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  1. #1
    solomonsacct is offline Junior Member
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    Military discharges and background checks: Dispelling a few myths

    Hi! I'm a former a conscientious objector who was AWOL from the US Army for a while. At that time, I utilized this forum as a guide to help me make my next move. Knowing almost nothing about the military, I accepted as true many statements uttered on this forum which turned out to be false. I'm writing to clarify a few common misconceptions to help "return the favor," as it were.

    I was told by many in the military and many on this forum that an OTH discharge would "haunt me for life." This is simply not true. It will almost certainly not have any significant impact on your life whatsoever.

    An OTH discharge will not show up on any "background check," ever, with the following possible exceptions: returning to military, federal employment that requires a security clearance, and police/firefighting background checks. You can work in all other government agencies that do not require a security clearance without your discharge becoming available to the employer.

    In order:

    -Returning to military should be self-evident. Obviously the military has access to its own records.

    - fedl employment requiring background check (maybe). Please take note of the verbiage here; only federal employers hiring you for a security clearance-requiring position may be impacted by a OTH discharge (*note: I say "may" simply because I don't know. Perhaps you can get a sensitive clearance with no military records popping up. I have no direct experience with positions requiring a security clearance).

    Since getting an OTH discharge, I have worked for the Transportation Security Agency as well as seasonal work with the US Census Bureau. In both positions I said I had no military background on the application. In both cases, they did not find out that this was untrue.

    -police/firefighting. I do not know whether the police and fire departments have access to military records. Both cops and firefighting agencies require polygrath however, and I would imagine that they can find out these things. Alas, I would also have assumed the TSA would have found out, too. Your mileage may vary.


    The background check utilized by the most serious civilian (and often govt) employers is called the NICS. This is the background check utilized by various state boards (nursing board, medical boards, et al). I am currently a nurse who has been board certified in three states, and I also ran an NCIS independently (you can do this at the local DMV). OTH discharges do not show up on NICS background checks. This is perhaps the most common of all misconceptions regarding background checks in the United States.

    I Hope this helps. I'll be around to answer any questions that I am capable of. Best of luck.
    Last edited by solomonsacct; 09-20-2011 at 05:17 AM.
  2. #2
    antrc170 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomonsacct View Post
    - fedl employment requiring background check (maybe). Please take note of the verbiage here; only federal employers hiring you for a security clearance-requiring position may be impacted by a OTH discharge (*note: I say "may" simply because I don't know. Perhaps you can get a sensitive clearance with no military records popping up. I have no direct experience with positions requiring a security clearance).

    Since getting an OTH discharge, I have worked for the Transportation Security Agency as well as seasonal work with the US Census Bureau. In both positions I said I had no military background on the application. In both cases, they did not find out that this was untrue.

    .
    You sir, are an idiot. Saying that an OTH won't haunt you becuase you gained falsified your federal employment is like saying a murder conviction won't haunt you if you steal someone's identity. You may have not been caught yet, but if you remember when you applied for those federal positions there was a little block you had to acknowledge stating that all of the information you provided was true. That is in there because it is a federal offense to falsify an application (Title 18 USC Section 1001, which I've included since you didn't read it the first time).

    No one should head your advice as you are encouraging people to break the law.

    § 1001. Statements or entries generally
    How Current is This? (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
    (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
    (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
    (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

    shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
  3. #3
    solomonsacct is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by antrc170 View Post
    You sir, are an idiot. Saying that an OTH won't haunt you becuase you gained falsified your federal employment is like saying a murder conviction won't haunt you if you steal someone's identity..
    That's an embarrassingly stupid analogy. Alas, we don't have to destroy it, because it's irrelevant; the above is not the mere claim made. The entirety of the issue you raised pertains to federal employment, ie people who aren't intellectually bright enough to succeed in the private sector amongst peers. This is only applicable to a minority of people. Every application in the the history of applications has a lie. You won't get charged for lying about your discharge. Show me a single case where this has happened. Best of luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by antrc170 View Post
    You may have not been caught yet, but if you remember when you applied for those federal positions there was a little block you had to acknowledge stating that all of the information you provided was true. That is in there because it is a federal offense to falsify an application (Title 18 USC Section 1001, which I've included since you didn't read it the first time).

    No one should head your advice as you are encouraging people to break the law.

    § 1001. Statements or entries generally
    How Current is This? (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
    (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
    (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
    (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

    shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
    In the real world, you will not be charged for lying about your military status to work for the government. Jaywalking is also punishable by prison. I recommend both when convenient.

    The real world take-home message for most OTH discharge holders is this: NCIS will not find your discharge. You take a one-in-a-million risk of the govt getting silly and charging you for falsifying an application should you apply for federal employment. Thus, an OTH will probably have no significant impact on your life whatsoever.

    You've demonstrated a low IQ, and I don't fault you for it. One cannot help genetics. Alas, I've got to ask you to tone down the "idiot' stuff so as to not get the thread locked.

    Thanks for trying. Sincerely. I appreciate your thoughts.
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    It is a bad idea to lie on a job application, ESPECIALLY for the government. Even if you probably won't get arrested for it, you very easily could get FIRED for it. And once one company fires you for lying on your application, they can tell that to people who call for references. Who will then be less likely to hire you. It can ruin your life more surely than your OTH would.

    You have been lucky so far, but stupid. Don't advise other people to take the same misguided path.
  5. #5
    antrc170 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by solomonsacct View Post
    That's an embarrassingly stupid analogy.
    You are suggesting that a person hide their past by breaking a law = a murderer hiding past by breaking the law and stealing identity

    Fair statement.



    [QUOTE=solomonsacct;2906388] Every application in the the history of applications has a lie.[/QOUTE]

    Mine doesn't, nor would someone who is looking to obtain a security clearance.

    Quote Originally Posted by solomonsacct View Post
    You won't get charged for lying about your discharge. Show me a single case where this has happened. Best of luck.
    I love challenges and this is an easy one.

    United States v. Wong, 431 U.S.C. 174, 178, 52 L. Ed. 2d 231, 97 S. Ct. 1823
    Bryson v. United States, 396 U.S. 64, 72, 24 L. Ed. 2d 264, 90 S. Ct. 355

    Also as a bonus I'll give you these three quick cases where people avoided prosecution, but were terminated for lying.

    Christopher v. Dept. of the Army, Docket #AT-0752-07-0092-I-1, 2008 MSPB 2.
    Crump v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, #CH-0752-06-0820-I-4, 2010 MSPB 119.
    Wolfbauer v. O.P.M., #2008-3173, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14706 (Unpub. Fed. Cir.).





    Quote Originally Posted by solomonsacct View Post
    Thanks for trying. Sincerely. I appreciate your thoughts.
    Always happy to correct someone when they are wrong.

    Let's review, you argue that the government won't charge anyone for lying and you are incorrect as shown. You argue the government won't find out and you are incorrect as shown.

    Advising people to violate any law is irresponsible.

    (On a side note, you are correct that the "idiot" comment should not have been posted.)
    Last edited by antrc170; 09-20-2011 at 09:11 AM.
  6. #6
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Proof positive that the TSA should be dismantled
  7. #7
    ERAUPIKE is offline Senior Member
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    An OTH won\'t show up on a criminal background check because it isn\'t a criminal offense. That is just common sense, you have come here and provided nothing more than your opinion based on your individual experience. I cannot think of one instance that you would be considered an expert based on those qualifications.
  8. #8
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    The TSA also had pedophiles working for them. I am not sure where you fall into the quality ranking.
  9. #9
    target25 is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by solomonsacct View Post
    Hi! I'm a former a conscientious objector who was AWOL from the US Army for a while. At that time, I utilized this forum as a guide to help me make my next move. Knowing almost nothing about the military, I accepted as true many statements uttered on this forum which turned out to be false. I'm writing to clarify a few common misconceptions to help "return the favor," as it were.

    I was told by many in the military and many on this forum that an OTH discharge would "haunt me for life." This is simply not true. It will almost certainly not have any significant impact on your life whatsoever.

    An OTH discharge will not show up on any "background check," ever, with the following possible exceptions: returning to military, federal employment that requires a security clearance, and police/firefighting background checks. You can work in all other government agencies that do not require a security clearance without your discharge becoming available to the employer.

    In order:

    -Returning to military should be self-evident. Obviously the military has access to its own records.

    - fedl employment requiring background check (maybe). Please take note of the verbiage here; only federal employers hiring you for a security clearance-requiring position may be impacted by a OTH discharge (*note: I say "may" simply because I don't know. Perhaps you can get a sensitive clearance with no military records popping up. I have no direct experience with positions requiring a security clearance).

    Since getting an OTH discharge, I have worked for the Transportation Security Agency as well as seasonal work with the US Census Bureau. In both positions I said I had no military background on the application. In both cases, they did not find out that this was untrue.

    -police/firefighting. I do not know whether the police and fire departments have access to military records. Both cops and firefighting agencies require polygrath however, and I would imagine that they can find out these things. Alas, I would also have assumed the TSA would have found out, too. Your mileage may vary.


    The background check utilized by the most serious civilian (and often govt) employers is called the NICS. This is the background check utilized by various state boards (nursing board, medical boards, et al). I am currently a nurse who has been board certified in three states, and I also ran an NCIS independently (you can do this at the local DMV). OTH discharges do not show up on NICS background checks. This is perhaps the most common of all misconceptions regarding background checks in the United States.

    I Hope this helps. I'll be around to answer any questions that I am capable of. Best of luck.
    Hi! I just read this while I was searching for answers about my discharge of a chapter 10. I am in a nursing program now and have not come across any issues with employment and background checks so far. I have even volunteered at a VA Clinic after getting out of the Army and did not have too many issues, but could not have access to my own personal computer because my CAC card could not work because my secret clearance was lost. I was wondering if it mattered what the Chapter 10 was for? Could mine be different from yours in your opinion? My chapter 10 was for failing 1 drug urinalysis… I don't really understand all the laws and regulations. I do know a friend who is an LPN who had 3 previous drug charges in the state of California. (Long before entering her program, 10 years prior). They told her she could opt out of serious jail time and also have her drug charges expunged if she did a rehab program for one year in California. So far she has had no issues with her license, except to explain the situation before hand. Would you have any insight on my situation?! Thank you ! Very helpful post!

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