Docket No. ND00-00197 Applicant’s Request The application for discharge review, received 991129, requested that the characterization of service on the discharge be changed to Honorable. The applicant requested a documentary record discharge review. The applicant did not list any representative on the DD Form 293.
Decision A documentary discharge review was conducted in Washington, D.C. on 000803. After a thorough review of the records, supporting documents, facts, and circumstances unique to this case, NDRB discerned no impropriety or inequity in the characterization of the applicant’s service. The Board’s vote was unanimous that the character of the discharge shall not change. The discharge shall remain: GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS)/MISCONDUCT, authority: NAVMILPERSMAN, Article 3630600.
PART I - APPLICANT’S ISSUES AND DOCUMENTATION Issues 1. My General Under Honorable Conditions was inequitable because it was a result of an incident caused by poor training. Indeed, I had a very successful and quickly promoted career except for this single incident as my record prior, during and after service documents will atest.
2. Even though I as approved for Illinois unemployment Benefits (attached) I worked very hard at getting a job anyway. In fact, before I received any benefits, I am proud to state that I was offered a job from AON Corp. in Chicago, which I started April 28, 1998. A month after separation.
3. I have worked very hard and diligently since then, I have received numerous advancements and have not missed or even been tardy for a single day of work. I got my work ethics from my father W_ D_ B_ who served in the Navy in WWII, as my personnel file will advise. I am proud to have served also.
4. In trying to further advance myself for my family's benefit, I have passed several work related courses. Recently I took the CPA exam in Illinois but failed. I need an Honorable Discharge to qualify for the Illinois Veterans Grant so that I can take a CPA Review Course at Northern ILL. Univ.
5. My average conduct and efficiency ratings/behavior and proficiency marks were good. This is reflected in my Enlisted Performance Record.
6. Throughout my Naval service, I have earned awards and decorations. These are summarized on my DD214. In addition there are many other achievements within my service record including:
Various letters and certificates of appreciation
FACSFAC JAX Junior Sailor of the Quarter in 1993
Designation as Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence for completion of ET "A" school in Orlando, FL
7. I have been given numerous letters of recommendation and recognition since 1991 to present. They are enclosed for your review. These documents support my continued effort to be a productive and ethical member of society.
8. My record of promotions has shown I was generally a good service member. I joined the Navy, after graduating from DePaul University, during Desert Shield/Storm in order to serve the United States, as my father died in World War II. Since enlistment, I had advanced from SR (E-1) to ET2(AW)(E-5) in less than 4 years. This was much faster than any of my peers during that time of significant down sizing and base closures.
9. Since being discharged from the Navy, I have been a good citizen. My wife, Nellie, and I have been married for over 6 years and have recently celebrated out 1st anniversary in a new house. I have earned several promotions and merit pay increases at work. I sat for the May 1999 CPA exam in Chicago, after taking a review course on the weekends for 4 months, while working full time and maintaining perfect attendance.
10. My record shows only a single NJP for an isolated and relatively minor offense. I apologized in writing and orally at captain's mast. I fully complied with the punishment given.
Documentation In addition to the service record, the following additional documentation, submitted by the applicant, was considered:
Copy of DD Form 214
Statement from applicant dated May 25, 1999
List of applicant's work and performance related references
Letter of job acceptance confirmation dated October 24, 1997 (2 copies)
Character reference dated August 31, 1998 (4 copies)
Letter of job offer and acceptance of employment with United Conveyor Corporation dated August 18, 1998 (4 copies)
Copy of announcement of employment dated September 1, 1998
Letter with results of CPA exam for May 6 and 7 (2 copies)
First aid card dated March 16, 1998 (2 copies)
Certificate for Intro to Work 97 dated February 18, 1998 (2 copies)
Certificate for Intro Excel 97 dated March 2, 1998 (2 copies)
Certificate for Excel 97 dated March 31, 1998 (2 copies)
Copy of performance appraisal for September 1998 to September 1999 (numerous copies)
Copy of Interviewer appraisal sheet for February 6, 1993, July 6, 1993 (2)
Character reference from Clements National Company, Vice Chairman dated October 31, 1991 (2 copies)
Character reference from Atlas Screen Printing Company dated November 14, 1991 (2 copies)
Letter from U.S. Senate, U.S. Senator P_ S_ dated March 24, 1993 (2 copies)
Character reference dated March 29, 1993 (2 copies)
Letter, Congress of the United States C_ C_ dated April 12, 1993 (2 copies)
Letter, DS2 R_ M_ B_, Supervisor, Eve Maintenance shift dated April 19, 1993 (2 copies)
Letter from LCDR dated May 11, 1993 (2 copies)
Letter to applicant from Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations dated January 5, 1995 (2 copies)
Letter from AON dated April 23, 1996, (2 copies) and September 20, 1996 (2 copies)
Letter of recommendation dated March 17, 1999 (2 copies)
Character reference dated April 14, 1999 (2 copies)
Letter of verification of completion of Comprehensive CPA Review dated April 30, 1999 (2 copies)
Copy of Travel certificate, Separation without orders form dated March 20, 1996
Character reference dated November 11, 1991
Copy of Organizational Announcement welcoming applicant to accounting department dated September 1, 1998
Twenty-four pages from applicant's service record
PART II - SUMMARY OF SERVICE Prior Service (component, dates of service, type of discharge):
Inactive: USNR (DEP) 901113 - 901230 COG
Period of Service Under Review: Date of Enlistment: 901231 Date of Discharge: 960321
Length of Service (years, months, days):
Active: 05 02 19
Age at Entry: 25 Years Contracted: 4 (24 months extension)
Education Level: 16 AFQT: 96
Highest Rate: ET2(AW)
Final Enlisted Performance Evaluation Averages (number of marks):
Performance: 4.00 (4) Behavior: 3.95 (4) OTA: 3.90 4.0 evals
Performance: 4.00 (1) Behavior: 1.00 (1) OTA: 2.43 5.0 evals
Military Decorations: None
Unit/Campaign/Service Awards: NDSM, GCM, BEA
Days of Unauthorized Absence: None
Character, Narrative Reason, and Authority of Discharge (at time of issuance):
GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS)/MISCONDUCT, authority: NAVMILPERSMAN, Article 3630600.
Chronological Listing of Significant Service Events:
951018: CAAC evaluation due to 3rd DUI and continues to drink. History of alcoholism in family (mother). Loss of control, use more than intended. Unsuccessful efforts to control use. Use known to cause other problems, interferes with responsibilities, interferes with safety, and causes legal problems. Diagnosis: ETOH abuser. Recommendation: Strongly recommend Level III inpatient treatment.
951105: NJP for violation of UCMJ, Article 91: Disrespect toward a noncommissioned officer, or petty officer on 2 November 1995.
Award: Restriction and extra duty for 15 days, reduction to ET3. Reduction suspended for 6 months. No indication of appeal in the record.
951105: Retention Warning: Advised of deficiency (Disrespect toward a noncommissioned officer, or petty officer.), notified of corrective actions and assistance available, advised of consequences of further deficiencies, and issued discharge warning.
960206: Applicant did not agree with individualized action plan. He feels AA meetings should be optional. Return unfit for full duty.
960208: Applicant notified of intended recommendation for discharge under Other Than Honorable conditions, by reason of alcohol abuse rehabilitation failure, as evidenced by your failure to successfully complete the Level III rehabilitation treatment program, and misconduct due to the Commission of a serious offense, as evidenced by Commanding Officer's nonjudicial punishment of 5 November 1995.
960215: Applicant advised of his rights and having consulted with counsel certified under UCMJ, Article 27B, elected to waive all rights. Applicant did not object to separation.
960216: Commanding officer recommended discharge General (under Honorable conditions) by reason of alcohol abuse rehabilitation failure and misconduct due to the Commission of a serious offense. Commanding officer’s comments (verbatim): Reason for processing SNM for separation is by reason of alcohol abuse rehabilitation failure as evidenced by his failure to successfully complete the Level III rehabilitation treatment program. SNM was offered treatment, was dismissed, and returned unfit for duty. He is also being considered for an administrative separation from the naval service by reason of misconduct due to commission of a serious offense as evidenced by commanding officer's nonjudicial punishment of 05 November 1995. CAAC screening finds no potential for continued useful service. IVO SNM's incompatibility with naval service and his resultant detrimental presence to command morale and combat readiness, I recommend administrative discharge to be general under honorable conditions.
960313: BUPERS directed the applicant's discharge General (under Honorable conditions) by reason of misconduct due to the Commission of a serious offense.
PART III – RATIONALE FOR DECISION AND PERTINENT REGULATION/LAW Discussion The applicant was discharged on 960321, under Other Than Honorable conditions for misconduct due to Commission of a serious offense (A). The Board presumed regularity in the conduct of governmental affairs (B). After a thorough review of the records, supporting documents, facts, and circumstances unique to this case, the Board found that the discharge was proper and equitable (C and D).
In the applicant’s issues 1 and 10, the Board determined these issues are without merit. The applicant states his discharge was inequitable because it was a result of a single, minor incident caused by poor training. The applicant had a history of 3 DUIs. He was ordered to Level III alcohol rehabilitation treatment, due to alcohol abuse, subsequently failed to complete Level III treatment. He received a General (under Honorable conditions) discharge, in accordance with OPNAVINST 5354.4 SERIES. The discharge was proper and equitable. Relief denied.
In the applicant’s issue 2, the Board determined this is not a decisional issue and requires no further comment.
In the applicant’s issue 3, the Board determined this issue is without merit. The applicant states he has worked hard and diligently since his discharge. The Board recognizes the applicant’s efforts to remain employed but maintaining employment is not grounds to re-characterize his discharge. Relief denied.
In the applicant’s issue 4, the Board determined this issue is without merit. The Board is under no obligation to upgrade an individual’s discharge to allow him the opportunity to continue his education. Relief denied.
In the applicant’s issue 5, the Board determined this issue is without merit. The applicant cites his average conduct and efficiency ratings as reason to upgrade his discharge. The applicant’s performance marks prior to his misconduct, were worthy of an Honorable discharge, had he not failed alcohol rehabilitation treatment and not had NJP for disrespect towards a Petty Officer. In the opinion of his Commanding Officer, the applicant’s misconduct did demonstrate he had little or no potential for continued service. The Board determined the discharge was proper and equitable. Relief denied.
In the applicant’s issues 6, 7 and 8, the Board determined these issues are without merit. The Board recognizes the applicant earned awards and decorations, in addition to his high performance marks, and he was advancing through the enlisted ranks ahead of his peers. However, the applicant committed a serious misconduct offense when he was disrespectful to a Petty officer. Additionally, his documented history of three DUIs, coupled with his failure to complete Level III alcohol rehabilitation treatment is compelling evidence that he would continue his involvement in alcohol related incidents. It was the Commanding Officer’s opinion that his value to the military was minimal and warranted separation from the Navy. His discharge characterization summarizes his entire military service, during that specific enlistment and not just the positive aspects. Relief denied.
In the applicant’s issue 9, the Board determined this issue is without merit. The applicant claims since his discharge he has been a good citizen and is now married. The Board recognizes the applicant is employed and has a wife. However, he did not provide evidence that he has been alcohol free and not involved with civil authorities, since his discharge. Being married and employed is insufficient grounds to warrant recharacterization of his discharge. Relief denied.
The following is provided for the benefit of the applicant. There is no law or regulation that provides for the upgrade of an unfavorable discharge based solely on the passage of time or good conduct, subsequent to leaving military service. The NDRB reviews the propriety (did the Navy follow its own rules in processing the applicant for discharge) and equity (did the applicant receive a discharge characterization in keeping with Navy guidance or was the characterization typical of other service members being separated for the same reason) of each applicant’s discharge to determine if proper procedures were followed. This applicant’s discharge was proper and equitable. Additionally, the NDRB is authorized to award clemency for post-service factors (what has the applicant done since discharge to become a contributing member of his/her community and to society in general). Those factors include but are not limited to the following: Evidence of continuing educational pursuits (transcripts, diploma, degree or vocational-technical certificates), a verifiable employment history (letter of recommendation from employer), documentation of community service (letter from activity/community group), certificate of non-involvement with civil authorities (police records check) and proof of not using drugs (detoxification certificate). However, accomplishing a single post-service factor is not justification to qualify a member for a discharge upgrade. His service record, in addition to his post-service accomplishments are reviewed and then the determination to upgrade a discharge or not is made by the Board. The applicant did not provide enough documentation to demonstrate good character and conduct. The applicant is encouraged to continue to establish a reputation of good character and document his accomplishments. Documentation to support any claim of good character is a must to receive any consideration based on post-service achievements. The applicant remains eligible for a personal appearance hearing, to discuss his post-service accomplishments, provided an application is received by the NDRB within fifteen years from the date of his discharge. Legal representation at the hearing is advisable.
Pertinent Regulation/Law (at time of discharge)
A. Naval Military Personnel Manual, (NAVPERS 15560C), Change 9, effective
22 Jul 94 until 02 Oct 96, Article 3630600, SEPARATION OF ENLISTED PERSONNEL BY REASON OF MISCONDUCT – COMMISSION OF A SERIOUS OFFENSE.
B. Under the Manual for Courts-Martial, a punitive discharge is authorized for violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 91, Disrespect towards a noncommissioned or Petty Officer, if adjudged at a Special or General Court-Martial.
C. Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5420.174C of 22 August 1984 (Manual for Discharge Review, 1984), enclosure (1), Chapter 2, AUTHORITY/POLICY FOR DEPARTMENTAL DISCHARGE REVIEW.
D. Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5420.174C of 22 August 1984 (Manual for Discharge Review, 1984), enclosure (1), Chapter 9, paragraph 9.2, PROPRIETY OF THE DISCHARGE.
E. Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5420.174C of 22 August 1984 (Manual for Discharge Review, 1984), enclosure (1), Chapter 9, paragraph 9.3, EQUITY OF THE DISCHARGE.
PART IV - INFORMATION FOR THE APPLICANT
If you believe that the decision in your case is unclear, not responsive to the issues you raised, or does not otherwise comport with the decisional document requirements of DoD Directive 1332.28, you may submit a complaint in accordance with Enclosure (5) of that Directive. You should read Enclosure (5) of the Directive before submitting such a complaint. The complaint procedure does not permit a challenge of the merits of the decision; it is designed solely to ensure that the decisional documents meet applicable requirements for clarity and responsiveness. You may view DoD Directive 1332.28 and other Decisional Documents by going online at "afls14.jag.af.mil".
The names, and votes of the members of the Board are recorded on the original of this document and may be obtained from the service records by writing to:
Naval Council of Personnel Boards
Attn: Naval Discharge Review Board
720 Kennon Street SE Rm 309
Washington Navy Yard DC 20374-5023
The remaining portion of this document is divided into 4 Parts: Part I - Applicant’s Issues and Documentation, Part II - Summary of Service, Part III – Rationale for Decision and Pertinent Regulation/Law, Part IV - Information for the Applicant.