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  1. #1
    D T Smith Guest

    Question Concerned about General Discharge from military

    I received a General Discharge from the Army in 1996. Since then I have gone on to college and will receive my B.S. in Justice Studies in December. I want to pursue a career in law enforcement and I am concerned that because I did not receive a Honorable Discharge that I will have a difficult time finding a job. Could anyone who may have some input on this please give me some advice? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    As with any situation on this board, especially ones dealing with backgrounds and how they may effect getting hired with a LE agency, the devil is simply in the details. In order to get the best answer possible here you will have to give details. In the absence of that, personally I would say yes, a general discharge might very well cause you some problems. What really matters is why you got a general and not an honorable.

  3. #3
    SP20 Guest
    you should contact someone about this because I know you can get a discharge upgraded (unless you did something major) after 6 months and for you it has been a lot longer than that. I don't know who to call but try the HQ for whatever branch you were in. Good luck to you.

  4. #4
    sugabear1 Guest
    General Discharges come in two types: General Discharge under honorable conditions and General Discharge under other than honorable conditions. If you got the first type of discharge you will be okay, the second type you will have a problem. But you have to find out what type you have and then proceed from there.

  5. #5
    TANKMGA8's Avatar
    TANKMGA8 is offline Moderator
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    As has been said several times in the past, Yes you can get a discharge upgraded, but it will take some very powerful documentation on your part and it will take along time to get it done. If you want to try, contact VA, and they can help you get the ball rolling.

    As far as the geneeral discharge, what did you recieve a general for, as asked earlier, was it under honorable or unhonorable conditions? Why did you get a general instead of an honorable? Tell us that and we might be able to help you some more.

    Also I moved this to the military questions forum, where it belongs.
    Take care,

    Harold

  6. #6
    pintsizedpi's Avatar
    pintsizedpi is offline Sergeant
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    i found the following site helpful regarding information on military discharges. it also lists links to military regulation sites.

    GI Rights Hotline

    good luck!

  7. #7
    myron96 Guest
    If it helps to make you feel better, I had a medical discharge from the military(no perm. disability), and I have not had a problem with it. The main thing is that it is not a dishonorable discharge. In fact, most of the agencies in Maryland simply state, must not be a "Dis-honorable discharge". So You should be alright.. Dont worry too much about it, thats a small thing...

  8. #8
    amber127 Guest
    I am getting discharged from the Coast Guard in a month and I am planning on applying for VA state police. I am not sure If I am getting a honorable or general discharge and the thing is its due to unsuitability and misconduct (with a long story behind it i am willing to explain) with over a year of service. The discharge could have been prevented I could have stayed in if I choose but agian another story wiht that. There is nothing wrong wiht me psychologically or physically. I have tried to email the recruiter for the state police and I gave her detail about whats oging on and asked if it will affect me in trying to get the job (I dont want to apply if I am not going to get hired based on this) She never answered my question adn just told me they are not hiring from washingotn state now (where i am now) I am moving to Va before the deadline for the application and my home of record is VA. I am mean I possess a lot of the qualities that they seem to be looking for, and I have military background and had no problems except for the discharge. Somebody if anyone can tell me if this is gonna cause problems. I have wanted to be in the police filed for a while now. I am turning 21 soon, so i am a young one (I will be 21 before the hire date) so i have a possible career to look for. I have already been warned by my Commanding Officer that my discharge may cause prejudice in the civilian world. I need a straight up answer on this no more round abouts. thanks for the time.

    Amber
    USCG

  9. #9
    ToppDog's Avatar
    ToppDog is offline Cadet
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    Amber,

    Your CO is absolutely correct!!! If he's giving you the opportunity to finish your tour, then you need to take it!!! Anything other than an Honorable Discharge with a favorable RE Code will raise some serious red flags when you apply for LE jobs. From what you've described I would say your early discharge for misconduct is going to look really bad regardless of whether it's honorable or general. It's a mistake that will follow you around for the rest of your life. So if there's any way you can do it: Suck It Up & Drive On!!! You'll be glad you did down the road.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  10. #10
    amber127 Guest
    I wish I could suck it up and drive on, my discharge is already through and I will be out in a few weeks. The misconduct can be explained, and I have medical paperwork behind it and all. It was nothing serious that can't be explained. But I know its going to affect me. The misconduct and the charge were something I didnt deserve but the command had to do it. My punishment was VERY light do to the fact I was a good person and had done very well at my station. My CO didnt even have to take care of it he could have passed it up to the Captain above him but he chose to take care of it. I don't know what my discharge is yet. I know unsuitability is one part but that is in there cause I am getting out early. I can handle the discharge I just couldnt take where I was am at. I could not get a transfer at all, no matter what. That was after the fact. i figure I will still attempt. till next time......

  11. #11
    Kahuna5150's Avatar
    Kahuna5150 is offline Da' Kine Moderator
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    Originally posted by amber127
    I wish I could suck it up and drive on, my discharge is already through and I will be out in a few weeks. The misconduct can be explained, and I have medical paperwork behind it and all.
    This is sending up red flags already. I know you're being vauge about your "misconduct", and I certainly don't expect you to explain it here in a open forum, but I have to say it does pose a bit of questions for me.

    You say you have medical paperwork behind it and all. What does that mean? Did you do something against rules, but then have a psych explain it, (like a nervous breakdown) or something?

    The fact you are being discharged for misconduct as well as saying you have some type of medical documenation to explain or justify the incident(s) would make most BI's spidey senses tingle.

    Again it sounds like there is a bit more to the story, but it doesn't sound good just at face value. I agree with the other post, if you were at all able to stay in and finish your tour it would work wonders on your behalf. You can show follow through even though you're in an uncomfortable or unwanted situation. This is a key skill to have in law enforcement.

    Kahuna

  12. #12
    amber127 Guest
    I didnt have a nervous breakdown but i got serverly depressed....in my area. I could not get a transfer for anything, and there was no way i could stay here without losing it again. when i say losing it I almost did. I am on my way home soon. I can handle stressful situations, and I can adapt. But where I am is no place for a single female. There is no where to escape to, nothing to keep me occupied on my time off to get rid of that feeling of being miserable in this small ass town. No family no friends....but 3000 miles away. I don't mind speaking my story it honestly doesnt bother me. I am an open person pretty much. My situation goes as follows.....about a month and a half ago I overdosed on Fiorinal. A prescription medication I had for the frequent headaches I was getting (stress and tension headaches) well it was not a suicide attempt or anything like that to clear that up, but i ended up in the hospitol for a few days and yes I saw psychs. The whole misconduct thing is that I wrongfully used a contolled substance so I was charged with it. I had a drug screening and was found to be neither abusinve nor dependent on substance. The Dr. basically said there was no point in me being there (mainly due to the fact i have never touched drugs, and I dont drink or even smoke on top of that) and that no treatment or follow up was needed. I am happy to be going home and I know I will have no problems there, its not a matter of think its a matter of knowing. I may be getting a honorable discharge I may be getting a general. I am still waiting for word back. I had a good record until this incident. I have nothing on prior record even in civilan life. The only thing I ever got was a speeding ticket. And this station was pretty stressful with having to go out and rescue people being on alert for communication watches and boat crew duties as well as my work. I could handle all of that my job was not what got to me. It was where I lived and what this miserable place did to me and made me feel. I am going back to lots of support, and I dont have any worries about going home to my wonderful state. thanks for your response. Sorry its so long.

  13. #13
    DJOHNSON954's Avatar
    DJOHNSON954 is offline Moderator
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    Sorry to hear that you could not deal with the stress. in the military alot of soldiers have a hard time being away from home. It is normal to feel that way. I also know that the military is very supportive and caters to single soldiers living on post in government quarters (barracks). I can't help but wonder why you didn't take advantage of some of the programs that the military offers. Did you ask to speak to a chaplan? There were other option available to you other than the events that took place. This is just my opinion as I have been in the military and know the stress that comes with being away from family. I am not judging you at all. It is unfortunate that you could not stay and finish your tour of duty.

    Also to be considered a veteran you need to be on active duty for atleast 18 months and I am not sure what it is for reserves (someone correct me if I am wrong). So I don't believe that your military experience will help you get into LE. In my opinion, It will be hard for you to overcome this obstacle. I hope that things get better for you and good luck to you in the future.
    Dan

    Stay Alert, Stay Alive

  14. #14
    amber127 Guest
    Caters and is supportive to single soilders...maybe in your service but not mine. There is barely any morale at the station. There aren't enough to people to fill billets. You want leave you better hope your the only one cause your not gonna get it. E-3's and E-2's have very low morale here what do we have to look for in my area 3 gas station a supermarket and a go-cart track there is nothing in the area unless you have a car and are willing to drive over and hour! Many of the people I work with can not stand this place. Maybe if you have a hobby, but i don't. Chaplain...we didnt even have one start coming here (and we probably wouldnt but he is a local reservist with a parish 30 minutes away) until a man had a heart attack on one of our cases and he died. I have been 14 months now, At my prevous station there was more morale and more to do. That was were I was at for my school. Then I went to my permanent station. Nothing to do, unless you surf, fish, or feel like driving somewhere. Since the schedule is so hectic you don't even have much time to do anything unless its local. It makes me wonder, I know not everywhere in this service its like that. I have been in another place, but I could not transfer, and they would not let me transfer. My only other option was to absolutely miserable or get out! Preferably being miserable for another year and 8 months (the time left on my contract) doesn't sound to promising to me. I was miserable and dealt with it for 2 months, and its not a place I want to ever come back to again. The service didn't make me this way, the station I was at made me that way. I made my decision to get out cause my life was miserable and keeping me completely unhappy, I made a decision to keep myself healthy and from letting anything else cause hurt to me. I am moving back to my home state which I love, I have spoken with one personell officer said as long as my discharge is honorable or general and wasnt anything illegal or poor conduct I have a chance. I have a perfect record in my life, I have never touched drugs, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I am young and starting out a possible career, hell I even went to college for a year. I have a great attitude adn I am motivated. I am a people person and great with communication. What more could you want......

  15. #15
    Kahuna5150's Avatar
    Kahuna5150 is offline Da' Kine Moderator
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    Originally posted by amber127
    I have never touched drugs
    I thought in your earlier post you were getting the discipline part of your discharge based on use of a controlled substance? You said the Dr. didn't feel you were abusive or needed follow up treatment, but it was still for a controlled substance?

    From what I'm reading it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to get out of your current location, (you sound so depressed and ready to snap, it makes no sense to you, the people you work with, or the people who depend on you) before something bad happens.

    I am curious now though. Where on the face of the planet are you right now that is so miserable? I think you have a lot of things to work through if you hope to get on with a LE agency. Shoot for a honorable discharge, (unlikely given the circumstances), but at least a general discharge under honorable conditions. These things can follow you around for the rest of your life. Also be sure you know what you're getting yourself into in the future.

    Kahuna


 
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