There are five types of military discharge, and every single military member experiences one of them. The quality of one’s active duty service determines the type of discharge he or she receives. The five military discharges are general, honorable, other than honorable, bad conduct and dishonorable.
General denotes that a service member completed his or her service with less than honorable circumstances during duty or upon discharge. Conditions such as illness, injury or other determinants lead to a general discharge. An unacceptable behavior such as drug abuse initiates a general discharge as well.
A commander makes known the reason for a general discharge in writing. People tend to equate a general discharge with an honorable one. However, general discharges actually deem many veterans ineligible for certain benefits such as the GI Bill.
Honorable is a like a grade of A plus. The service member completed his or her duty with admirable personal and professional conduct. Ones with an honorable discharge receive full benefits. They also have an easier time finding employment since an honorable discharge reflects well on a resume.
Bad Conduct discharge is a punishment for a military crime. It results in confinement to a military prison for a short period of time. No benefits are available to veterans with a bad conduct discharge.
A dishonorable discharge is also a punitive action against a military member. Serious offenses such as murder or desertion of one’s duty will cause a court martial to order a dishonorable discharge.
Like a convicted felon, veterans with a dishonorable discharge do not receive many privileges to benefits, possession of firearms and so on. They are ostracized from the military community and will have a hard time finding employment.
Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge
A judgment of OTH discharge occurs when a military member is in trouble with the civilian court system, for reasons like a felony conviction leading to imprisonment. OTH is the most severe of the administrative discharges because people with OTH are banned from ever reenlisting into the army or any other part of the Armed Forces. OTH recipients do not receive VA healthcare or most benefits provided through the VA.
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