A military discharge is characterized in five different ways that indicate level of honor. If an individual is unsuitable to serve in the military, this dismissal is usually considered honorable and is not accompanied by legal repercussions. The higher the honors with which an individual is discharged, the greater the benefits he can expect to enjoy as a veteran.
Categories of Discharge
The five categories of discharge include Honorable, General, Under Other Than Honorable Conditions, Bad Conduct and Dishonorable. The last two options are arrived at as the result of a trial and are considered highly dishonorable. Meanwhile, UOTHC carries repercussions regarding benefits and employment but can be delivered by military administration without incorporating the judicial process.
Requirements for Honorable Discharge
Honorable Discharge, which includes the discharge of individuals unsuitable for military service, is given to those who have completed or exceeded requirements and duties. You can receive an Honorable Discharge that indicates you are not suitable for military service before you have finished your term if you fail to meet certain requirements, such as fitness.
Benefits of Honorable Discharge
Individuals dismissed with an Honorable Discharge, even if they have been deemed unsuitable to serve in the military, will usually receive the full benefits and rights of veterans, such as participation in the GI Bill, the privilege of serving on veteran’s commissions and the ability to obtain choice post-service employment.
A General Discharge still indicates honorable circumstances. It is possible to receive a General Discharge for reasons similar to those required for an Honorable Discharge. For example, if an individual fails to meet fitness requirements and has shown excellent performance and conduct throughout her term of service, she will receive an Honorable Discharge. However, if she fails to meet fitness requirements but has not demonstrated excellent merit, she will receive a General Discharge. A General Discharge is not considered dishonorable but may result in the loss of some veteran benefits, the specificity of which vary depending on circumstances.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images