Enlisted Administrative Separation

Marine Judge Advocate | Administrative Separation Defense Lawyer

Have you been notified that you are “Separated” or “Chaptered?”  If a command intends to separate an enlisted servicemember before the end of that servicemember’s active service contract, there is a formal process that must be followed.  Regardless of the basis for the separation (with the exception of entry level discharge), the servicemember has many rights during the administrative separation process.   An administrative discharge can have a substantial impact on a servicemember’s eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits, educational and other entitlements, and employment options.  Know your rights.  Seek the advice of an experienced military defense attorney if you are facing an involuntary administrative separation.

The Military Administrative Separation Process

A military administrative discharge board is made up of 3 members (all senior in rank to the servicemember facing discharge), a legal advisor (who is usually a military lawyer), and a recorder, who is a lawyer and acts as the “prosecutor” for the command.  The proceedings of the board are administrative in nature, which means that the board is not required to follow the formal Military Rules of Evidence. The board can and does consider information and evidence that might have been inadmissible at a court-martial. The board members must consider all the evidence, both that presented by the government recorder as well as any evidence presented by the respondent servicemember.  After reviewing all of the evidence and considering oral arguments of counsel, the board then decides whether the evidence supports the alleged basis for separation, whether (if the basis is met) to recommend retention or separation, and, if the board votes to separate, what characterization of service to recommend – Honorable Discharge, General Discharge (Under Honorable Conditions) or Other Than Honorable Discharge.

Know Your Rights During an Administrative Separation Board

The respondent undergoing the administrative separation board has the following rights:

  • The right to appear in person before the board, with or without counsel;
  • The right to hire civilian counsel to represent him/her at no cost to the government;
  • The right to challenge whether any voting member of the board should remain on the panel;
  • The right to submit a statement (oral or written) or to testify on his/her own behalf;
  • The right to remain silent;
  • The right to request the attendance of witnesses at the hearing;
  • The right to submit any answers, depositions, sworn or unsworn statements, affidavits, certificates, or stipulations; and
  • The right to question any of the witnesses.

Involuntary Separation Defense Attorney | Contact a Military Defense Lawyer Today

If you have received written notification that the your command is seeking to separate you from the service, or if you are under investigation for a military or civilian offense that could impact your service, contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.  Brandon Barnett will take the time to talk with you and answer your questions.  Call us today at (817) 993-9249.