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Fight To Stay in the Military

Administrative Separation Boards

Administrative Separation Boards in the hands of a fickle and unjust command structure exist to end your career when the evidence of wrongdoing is nonexistent. When the process begins, you have 60 days to prepare an aggressive defense and save your career.

Fight or Flight

How Fight For The Career And Benefits You’ve Earned

Administrative Separation Boards are perhaps the military’s method to end a career when all else fails. There is not enough to court martial you, so they send you to an administrative separation board. Commander didn’t like your attitude during the NJP process? Welcome to administrative separation. You had a GOMOR permanently filed, administrative separation is next. Think of it in terms of a civilian case, where you are accused of a crime and, because there is not enough evidence to convict you, they just make sure your boss fires you and tattoos a scarlet A right on your forehead. Administrative separation boards can serve a proper function when used as intended under the UCMJ.

However, in the hands of unjust commands and overzealous JAGs, administrative separation becomes the tool of the vindictive leaving the accused with limited due process rights. Like any encounter with the military justice system, you have two options: be erased via a human resources data entry program or fight back. We specialize in option 2. Fight for your career. Fight for your retirement, and benefits, because if you go into an admin separation board unwilling or unprepared to fight, they will take everything from you just to set an example and get themselves a CYA.

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Admin Separation Eligibility and Impact

What’s At Stake During An Administrative Separation Board

The administrative separation board process applies to all service branches and, though it goes by different names, there is a process to separate officers as well as enlisted. For officers, it is called a board of inquiry or show cause board. To be eligible for an administrative separation board, the service member must have six years of service or a recommendation for an Other Than Honorable characterization of service discharge. Remember, this typically happens after the command’s other attempts to “teach you a lesson” have failed. The administrative separation process equates to the “easy way” – the command’s path of least resistance to destroying you.

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To fully understand what’s at stake at an administrative separation board, these are the types of discharges you can receive:

Honorable Discharges

An Honorable Discharge entitles the individual to full military benefits, including eligibility for the GI Bill.

General Discharge

A General Discharge may result in the loss of certain benefits, such as GI Bill eligibility, which can affect educational opportunities and other key veteran benefits.

Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge

An OTH Discharge typically leads to the loss of most military benefits, including the GI Bill, significantly impacting post-service opportunities and VA support.

Punitive discharges, like Bad Conduct Discharge and Dishonorable Discharge, cannot be issued at an administrative separation board; these are reserved for court-martial proceedings and result in the loss of most, if not all, military benefits.

The important thing to consider is that, during the administrative separation process, you can only receive an administrative discharge. It is a common misconception, that you can receive a punitive discharge during an administrative separation board. You can’t.

Another way to look at it: maybe you’ve made some pretty bad decisions, and the evidence is damning. If we can get you to an administrative separation board instead of a court martial, that’s not a terrible outcome under the circumstances. We work extremely hard to get our clients out of trouble, but when your buddy posts a TikTok video of you snorting cocaine off the CG’s desk while wearing nothing but a reflective PT belt, an administrative separation might begin to look pretty good.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking that the outcome of an administrative separation can’t be costly. With an other than honorable discharge, you will lose the vast majority, if not all, of your military benefits. Even with a general under honorable conditions discharge, you can lose many benefits, which may include your right to the coveted GI Bill. If you have spent over a decade in the military and are halfway to some amazing benefits, it hurts. Keep in mind, if you had 18 years in the military and find yourself in front of an administrative separation board, they still won’t hesitate to take everything from you.

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60 Days Will Determine Your Entire Military Career

Options in the Military Administrative Separation Process

Option 1

Acceptance of Recommended Discharge

Upon notification of administrative separation, the first option is to accept the discharge type recommended by the command. This choice involves leaving the military under the terms set by the command.

Option 2

Request in Writing for Retention or Higher Discharge Characterization

The second option is to draft a written request to the commander. This request can either be for retention in the service or for a separation with a more favorable discharge characterization than initially proposed. Choosing this option means you won’t face a board hearing, and the commander will directly decide on your separation and the type of discharge.

Option 3

Electing a Board Hearing

The third option is to opt for a board hearing, recommended for those with six years of service or facing an other than honorable (OTH) discharge recommendation. This is a more confrontational approach where you can contest the decision. The process operates under a strict 60-day limit, starting from the selection of the administrative separation board members. It’s crucial to engage legal counsel as early as possible, given the time-sensitive nature of this process.

Admin Board Defense Strategy

The Administrative Separation Board Is a Street Fight

In administrative separation boards, we adopt the rigorous approach of a court martial. This involves thorough examination of evidence, finding credible witnesses, and meticulously preparing your testimony. It’s similar to a trial, but more resembles a street fight due to the limited rules and aggressive tactics employed. The government assigns a JAG, referred to as a ‘recorder,’ who is tasked with pursuing your discharge. Unlike a standard trial, the recorder doesn’t need to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but only needs to demonstrate a 51% likelihood of guilt. This allows them to use a wide range of evidence, including hearsay and speculation, in their argument.

As your defense attorneys, we match this intensity with audacity and skill. Our role is to vigorously defend you in this challenging environment, ready to confront any aggressive tactics used by the recorder. Unlike a typical JAG defender, we are unafraid to robustly challenge authority, even if it means cross-examining high-ranking officers. Our goal is to provide a staunch defense, understanding the high stakes involved and the need for a fearless approach in these proceedings

Testify to Win: Admin Sep Tactics

You Have To Be Prepared To Speak For Yourself

Over the years, in most admin sep boards we’ve won, the service member testified for themselves. Many military defense counsel sideline their clients, but we believe in preparing you to fight for your own career. Admin separation boards composed of officers and senior enlisted expect you to stand up and fight, and that’s what we help you do.

We make sure you’re ready to testify, face cross-examination, and demonstrate your accountability. Some lawyers suggest unsworn statements, but those usually fail. You need to answer the board’s questions under oath to avoid looking like a coward or a liar.

Our approach gets you ready for a street fight at the admin separation board. We teach you to withstand cross-examination, and by discrediting their witnesses, you become the hero of your own story. We’re your guide to fighting for the career, retirement, and life you deserve.

Admin Separation Fight Strategy

The Outcome You Want And Deserve

If the military really thought you were guilty and the crime warranted aggressive action, they would have punished you elsewhere. They couldn’t and so they are trying to get you where they can. Again, for them, it’s the “easy way,” that path of least resistance to end you. In an admin separation board, there are really two things they are deciding. First, they try to determine if there was a basis for misconduct. Basically, did you do it according to the 51% preponderance of evidence rule. Then, they will ask whether it warrants separation, and, if so, what kind of discharge should you get.

Victory looks a little different for everyone. For some, it is total exoneration – no basis, retain. For the Soldier on TikTok snorting cocaine off the CG’s desk, it’s preserving what benefits you can. Either way, your only option to avoid the worst possible outcome is to fight. Fight like hell. Let the separation board see how much you love serving your country and how hard you are willing to fight in order to keep doing so. You have to have a plan and you need to get started right now. That 60-day clock bends for no one, and every day lost is a day of preparation that you will never get back. If that clock is ticking for you, please reach out to us now and get us into the fight.

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