A military discharge occurs when any member of any branch of the armed forces is released from their duties.
Many military discharges are given fairly routinely when a person’s military contract expires and they decide to leave the service or not seek promotion. These types of discharges are known as an “honorable” discharge and the person’s benefits and service record are given out in accordance with their contract.
Honorable discharges also include situations where a term of service ends at the order of a judge or court, a conflict ends and the unit is relieved from duty, or if someone has been denied a promotion two times in a row (this last occurrence tends to vary between the different branches).
Other special circumstances may also end in an honorable discharge. One type of special circumstance is a discharge due to an infraction of the “don’t ask don’t tell” laws enacted in the 1990s. Under these laws it is illegal for the armed forces to fire someone for being a homosexual or lesbian unless they divulge the information about their sexual preferences openly. The “don’t ask don’t tell” discharge is given as an honorable discharge.
A medical discharge is handed out after an armed forces physician determines that the member is medically unfit to continue their service. Any physical injury occurring during combat entitles the sufferer an honorable discharge and all pertinent rights that go with it.
Anytime a person is given a military discharge that they consider to be unfair, they can challenge the discharge and either get their original status reinstated, with all the accompanying benefits, or get the promotion they were looking to receive in the first place.
If someone is discharged unfairly, they might lose any benefits including retirement money, medical care for themselves and their family, and many other benefits. If you or someone you know has been given a military discharge you feel was unfair, your first action should be to contact our law firm for a free no-obligation consultation.
More serious military discharges include the “less than honorable” discharge that occurs usually due to bad behavior or criminal activity by the armed forces member while enlisted. These “less than honorable” discharges include: general discharge, other than honorable discharge, bad conduct discharge, and dishonorable discharge.
The least desirable type of military discharge is the dishonorable discharge. If a soldier or other armed forces member gets a dishonorable discharge their benefits, including unemployment insurance and medical may not be recovered. The armed forces member is usually held to revealing their discharge status on job or school applications and other important forms as well. Some kinds of rights accorded to citizens may also be withheld from former armed service members who received a dishonorable discharge including the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm.
All cases of military discharge can be investigated and reinstated in a court of law. Since military discharge law is such a complicated and ever-changing area of the law, it is best to contact an experienced military defense lawyer in San Diego. Our legal team can review the details of your case for free and then decide whether or not you have the right to petition for a change in your discharge status. Contact our discharge status attorneys today for a no-obligation investigation and get the answers you deserve.