For members of the military, an administrative separation means seeing that career come to an end before they had decided to walk away from it. Some have compared it to civilians who get fired from their jobs. This is simply the process that’s used to terminate someone’s employment by the military, and it is a bit more complex than a civilian being fired, but it accomplishes a similar goal.
This can happen for numerous reasons, such as weight control issues, misconduct, insubordination, drug abuse, poor duty performance or the non-performance of those duties. When this happens, there are three potential outcomes to be aware of.
An honorable discharge has the absolute best outcome in this situation. This happens when someone has performed their duties properly and has been an exemplary member of the military, but they still need to leave that position. For instance, someone may become injured and have been given numerous awards and decorations. Their injury keeps them from being in the military for the rest of their career, but they are certainly leaving under honorable terms.
General (under honorable conditions)
A general discharge that is done under honorable conditions may not be quite as good as an honorable discharge, but it is still often seen as an acceptable outcome. Generally, someone who leaves under these conditions can’t join a different military branch or reenlist in the same one, so it does have career-altering ramifications. There are certain situations in which their veteran’s benefits could also be jeopardized, so it’s important for someone who is being discharged to know exactly what options they have.
Other than honorable conditions
When someone is discharged and it is not under honorable conditions, this is when it can cause a lot of problems for their future. This may happen if someone has used physical violence against another military member, for instance, or if they have abused their position in some other way. This may also be used if they are seen as a security threat or if they’ve done something to endanger the country herself. Depending on the specifics, they could even wind up facing legal charges after being discharged from the military.
If you find yourself in this position, be sure you are well aware of your rights and all the options at your disposal.