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awol/desertion punishment

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Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I know that awol and desertion are two different things. Whats is the maximum punishment one can get for each of them? Thank you for your help.

What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

PJ Weber

A fair and speedy trial, and then hanging.
or shooting :eek:

Truthfully . . . it depends on your record, your COs attitude, and many
unknown factors

Expect the worst and hope for the best

AWOL is the first 30 days

Desertion is after the initial 30 days, when you are Dropped From the Rolls (DFR)
Last edited:


Junior Member
You wont get Shot For Desertion and there hasnt been a case of the Death Penalty being used
for deserters since WWII.

AWOL under 30 Days, Field Grade Article 15 is most likely and reduction from E4 to E1 and max punishment extra duty and forfeiture of 2/3 pay for 3 months. and could possibly lead to a Discharge of Service but that depends on the Commander and the Circumstance for going AWOL, they are handled on a case by case basis.

Desertion: Definite Discharge from the Armed Forces, with a General Under Other Than Honorable Conditions all the way down to a Dishonorable.

Dishonorable Discharges are not Common Practice in the Military anymore and JAG has been fighting to keep the amount reduced to Major Offenses that involve life imprisonment and such.

For the most part, Deserters get 3 hots and a Cot in levenworth and work the fields and make uniforms for soldiers that are overseas and do other odd jobs and of course wierd favors that may invovle syrup or jelly for other inmates.

However Death Sentences are only for about 2 things in the UCMJ

Murder - and any act of Treason.

You have to be really screwed up or do something Majorly Wrong like kill your CO or be a serial rapist in order to get the death penalty


Junior Member
Thank you very much,

Well, long story short, I had problems with the family and other personal issues that the army just didn’t want to help with, so I decided to go AWOL. I have been gone for almost a year and a half. During my time in the service I received several medals, coins for excellence and recommendations, and never had any disciplinary problems. Now I see that my decision to leave the service might have been taken too soon and that other possibilities could have presented themselves but that’s the past. Now everything’s settled with the family and no more problems but ever since I left I couldn’t live with the fact of my decision and I’m ready to face the consequences.

- in other sites I have read that desertion after 30 days is the administrative title but if you turn yourself you can be tried as being awol, is this correct?

- In my case I went AWOL between duty stations; do I turn myself in with the gaining duty station or at ft Knox?


Senior Member
is that correct, the distinction from awol and dessertion?
If you would search our Military Forum you will find your answer. Moreover,
put this link in your browser, and click enter and you will find a wealth of FREE
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