What Is an Administrative Separation?

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The length of time that a service member spends in the military is usually dictated by their contract when they enlist. However, sometimes military careers can cease when there have been disciplinary issues. This is sometimes done through administrative separation. 

The amount of time military service members serve usually is determined by their enlistment contract — but not always. Military careers can prematurely come to end due to disciplinary issues, too. One such route is an administrative separation.

Reasons for Administrative Separations

An administrative separation is similar to being fired from your job and can occur when your command seeks to remove you through a non-judicial (administrative) process. Administrative separations may occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Poor duty performance;
  • Non-performance of one’s duties;
  • Insubordination;
  • Drug abuse;
  • Issues with weight control; or
  • Another pattern of misconduct.

How Does the Administrative Separation Process Work?

You will be notified if your command has decided to pursue an administrative separation against you, because you will receive this notice in writing. This notice will include: 1) the reason for the separation and 2) the recommended characterization of service (i.e. the quality of the service member’s involvement in the military). 

The reason that an administrative separation should be taken so seriously is because it can have a serious impact on your future in the military as well as whether you will be able to obtain benefits as a veteran. It’s important to note that you can’t receive a dishonorable discharge in an administrative separation. You can be separated under one of three categories:

  1. Honorable

An Honorable discharge occurs when a military member meets the standards of acceptable conduct and performance under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

  1. General (Under Honorable Conditions)

A General discharge occurs when the negative parts of the service member’s conduct or performance outweighs the positive. When a service member received a General discharge it could negatively impact their ability to receive veteran’s benefits. Generally speaking, a service member who receives a General discharge won’t be able to reenlist or enlist in any other branch of the military. 

  1. Other than Honorable (OTH)

An OTH discharge occurs when a service member’s behavior is significantly different from the conduct or performance that is expected of them. An OTH discharge may occur when the service member:

  • Uses for or violence that causes serious bodily harm or death;
  • Abuses his or her special position of trust;
  • Performs an act or fails to act in a manner that endangers U.S. security or the health and welfare of other service members; or
  • Deliberate acts or omissions that seriously endanger the health and safety of others. 

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Are Facing an Administrative Separation

You have the right to challenge an administrative separation. If you have been notified of an administrative separation it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military defense attorney. 

If you are a military service member and have been given notice that you are facing an administrative separation, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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