Cadet seeking discharge upgrade

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by johnny1825, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. johnny1825

    johnny1825 New Member

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    My son made a foolish decision that cost him a separation from West Point. He resigned in lieu of an investigation. He still has every desire to become an Army Officer. He was told by the Trial Defense Service that he could have his General Discharge under honorable conditions upgraded to an Honorable Discharge after six months. We have discovered that he will not be able to get into ROTC until this discharge status is changed. He is now realizing that his foolishness is lasting longer than he ever imagined.

    Several Questions:

    1. Is the upgrade as easy as TDS said? They said that all he had to do was fill out the appropriate form.
    2. Are there any documents needed to accompany the upgrade form?
    3. Since we are trying to enroll in the Spring and get into ROTC in the fall do we have to wait six months to submit the paperwork.

    Please help. Thanks.
     
  2. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    From what I know, as a parent, about cadets who have been separated from USAFA I think you are going to need better advice than what parents may be able to give you. You might try sending a message to the moderator of the West Point site and see if someone with experience on this situation can help you. Each situation seems to be slightly different. A possible avenue is to go to the head of Army ROTC at the college your son is hoping to attend and ask your questions -- of course, you might not want to do that because the same individual will probably need to be involved in your son's application process for ROTC, if he qualifies.
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I concur with what has been said but I'm going to add my, admittedly weak knowledge level to this: I believe it's a much more complicated issue than it might seem.

    Doing some quick research I found the DD Form 293 "APPLICATION FOR THE REVIEW OF DISCHARGE FROM THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES."

    http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd0293.pdf

    I'm fairly certain this will have to be completed and submitted as part of a review package...speak with the VA and the Army about this. I think it might take more time than any of us realize.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Good work on flieger83 locating the actual form. In the form's fine print, there is a website, with FAQs, that seems to be a good place to start looking at Army Discharge Review Board procedures.

    http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/adrb-overview.cfm

    Time will definitely be a factor here. I have some familiarity with the equivalent board on the Navy side, and I remember the hundreds of cases in queue for review, both in paper and online formats. This is the one place where type and characterization of discharge gets looked at, and it can be cadet cases like the OP's, or a service member discharged years ago. The Board will look at the case in front of them, as well as past precedent and any mitigating factors, to determine if a change is appropriate.

    It is always difficult in cases such as this, where there is not only immediate punishment, but short, middle and long-term consequences for actions taken.

    I expect you will have to pursue parallel paths, one being the discharge review, and the other, to get on with college education as best it can be done under the circumstances. The long pole in the tent for ROTC acceptance is the discharge. ROTC also has high standards for officer candidate acceptance, and the withdrawal of a Service Academy appointment will be something requiring serious demonstration of intent, potential and impeccable conduct to overcome.

    If all efforts fail, there are law firms, many staffed by ex-JAGs, which specialize in military discharge cases, which I am not particularly recommending for or against, but indicating they exist.

    If your son really, really wants to be an Army officer, then it will be a good life lesson for him to organize and execute a campaign to regain his footing and go after what he wants.
     
  5. bzzzt

    bzzzt New Member

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    Your son's in for a battle. I'm a grad, and a current company commander. One of the paragraphs I've read to every Soldier I've chaptered is that getting the upgrade is very hard. In addition, as he is applying to ROTC, they're probably going to look VERY closely at his previous record, and want a lot of details on the situation.

    MJ's right, there are lawyers out there who can help.

    Good luck.
     

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