobs. That’s things that they want is they want to hire somebody who has had a honorable discharge. But there are other discharges that may or may not be bad discharges but are not going to be definitely as good as an Honorable Discharge. This next one we’re going to is an ELS discharge or an entry level separation discharge. This discharge is commonly used maybe in basic training or something like that, to soldiers who are failing to adapt to the military standards, to the military lifestyle. They may end up receiving an ELS or entry level separation discharge and being taken out of the army.

This type of discharge is not necessarily a bad discharge. It’s something that’s given to a soldier that can’t meet the standards. Maybe they can’t pass the PT test in basic. They just fail to adapt to the military standards and they may receive an ELS. That’s commonly something that’s given within the first 180 days of their service. Like I said, probably in basic training, this may be issued to a soldier that fails to adapt to the military standards. Like I said, this isn’t necessarily a bad discharge. This isn’t going to look down on you. It’s not going to affect a soldier from being able to get a job. They probably will be able to, in some cases, be able to still try to rejoin the military, maybe a different branch or whatever. There are cases of that. Sometimes it just depends on the circumstances that are outlined in the separation papers for work that allows them, if they will allow them to come back in the service at a later point in time. Next one we’re going to is a general discharge, and that is a general discharge under honorable conditions. This one is almost similar to an ELS one, the previous one, but it’s something probably a little further out than 180 days.

A soldier that’s been in the army for a little bit longer than those 180 days, they don’t meet the requirements for an ELS, but maybe a situation comes up that causes them to receive a general discharge. Now, an example, possibly of someone receiving a general discharge could be a soldier that has just failed too many PT tests, can’t make the physical fitness standards to pass the physical fitness test. They could receive a general discharge, or even a soldier that maybe has gained weight in the military and can no longer meet those height and weight standards to be within those weight requirements that are required for their age group, for their height and all that stuff. So those could result in a general discharge. But like I said, it’s under honorable conditions. So it also doesn’t necessarily look bad on an individual if they have it on a resume. Some employers, depending on how they look at it, may not necessarily like it because it shows that they weren’t able to meet the requirements or whatever the case might be. But it’s not necessarily a bad discharge. It’s just almost a neutral one. You couldn’t pass the standards.

You were being the best soldier, I guess, you possibly could be, but you didn’t meet the weight requirements. Maybe you couldn’t meet the physical fitness requirements or certain other standards that doesn’t necessarily mean you did something criminally bad or anything, but you weren’t quite equipped to be in the United States Army, so you receive a general discharge. Now, in the case of a general discharge, there are still several veteran benefits that could still be available to an individual. It doesn’t wipe out all their benefits. There are some benefits that will still be available to individuals with a general discharge, and maybe in some cases, they could try to come back in the army. That would probably be a little bit rare, though. Now, those last two discharges were called administrative discharges. This next one is the most severe administrative discharge and is known as the other than Honorable Conditions Discharge. This type of discharge could be given to a soldier, maybe for violence, maybe for some security violation. Even if maybe a soldier was convicted of adultery in a divorce hearing, the soldier could also receive this type of discharge in those circumstances as well.

Now, this discharge can essentially look pretty bad on an individual. If they’re trying to apply for a federal job, it’s probably not going to allow them to be able to do so. Certain other employers may not be willing to hire someone who has an other than Honorable Discharge type of situation, but it may just depend on the employer. There might be some very rare circumstances that an individual could potentially come back in the military or join another branch of the military. Like I said, it’s going to be rare circumstances for that. But this will eliminate them from being able to receive any veteran benefits like college or any other VA benefits. Next, let’s go into a bad conduct discharge. This one is a pretty bad one. This one usually follows up with some type of prison sentence or a little bit of jail time along with that. It’s a more severe type of discharge, not the most severe one, but it is a pretty bad one. So the bad conduct discharge just escalates a little bit more. You had the previous one that may not necessarily include jail time. It can, but may not necessarily do so.

But the bad conduct one usually does include a little bit of jail time after receiving that bad conduct discharge to be released from the army. But from there we move to obviously the more severe one, which is the dishonorable discharge. And that is obviously the most severe type of discharge from the army. The dishonorable discharge is obviously for more severe type of crimes that maybe a soldier has committed, maybe like sexual assault, maybe murder, maybe several other cases that there is going to fall into that category that could result in a soldier receiving a dishonorable discharge. Now, this one can be treated pretty bad. A lot of employers are going to look at this as receiving a felony on your record because it is also going to prevent that individual from being able to possess a firearm by federal law. As expected, they will not receive any veteran benefits at all with a dishonorable discharge and obviously won’t be allowed to come back in the military. That one obviously is pretty severe. If an individual receives a dishonorable discharge, it’s pretty bad career ending type of thing. They’re going to really struggle with employment. They’re not going to be able to possess a firearm.

They’re going to be pretty much looked at pretty horribly for any employment opportunities, any type of future opportunities that has a dishonorable discharge on their record. Now, a key thing to note with those discharges I was explaining, such as the bad conduct, the disarmament discharge, is those are only available to enlisted soldiers. Officers cannot receive those types of discharges. As an officer, cannot be demoted from one rank to another rank. So if you ever hear a story about someone used to be a colonel and they got demoted down to a private, that’s not happening. It’s not possible. Now, I don’t think that officers are excluded from punishment. It’s just a different process. They are not going to be losing any rank, but if they do mess up in some way, commit some crime, they will go through still a court martial hearing. If through that court martial hearing that they determine that the officer needs to be kicked out of the military, then they will receive a dismissal notice, which is essentially the same as a dishonorable discharge. It has the same effect. It does not allow them to be able to receive veteran benefits and probably looks pretty negatively from any type of employment aspect.

But it’s not still the same type of discharge, but it is a dismissal but still categorized the same way as a dishonorable discharge. Now, another thing to note with those previous discharges, from the bad conduct to the other of the Honorable, all that stuff, all of those can be potentially contested. They could go and submit a form and request for that discharge to be upgraded to a better discharge, maybe an Honorable Discharge in some cases, and that just goes through an appeals process. If a later time, a soldier, a veteran, or whatever, wants to try to appeal those discharges, they can go through a certain process to try to do so. They would simply just have to submit a DA form 293, and they’d have to do so within 15 years of their discharge. There you go. There’s somewhat of a general understanding of the different types of discharges that an individual could possibly receive. Obviously, the goal is to receive an Honorable Discharge. I have mine hanging up on my wall over with my other army awards and my college diploma and everything, but there are different types of discharges that a soldier could possibly receive.

If you have any other further questions about those different discharges, you can leave some comments down below. I’ll do my best to try to answer your questions. There may be veterans or active duty military people can maybe help me out with some of those questions and answer them for you as well. My question to my fellow Honorable Discharge veterans out there is, what did you do with your Honorable Discharge award or certificate? Do you have yours hanging up on a wall? Do you have it stuck away in a book in a footlocker? Leave some comments down below. If you enjoyed this video, make sure you hit that thumbs up button. I got some videos over here that you should probably check out that are pretty good, as well as some great links down the description, including link to my Patron. I’m Christopher chaos. Thanks for watching. I will see you next time. See you.

George N.