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An Overview of Military Separation Boards

When serving in the military there are many things that can trigger your separation from the Armed Forces. While most of the time this will simply be the end of your enlistment contract, there are other situations where your military career is cut short. When this occurs, the military will often refer the case to a military separation or discharge board, which will go over the details of the situation to determine whether involuntary separation from active duty is warranted.

Types of Military Separation Boards

There are several different types of military separation boards depending on the facts and circumstances of the servicemember in question. If you have been notified by your command that you are the subject of a separation or discharge board, the following should help you understand what to be prepared for:

  • Boards of Inquiry – A board of inquiry is often used as an alternative to a court-martial for officers who are faced with misconduct or other service related issues. A Board of Inquiry has other names, depending on the Service Branch, such as “Show Cause Hearing”, or Elimination Board. This type of Board may recommend an Other Than Honorable Characterization of Service.   
  • Administrative Discharge Boards – If your command has recommended you for involuntarily discharged, your case will likely end up in front of this type of board. This will give you the opportunity to argue your case against being discharged based on performance, misconduct, mental or physical ability, or other issues.  The two most common basis’ for a command to separate a servicemember, due to misconduct, are a “Pattern of Misconduct” or “Commission of a Serious Offense.” This type of Board may recommend an Other Than Honorable Characterization of Service.
  • Discharge Review Boards – If you have already been discharged or separated (not including a General Court-Martial punitive discharge) you can appeal the decision to the Discharge Review Board, or a Military Correction Board.

Helping to Make a Strong Case

Whenever appearing before any type of military separation board, you have a right to legal representation. Our team has years of experience successfully representing clients in front of all types of boards. We will work directly with you to determine the best possible outcome in your situation, and help fight for your rights. Please contact Military Justice Attorneys to schedule a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.

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