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  1. #1
    alligatorob is offline Member
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    Other than honorable discharge?

    Florida - I was interviewing a guy for a job and he volunteered that he left the Navy with what he called an “other than honorable discharge”. He told me that it was due to health problems that prevented him from fulfilling his duties. He was discharged over 10 years ago. At the time I did not think much of it, I did not realize that the term “other than honorable” had a legal meaning. Since the interview I looked it up on line and it doesn’t look good, and I cannot see that this would describe a discharge based on medical condition.

    Does this guy’s story ring true? Is it possible to get an other than honorable discharge without some kind of wrong doing? Is there a way to check someone’s military record to see what this means? I want to be fair to the guy but I’d also like to know if he is not being honest with me.
  2. #2
    SHORTY LONG is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alligatorob View Post
    Florida - I was interviewing a guy for a job and he volunteered that he left the Navy with what he called an “other than honorable discharge”. He told me that it was due to health problems that prevented him from fulfilling his duties. He was discharged over 10 years ago. At the time I did not think much of it, I did not realize that the term “other than honorable” had a legal meaning. Since the interview I looked it up on line and it doesn’t look good, and I cannot see that this would describe a discharge based on medical condition.

    Does this guy’s story ring true? Is it possible to get an other than honorable discharge without some kind of wrong doing? Is there a way to check someone’s military record to see what this means? I want to be fair to the guy but I’d also like to know if he is not being honest with me.
    Get him to bring you a copy of his DD214. Then scrutinize it, and call the Veterans Administration for verification. About being discharged medically with an OTH, either quite possibly for drugs or something similar!
  3. #3
    fozzy2 is offline Member
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    Strictly speaking, there is a difference between someones "character of service" (Honorable, Other than Honorable, etc.) and the reason they were discharged from the military ("Basis"). For example, in theory someone could be diagnosed with asthma and the military decides it can't keep them around. The 'basis' of his discharge is medical. When he is discharged, the military looks at his record to determine how well he was performing his duties. That is the "character of service." If he was getting into trouble prior to being diagnosed with asthma, he might get an OTH (other than honorable). To put it another way, someones "reasons for leaving" a job may have nothing to do with "how well they performed" (will your boss give you a reference?). Maybe a person is 'laid off' because of corporate re-structuring beyond his control. But when you talk to his former boss he says "The guy wasn't a very good employee anyway. Glad to see him go."


    Usually, however, an OTH is a blend, the reason for discharge being "a pattern" of more minor transgressions or doing something the military considers pretty bad.

    There is one potential catch. What the military considers 'bad' may not necessarily be considered that bad by a potential employer. For example, a senior NCO might get an OTH if he was caught "fraternizing" with a subordinate. Homosexuality is another one (though nowadays there have to be actual "homosexual acts" to get an OTH). And so on. While viiolations of *military* regulations they are not necessarily something that would deter a civilian from hiring an otherwise good employee.

    You may want to post a related question on an "Employment Law" forum. The job seeker alluded to "medical problems" and you don't want to accidentally start asking illegal disability, status, etc. This could get tricky if, for example, the discharge was related to homosexuality, mental illness, possibly addiction, etc. I think you are on safe ground acting questions strictly about their military disciplinary record -- like "Were you ever Court Martialed, and if so why?" "Were you seperated in lieu of a Court Martial?" "Tell me about all your 'Non-judicial punishments', if any." The answers should clarify 'what was up' with that person.
  4. #4
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by alligatorob View Post
    Florida - I was interviewing a guy for a job and he volunteered that he left the Navy with what he called an “other than honorable discharge”. He told me that it was due to health problems that prevented him from fulfilling his duties. He was discharged over 10 years ago. At the time I did not think much of it, I did not realize that the term “other than honorable” had a legal meaning. Since the interview I looked it up on line and it doesn’t look good, and I cannot see that this would describe a discharge based on medical condition.

    Does this guy’s story ring true? Is it possible to get an other than honorable discharge without some kind of wrong doing? Is there a way to check someone’s military record to see what this means? I want to be fair to the guy but I’d also like to know if he is not being honest with me.
    As Shorty said you can ask him/her to supply you with a copy of his DD214. If/When you do ask for this, specifically ask for an undeleted copy of his DD214. On the bottom portion of the undeleted copy will contain certain characteristics and narrative codes and reasons for his/her discharge. The reasons that are asscociated with these codes are available online for you to decipher.

    Being that he/she has an OTH I would probably say that he/she was not a "model" soldier and probably did more than just a few things that the military will not tolerate, but at the same time he/she was not a genuine screw up either,and as you said it was 10 years ago. He/She did tell you the truth about the OTH and could have easily lied to you. You can't get a copy of his/her military records without his/her permission. That right there says a lot about the individual you are interviewing. I don't blame you for wanting to know as much about a person as you can if you are going to hire them, but as a employer myself I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in an OTH from 10 years ago.
  5. #5
    the25thHour is offline Junior Member
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    OTH on a medical basis is pretty unheard of in the Marine Corps, which is part of the Navy. Generally speaking, a medical discharge will result in an honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge.

    The posters that already replied to your thread were dead-on with their responses, and I cosign their advice.
  6. #6
    reckless99 is offline Junior Member
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    keep an open mind.

    1. dont be so quick to judge someone on speculation alone.

    2. dont let all these know-it-all haters make your mind up for you.

    a person isnt automatically a loser because he got an oth when he got out of the service.
  7. #7
    divona2000 is offline Senior Member
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    reckless, you just replied to a post that is two years old. Check the dates, ok?

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