Law School with General Discharge

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby Steve2207 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:40 pm

As a former marine, my advice is: Do NOT take an OTH for a dirty drug test. I would actually be very surprised if you get this. There are two types of General Discharges; these are (Under Honorable Conditions, and Under Other than Honorable Conditions). I suspect you will get the Honorable conditions unless there is something you are leaving out. If you do receive a General (under Honorable Conditions), you should be ok, because most of the applications I have seen only ask if you have been discharged under less than honorable conditions. I did run across one application that asked specifically if I had received anything less than an Honorable discharge, but I think this is rare. Anyway, your answer depends on what your application ask really, if it says “Have you been discharged under less than Honorable conditions”, then you should just answer no, and list your discharge type as “General (Honorable Conditions). Obviously if you receive a General (under OTHER THAN honorable conditions) you’re going to need to provide the details.

BTW: an OTH is bad! You are going to lose most, if not all of your benefits, and will most likely never be able to work for the government ever again. A General (under honorable) is not really that bad, although an honorable would be preferred. Many people receive these types of discharges for medical conditions, mild mental disorders (PTSD is a big one), and maladjustment. That said, an “under honorable conditions” doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong, just that something occurred to prevent you from completing your service. While an “other than honorable conditions” is a big red flag, for pretty much everybody.

User avatar
Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby Steve2207 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:44 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:Well, the official term for the discharge is "General Under Honorable Conditions", so I'd make sure you spell it out at least once so they know it's not really that bad. It's an administrative discharge, not a punitive one, so I don't think it'll be the end of the world, application-wise.

The bad thing is that your GI Bill is now gone, so that positive piss test might have just cost you as much as $200k.


Some people can still get their GI Bill with an Honorable Conditions type discharge, but they need to be able to prove that the discharge resulted from a medical condition that they had no control over. (which I am certain isn’t the case here, but just thought I would share)

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:47 pm

jebb121 wrote:Thank you for the help. I have about ten days left to say I want a lawyer. I will do that. So talk to a lawyer and I might be able to get out with a better discharge? I am in the reserves so where would I get a lawyer exactly? Just talk to my command at drill and figure it out?


Definitely talk to a lawyer, but I don't think you're going to get discharged with anything better than the General discharge they've already agreed to give you if you waive the board. I've done quite a few administrative separation boards, and I can't think of anyone who's been separated with an Honorable discharge after a positive urinalysis.

See what the lawyer has to say - although you're not likely to be discharged with anything better than a General, there's a chance you might not be discharged at all if you can plead your case well enough at the administrative separation hearing. The downside is that if you go to the board and they elect to separate you, you might get the OTH that you would have been able to avoid by waiving the board.

User avatar
SemperLegal
Posts: 1333
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:28 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby SemperLegal » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:28 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
jebb121 wrote:Thank you for the help. I have about ten days left to say I want a lawyer. I will do that. So talk to a lawyer and I might be able to get out with a better discharge? I am in the reserves so where would I get a lawyer exactly? Just talk to my command at drill and figure it out?


Definitely talk to a lawyer, but I don't think you're going to get discharged with anything better than the General discharge they've already agreed to give you if you waive the board. I've done quite a few administrative separation boards, and I can't think of anyone who's been separated with an Honorable discharge after a positive urinalysis.

See what the lawyer has to say - although you're not likely to be discharged with anything better than a General, there's a chance you might not be discharged at all if you can plead your case well enough at the administrative separation hearing. The downside is that if you go to the board and they elect to separate you, you might get the OTH that you would have been able to avoid by waiving the board.


There are really three possible outcomes:

1. OTH
2. General, under honorable
3. You stay in. (Commands change their mind, and my old JAG told me that its fairly common for piss tests to get thrown out for chain of custody problems)


Either way, your command is going to bully you, thats how they operate. Don't call them and ask for a lawyer, that just makes them angry. Call a JAG and they will make sure everyone plays by the rules

jebb121
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby jebb121 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:38 pm

Steve2207 wrote:As a former marine, my advice is: Do NOT take an OTH for a dirty drug test. I would actually be very surprised if you get this. There are two types of General Discharges; these are (Under Honorable Conditions, and Under Other than Honorable Conditions). I suspect you will get the Honorable conditions unless there is something you are leaving out. If you do receive a General (under Honorable Conditions), you should be ok, because most of the applications I have seen only ask if you have been discharged under less than honorable conditions. I did run across one application that asked specifically if I had received anything less than an Honorable discharge, but I think this is rare. Anyway, your answer depends on what your application ask really, if it says “Have you been discharged under less than Honorable conditions”, then you should just answer no, and list your discharge type as “General (Honorable Conditions). Obviously if you receive a General (under OTHER THAN honorable conditions) you’re going to need to provide the details.

BTW: an OTH is bad! You are going to lose most, if not all of your benefits, and will most likely never be able to work for the government ever again. A General (under honorable) is not really that bad, although an honorable would be preferred. Many people receive these types of discharges for medical conditions, mild mental disorders (PTSD is a big one), and maladjustment. That said, an “under honorable conditions” doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong, just that something occurred to prevent you from completing your service. While an “other than honorable conditions” is a big red flag, for pretty much everybody.

All I did was piss hot so your post makes me optimistic. Hopefully, I am given a general with honorable conditions. Say they decide to not let me have that what should I do? How do I not take an OTH for pissing hot? I have a paper saying I waived my rights to a lawyer but I can change it within 45 days of signing that paper and it has not been 45 days. Should I tell my command that I would like to change my response to that and then call a jag attorney?

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:45 pm

jebb121 wrote:All I did was piss hot so your post makes me optimistic. Hopefully, I am given a general with honorable conditions. Say they decide to not let me have that what should I do? How do I not take an OTH for pissing hot? I have a paper saying I waived my rights to a lawyer but I can change it within 45 days of signing that paper and it has not been 45 days. Should I tell my command that I would like to change my response to that and then call a jag attorney?


Haven't they already offered you a General discharge if you waive the admin board? If that's the outcome you want, go ahead and take it. They can't turn around and stick you with an OTH without going through the admin board process.

User avatar
Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby Steve2207 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:09 am

Honestly, if you have already waived your rights I really don’t know how you would go about rejecting that type of discharge, I am not a lawyer, but I do know enough about the law to tell you that you need to find someone who knows more than me in this circumstance. I would definitely contact JAG with these questions. Also, I agree with Scott, if they have offered the under honorable to waive your rights, then TAKE IT. Unless of course you would really like to stay in, in that case I would fight it. It really seems strange to me that they would be trying to discharge you at all over marijuana. Unless you are still fairly new to the military, and in that case you would be looking at an entry level separation. I can remember several marines I served with pissing dirty for pot, and none of them were discharged. When I got out back in 07, weed would get you an NJP, and probably a demotion, but you wouldn’t be discharged unless you repeatedly tested positive.

jebb121
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby jebb121 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:24 am

Steve2207 wrote:Honestly, if you have already waived your rights I really don’t know how you would go about rejecting that type of discharge, I am not a lawyer, but I do know enough about the law to tell you that you need to find someone who knows more than me in this circumstance. I would definitely contact JAG with these questions. Also, I agree with Scott, if they have offered the under honorable to waive your rights, then TAKE IT. Unless of course you would really like to stay in, in that case I would fight it. It really seems strange to me that they would be trying to discharge you at all over marijuana. Unless you are still fairly new to the military, and in that case you would be looking at an entry level separation. I can remember several marines I served with pissing dirty for pot, and none of them were discharged. When I got out back in 07, weed would get you an NJP, and probably a demotion, but you wouldn’t be discharged unless you repeatedly tested positive.

I have not been given that discharge yet I just signed a form saying that if they gave me that type I would waive my rights. I was given the option of staying in or getting out and I decided to get out. I did sign a form though saying I would not like to talk with a jag attorney but I can change that within 45 days of signing it and it has been under 45 days. Thanks for all the help guys. I will definitely contact JAG on monday after drill this weekend. I have 5 years in service so I will not be getting an els separation. The BC was supposed to contact me last friday or monday but he never did so maybe they will just talk to me at drill about it tomorrow.

User avatar
Steve2207
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:31 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby Steve2207 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:52 am

If they gave you an option to stay, I would definitely NOT be that worried about an OTH. An OTH is usually reserved for people who continually have issues within the military, and are considered to be doing more harm than good within the ranks. Still, I would ABSOLUTLY talk to JAG in your position, yet I do not think it is very likely they are going to try to give you an OTH based off what you have said. Good luck!

jebb121
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Law School with General Discharge

Postby jebb121 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:55 am

Steve2207 wrote:If they gave you an option to stay, I would definitely NOT be that worried about an OTH. An OTH is usually reserved for people who continually have issues within the military, and are considered to be doing more harm than good within the ranks. Still, I would ABSOLUTLY talk to JAG in your position, yet I do not think it is very likely they are going to try to give you an OTH based off what you have said. Good luck!

Sounds good. Thank you! You made me worry a lot less.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: floatie, mav1993, mintme, Rich29 and 13 guests