Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Rules clarified on health exams for other-than-honorable discharges

Dec. 12, 2013 - 06:51PM   |  
  • Filed Under

The fiscal 2014 compromise defense authorization bill would change part of a law that has allowed the services to skirt a requirement to provide mental health and medical exams to all combat troops facing an other-than-honorable discharge.

By law, troops facing administrative separation under other-than-honorable conditions cannot be discharged until they have received an exam and the results have been reviewed by higher-ups.

The intent is to determine whether post-traumatic stress disorder, another combat-related mental health condition or traumatic brain injury contributed to the discipline issues prompting the separation.

But the law contains an exception in cases involving courts-martial and other Uniform Code of Military Justice proceedings. The Army took the legislation to mean that the exception applies to those who accept an administrative discharge in lieu of a court-martial, according to a source with knowledge of the defense bill deliberations.

The compromise bill clarifies that such a separation is “an administrative separation within the meaning of this statute.”

“By taking this action, the [House Armed Services Committee] ensures that service members are not disadvantaged due to combat-related injuries,” the original report on the House bill stated.

According to a Seattle Times investigation, more than 20,000 soldiers and Marines left the service between 2008 and 2012 with other-than-honorable discharges.

A recent NPR report puts the number of other-than-honorable discharges at 100,000 since Sept. 11, 2001.

Such discharges largely disqualify veterans from receiving Veterans Affairs Department compensation and benefits, including health care. They also disqualify former troops from accessing their education benefits and often hinder job searches, as many employers and employment programs accept only those with honorable discharges.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Careers

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

'My career was defaced'
Sergeant major tells his side of viral video confrontation

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook