AIR FORCE BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF MILITARY RECORDS
IN THE MATTER OF: DOCKET NUMBER: BC-2005-01016
INDEX CODE: 110.00
HEARING DESIRED: NO
MANDATORY CASE COMPLETION DATE: 26 SEPTEMBER 2006 _________________________________________________________________
APPLICANT REQUESTS THAT:
His under honorable conditions (general) discharge be upgraded to honorable.
APPLICANT CONTENDS THAT:
Misconduct - drug abuse was alleged. He admitted to using drug experimentally during period of 1978.
Applicant does not submit any documentation in support of the appeal. Applicant's complete submission is at Exhibit A.
STATEMENT OF FACTS:
Applicant enlisted in the Regular Air Force on 24 February 1977 for a period of four years. He was honorably released from active duty in the grade of sergeant on 23 February 1981, having served four years on active duty. He reenlisted in the Regular Air Force in the grade of sergeant on 3 May 1982 for a period of four years and reenlisted on 10 July 1985 for a period of six years. His highest grade held was staff sergeant. He received 12 Airman Performance Reports (APRs) closing 1 March 1978, 18 July 1978, 31 December 1978, 31 December 1979, 10 June 1980, 29 December 1980, 4 May 1983, 30 November 1983, 30 November 1984, 16 September 1986, 15 September 1987 and 15 September 1988, in which the overall evaluations were “6,” “8,” “9,” “9,” “8,” “8,” “9,” “9,” “9,” “9,” “9,” and “9.”
On 31 July 1989, the applicant’s commander notified the applicant he was considering the imposition of nonjudicial punishment on him under Article 15, UCMJ based on allegations the applicant had used marijuana between on or about 1 and 31 October 1988. It was also alleged that, on or about 7 April 1989, he had made a false official statement to the effect he denied knowledge of alleged drug use in his home or in his presence, which he did not then believe to be true. After consulting counsel, the applicant waived his right to demand trial by court-martial and accepted the nonjudicial proceedings. He requested the opportunity to make an oral presentation to the commander but declined to present written comments for review. After considering the matters presented by the applicant, the commander determined he had committed one or more of the offenses alleged and imposed punishment on the applicant. He was reduced in grade to sergeant (E-4) and was ordered to perform 14 days of extra duty. The applicant did not submit an appeal to the punishment. On 8 August 1989, his noncommissioned officer status was vacated and he reverted to the grade of senior airman (E-4).
On 17 August 1989, applicant’s commander notified him that he was recommending discharge from the Air Force for drug abuse. The basis for the commander’s recommendation was applicant received an Article 15 for wrongfully using marijuana and subscribing under lawful oath a false statement. Applicant acknowledged receipt of the notification of discharge and after consulting with legal counsel waived his right to a hearing before an administrative discharge board contingent upon receipt of no less than an under honorable conditions (general) discharge. The Wing and Numbered Air Force legal offices reviewed the case and found it legally sufficient to support discharge, recommended that applicant’s conditional waiver be accepted and he be discharged with an under honorable conditions (general) discharge. The discharge authority accepted applicant’s conditional waiver and directed that he be discharged with an under honorable conditions (general) discharge.
Applicant was separated from the Air Force on 22 September 1989 under the provisions of AFR 39-10, Administrative Separation of Airmen (misconduct - drug abuse), with an under honorable conditions (general) discharge. He was credited with 11 years, 4 months and 20 days on active duty.
Pursuant to the Board’s request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clarksburg, West Virginia, indicated on the basis of the data furnished they were unable to locate an arrest record (Exhibit C).
AIR FORCE EVALUATION:
AFPC/DPPRS states based on the documentation on file in the master personnel records; the discharge was consistent with the procedural and substantive requirements of the discharge regulation. The discharge was within the discretion of the discharge authority. A complete copy of the evaluation is attached at Exhibit D.
APPLICANT'S REVIEW OF AIR FORCE EVALUATION:
On 15 April 2005, a copy of the Air Force evaluation was forwarded to the applicant for review and response within 30 days. On 26 April 2005, the applicant was invited to provide information pertaining to his activities since leaving the service (Exhibit E).
On 28 April 2005, applicant provided a statement saying the facts are that he never used marijuana during his time served in the military. At that time he was attempting to secure a Top Secret Security Clearance for a position he was qualified for and which would have resulted in a promotion had he got it. During the course of the Security Clearance process, he was asked if he would be willing to submit to a lie detector test to which he replied yes. During the lie detector test he was asked if he had ever used marijuana, to which he replied yes. He was also asked if he had ever used marijuana while serving in the military, to which he replied no. He was then asked to make a statement regarding the use of marijuana, which he volunteered without hesitation. He did use marijuana before entering the military while in high school and college. Upon entering the Air Force in 1976, he was told by the recruiter to deny any use of marijuana officially, even after they joked about how everyone had used it at least once. The same thing happened again on his second enlistment. The question came up during the recruiting process and he said yes, he had used marijuana before entering the Air Force. The recruiter once again said to deny any use of marijuana which he officially did. During the security clearance investigation he was clearly told that now would be the time to speak the truth about any previous drug use or any issues that should be cleared up. It was his spirit of intent to fully cooperate with the investigating team by honestly and truthfully disclosing anything he felt to be questionable in his life. He was also told that any admittance he made would be viewed as an attempt to be truthful and would increase his chances of getting the security clearance. When he was later informed by his commander he was recommending discharge, he realized he was duped by people that he had trusted and confided in. He was discharged because he admitted to using marijuana while officially denying it twice during enlistment and while under oath during previous security investigations. He was completely disillusioned by the Air Force and wanted nothing more than to separate his services from what he felt to be a dishonorable organization with a lynch mob mentality attempting to railroad a hard working active duty career military man for a petty offense. He is now 50 years old and look back upon his military service with great pride, except for that one instance regarding his general discharge. He thinks the Air Force owes him an apology and should upgrade his discharge to honorable. He would respectfully challenge the documentation on file in his military personnel records.
On 10 May 2005, applicant provided a statement pertaining to his activities since leaving the service. He finished his college education and received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from LSU, Baton Rouge 1991, where he moved to Chicago, IL and went to work for Motorola Incorporation as a Process Engineer. He worked there until September 1996 and moved with his wife and son to a suburb of Sacramento, CA. He has his own established consulting business. He performs information security audits for banking and financial services throughout the Sacramento area. This position requires a very large amount of trust and integrity since he is attempting to access very sensitive information on his clients’ behalf regarding customer and financial information. His business is founded on the highest ethical standards. In addition, integrity and confidentiality are keys to his business.
It is with great pride that he developed his heightened sense of security for networks, data, physical operations and intellectual assets from his time served in the USAF. It is because he is trained to think like the hacker that he is so successful in getting management buyoff on funding and implementing security practices that will protect their networks and assets from intrusion and compromise.
He is also involved in local community activities. He has coached Little League Baseball, soccer, and basketball for four years now. He is also a member of Rotary International, and the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce. He and his family are active in their local church and he had served numerous times as church council president and vice president.
He has always strived to do the right things for his family and community putting the needs of others first. It would mean a lot to him if his discharge were upgraded to honorable.
Applicant's complete responses are attached at Exhibit F.
THE BOARD CONCLUDES THAT:
1. The applicant has exhausted all remedies provided by existing law or regulations.
2. The application was not timely filed; however, it is in the interest of justice to excuse the failure to timely file.
3. Insufficient relevant evidence has been presented to demonstrate the existence of error or injustice. Evidence has not been presented that would lead us to believe the applicant’s discharge was erroneous or unjust. Discharge proceedings were initiated against the applicant for drug abuse, for which he received nonjudicial punishment. The applicant asserts he did not use drugs while in the military but we note that he accepted the nonjudicial proceedings, rather than demand trial by court-martial where the standard of proof would have been more rigorous. Other than his own assertions, we have seen no evidence by the applicant indicating his substantial rights were violated, the evidence in his discharge case file was erroneous, or his commanders abused their discretionary authority. We have noted the applicant’s statement concerning his post-service activities. However, we do not find this statement, alone, sufficient to warrant upgrading his under honorable conditions discharge to fully honorable based on clemency. Accordingly, the applicant’s request is not favorably considered.
THE BOARD DETERMINES THAT:
The applicant be notified that the evidence presented did not demonstrate the existence of material error or injustice; that the application was denied without a personal appearance; and that the application will only be reconsidered upon the submission of newly discovered relevant evidence not considered with this application.
The following members of the Board considered this application in Executive Session on 22 June 2005, under the provisions of AFI 36-2603:
Mr. Frederick R. Beaman III, Panel Chair