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  1. #1
    gimom is offline Junior Member
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    Son wants discharge

    What is the name of your state? Missouri

    My son is 19 and is currently in his 9th week of basic training in Missouri. He was quite fired up about being a soldier when he went in. However, he is very unhappy now and just wants to come home. He has had problems w his wrist pretty much from the beginning of basic and has gone through multiple 5 day profiles, re-injury, repeat. The docs vary in diagnosis--torn tendon, ganglion cyst, or he's faking. So, no medical resolution to the problem. During training, the drill sgts have been telling him to stand on the side while everyone is doing the task at hand--even if those tasks don't involve using his wrist. He has missed enough training to require a recycle. My son has fallen to the bottom of the trainee food chain and has become depressed and despondent-so much so that he faked a suicide attempt in an effort to get out. As you can imagine, he's now enduring much harassment over this from the 1st sgt down to his platoon members, is even more depressed, and I'm concerned that he might actually make a real attempt. He has been to psych and they cleared him for depression(this, I don't understand) and suicidal ideation so that's not and option for discharge. That's the back story.

    In the past week, he has been counseled twice for malingering. I think this is the 1st sgts way of getting rid of a problem soldier as my son isn't malingering or refusing to train--he's following drill sgts orders to stand out. I understand that if he is counseled 3 times for the same issue, the chain of command can do some UCMJ action. What might that be and what are the consequences? And would that be the the quickest and most trouble free way to get out? The last thing my kid needs is to be confined in the brig. There is another wrinkle to the story. He is also gay. Of course, that is not public knowledge at this point. But would that be a faster, better? way to proceed? At this point, he doesn't care if he gets an OTH discharge. He just wants to get out.
    Last edited by gimom; 03-23-2007 at 10:45 PM. Reason: spelling
  2. #2
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Play the gay card. That's usually a good way for him to get out. But be prepared for them to investigate his homosexuality claims.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  3. #3
    fozzy2 is offline Member
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    The key is that he has not completed boot camp (or BCT or whatever they call it these days). If he can not complete boot camp then he is most likely to get an uncharacterized entry level separation. "At this point" he might not care about getting an OTH, but down the road he might. My only concern about doing something like "going public" about his homosexuality is that if the military already thinks he is malingering they may well just get PO'd and decide to launch an investigation - which could mean a long time in a recruit holding unit. A few years back he could have probably just "refused training" but the army is apparently much more resistant to that these days. I don't know if the Army has an equivalent to the Navy's old "Mo-Tours" but your son probably wants to avoid that. There is generally no graceful exit, but the ELS is the best bet. Just as long as your son manages, one way or another, to not meet Army standards (fail PT, fail inspection, fail written tests, etc.) he is going to be washed out.
  4. #4
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by badapple40 View Post
    Play the gay card. That's usually a good way for him to get out. But be prepared for them to investigate his homosexuality claims.
    You love that gay strategy. What's up with that?
  5. #5
    SHORTY LONG is offline Senior Member
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    Ecc 7:1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

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  6. #6
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberspook View Post
    You love that gay strategy. What's up with that?
    Well, first of all, it is a pretty easy way out -- sure, they'll investigate, but they'll also discharge.

    Second of all, I disagree with the policy. What someone's orientation is doesn't matter.

    Third of all, after a number of years on active duty, and now as a reservist JAG, being USAF Academy Graduate, and just knowing how the miliary works, it amazes me that more people who want out don't go for this option, because it is pretty much a sure fire way out.

    And the only way that the miliary will seriously rethink the policy is to start seeing more and more troops play the gay card and lose qualified people on account of sexual orientation.

    So I am all for playing the gay card -- particularly where it is true (as is the case here)
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  7. #7
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by badapple40 View Post
    Well, first of all, it is a pretty easy way out -- sure, they'll investigate, but they'll also discharge.

    Second of all, I disagree with the policy. What someone's orientation is doesn't matter.

    Third of all, after a number of years on active duty, and now as a reservist JAG, being USAF Academy Graduate, and just knowing how the miliary works, it amazes me that more people who want out don't go for this option, because it is pretty much a sure fire way out.

    And the only way that the miliary will seriously rethink the policy is to start seeing more and more troops play the gay card and lose qualified people on account of sexual orientation.

    So I am all for playing the gay card -- particularly where it is true (as is the case here)
    I am not breaking chops here. I just thought it funny because you recommended that strategy in other posts. Hey what works is what's best for the OP. I am not against the strategy. God knows the military has booted other people with not so forthcoming methods.

    I have to disagree though with the orientation issue. It really does matter in a foward combat unit. I know it shouldn't but it does. It is to much of a distraction to the men and distraction gets soldiers and marines killed.
  8. #8
    oneproudmom is offline Junior Member
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    my kids in the discharge process too

    he is gay and has that option. I support him in whatever he does and will support him in this as well, especially since he was sold a false bill of goods in the first place.
    Any discharge takes time.

    It's frustrating to these young kids, but it's on military time and he just has to hang in there. He'll be okay. The drill sgts are jerks, it's their job for the most part. Some go over board, my kid has been assaulted twice by them.

    I've been in touch with atty's.(haven't told the Military that) The problem with this is that my kid has to be the one to call them himself...and of course the Military has a way of keeping them pretty busy. Especially if they know their name. (Never a good thing for a drill sargent to know your name). He also is afraid that if he calls in the outside world that they'll drag their feet with the discharge process. He's right, they probably will, or lose paper work because they know how devistated he will feel when they tell him he has to start over.
    Your kid will prob. get an early separation discharge. So long as discharge is pretty straight forward and he's within 180 days of entering the military. Still,it can be and usually is a slow process from what I'm learning. I pointed out to my son that one reason, other than the paper work and procedures, is that the military wouldn't want others in the unit thinking they could get out quickly, even if the paper work is in order and discharge is warranted.
    I actually heard of a kid in my sons unit who had attempted suicide. I wonder if your son is that kid. It does make me feel better to know that it was faked. I was pretty upset after hearing about it.

    One thing I was able to do was to talk to my sons Sgt. He was pretty nice about everything actually and told me he'd be surprised if my son wasn't home within 3 weeks. He told me I could call again if I had other questions or concerns.

    Most of all, as one Mom to another, try not to worry too much. As crappy as it is when you realize that your kid is in another world and all seems lost. It's just a matter of time before he'll be back and you can chaulk it up to a learning experience. At least they feed them good there.

    As far as gays serving in our military. Over 65,000 are serving, and if the Military Readiness Act passes, DADT will be a thing of the past. Studies have shown that most straight service members really don't care.
    I wish you alot of luck. As far as your son is concerned, write him a lot and have others in the family do as well. It's especially lonely for these kids regardless if they are seeking a discharge or not.
    take care,
    oneproudmom
  9. #9
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberspook View Post
    I am not breaking chops here. I just thought it funny because you recommended that strategy in other posts. Hey what works is what's best for the OP. I am not against the strategy. God knows the military has booted other people with not so forthcoming methods.

    I have to disagree though with the orientation issue. It really does matter in a foward combat unit. I know it shouldn't but it does. It is to much of a distraction to the men and distraction gets soldiers and marines killed.
    That is the same line of crap that certain military members gave when they proposed racial integration in the miliary some 50 years ago. Ohhh, it will decrease morale and be a distraction to the troops. And it was the same line of crap that certain people gave to the president to giving women increased miliary roles, admission to the service academies, etc.

    And yet, when the time came, and the orders were given to racially integrate and the orders were given to increase the role of women, guess what?

    The troops grumbled a bit, saluted sharply, and made it happen. And the same would be true with the homosexual.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  10. #10
    cyberspook is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by badapple40 View Post
    That is the same line of crap that certain military members gave when they proposed racial integration in the miliary some 50 years ago. Ohhh, it will decrease morale and be a distraction to the troops. And it was the same line of crap that certain people gave to the president to giving women increased miliary roles, admission to the service academies, etc.

    And yet, when the time came, and the orders were given to racially integrate and the orders were given to increase the role of women, guess what?

    The troops grumbled a bit, saluted sharply, and made it happen. And the same would be true with the homosexual.
    Sorry Badapple. I don't think it is a "line of crap". Homosexuality might work in the Air Force but it is not going to fly (so to speak) in the military.
  11. #11
    oneproudmom is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberspook View Post
    Sorry Badapple. I don't think it is a "line of crap". Homosexuality might work in the Air Force but it is not going to fly (so to speak) in the military.
    Cyberspook, how then can you explain that 24 nations, including Israel and Brittain allow their gay and lesbian troops to serve openly and non report any morale or recruiting problems because of it? Seems to me that if this were such an issue, there would have already been a number of studies done to back that argument up.

    I think that gays and lesbians don't realize just how much power they would have to change the current policy overnight. If they all "came out" vitually on the same day, DADT would be repealed. I doubt our govenment could ignore the collective voice of 65,000 service members.
  12. #12
    IrishLady47 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberspook View Post
    Sorry Badapple. I don't think it is a "line of crap". Homosexuality might work in the Air Force but it is not going to fly (so to speak) in the military.
    Last I knew of the Air Force WAS part of the military. What distracts troops and lowers morale is violation of fraternization rules--which is why all branches of the military have them in one way or another. And it doesn't matter if that is male-female, male-male or female-female. Nor does it have to be necessarily sexual in nature to be a problem.

    Going from the attitudes of my son, nieces, nephews and their friends (who range in age from late teens to early 30s), homosexuality is not a big issue with them as far as the workplace goes. Excepting senior officers and enlisted military, that is the age group that 90% of the military fall into. Talking with the young troops I work with--as long as Joe Gay or Suzy Dyke is not hitting on them and doing their job--they could care less. BTW, that's Army, not Air Force, cyberspook. And it is the Army and Marines who supply the front line combat troops.
  13. #13
    SHORTY LONG is offline Senior Member
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    Smile

    oneproudmom, my (cover) cap is off to you Ma'am. I really like
    your [signature]!
    Ecc 7:1 A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

    "There are two letter[s] in the word of [Life] that, in part gives direct meaning to it, "IF."" By /SL/ aka., April 23, 2008

    Only by cutting through the darkness of ignorance, and prejudice can we achieve true justice; and
    to all those who corrupt the search for truth be warned, the "Sword of Justice" cuts both ways!
  14. #14
    badapple40 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberspook View Post
    Sorry Badapple. I don't think it is a "line of crap". Homosexuality might work in the Air Force but it is not going to fly (so to speak) in the military.
    1. That is an insult to every single air force member.

    2. You presuppose that our soldiers, sailors, and marines will disobey a law passed by Congress or directives of the Commander in Chief if DADT is ended. I believe that our soldiers, sailors, and marines are professionals who will follow orders to the best of their ability, whether they like it or not, because that is what the military does, and has done, for the past 200 some years.

    3. And no, I don't buy the DADT is poor for morale argument. For the most part, most of the military members don't care what someone does in off-duty hours, so long as they carry their weight and do their job. And those that do care will salute sharply and do their job, or be separated.

    At some point, DADT will be abolished -- I don't know when that is. I do know that when it is abolished, the military will do its job and implement the law/executive order and that'll be the end of it.

    I also know that, until it is abolished, I have a duty to implement that policy as a reservist, whether I agree with it or not. Because I am a professional who will follow orders to the best of my ability, whether I like it or not.

    Your assumptions indicate that you believe that military members will disobey that order. People don't always follow orders, but when they don't, they expect the hammer to fall upon them.

    But if the OP, and every other homosexual servicemember outed themselves, you can bet there'd be a quick reversal in policy.
    The giving or taking of any advice given in this forum does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any readers of any posts acknowledge that they are not in any type of attorney client relationship with the poster.
  15. #15
    gimom is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to all who posted. The company has not made any decisions concerning my son yet. This is pretty much the way it's been since the beginning. There's a lot of huffing and puffing, but no real action. He did have Sunday off and away from drill sgts--they just started AIT--which certainly helped his state of mind. But he still wants to get out. Does anyone know what the likelihood of confinement is for a malingering discharge? My biggest concern is that the chain of command is going to make an example out of him, drag the ordeal out as long as possible, and give him the worst possible consequence.

    I've read that proof of homosexuality is not required to receive a discharge. Is this true, or do they actually investigate and take names? If he decides to play the gay card, to whom should he reveal this info? The chaplain? I can imagine what a drill sgt would do.

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