What Is Erroneous Enlistment?

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Although each branch of the armed services tries to ensure every recruit meets enlistment requirements, mistakes do happen. An erroneous enlistment occurs when facts not known at the time of enlistment make a recruit ineligible or when military regulations aren’t followed and allow an unqualified person to enlist. If a recruit deliberately conceals relevant information it is considered fraud and not an erroneous enlistment.

Causes of Erroneous Enlistment

  • The justification for an erroneous enlistment is generally medical in nature. If the reasons for disqualifying an enlistee have not materially changed when the error is discovered, he is discharged. When it is determined that an enlistee does not meet the physical requirements for serving in the military, the fact must be confirmed by a medical officer. Drug or alcohol dependency that comes to light within the first 180 days of service is also cause for declaring the enlistment to be in error. The diagnosis must be made by a clinical psychologist or a medical doctor. Finally, if there is any possibility that a disqualifying condition is related to current or prior military service, a medical board must determine if the enlistment was erroneous.

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