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Chapter 14 – Separation for Misconduct

Peace of Mind Legal Review

Are you facing a Chapter 14?  You probably have questions about the procedure and what are your best options for a successful outcome.  If you have spoken with trial defense services and would like to obtain more information, a peace of mind legal review may be a good option for you.  The service is designed to specifically meet your legal needs without costing you a lot.

Mr. Coombs will conduct a thorough review of your chapter action.  He will read, analyze, and summarize all of your records to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  He will also identify any legal errors in the chapter that can be used by you to avoid being separated.  With this information, he will help your determine the best available course of action for you.  Finally, Mr. Coombs will provide you with an honest assessment of your chances for a positive outcome.

As you are considering whether a peace of mind legal review is right for you, please review the information below to help you prepare for your chapter action.  If you decide you would like to do a peace of mind legal review, contact our office by sending a message to [email protected]

CHAPTER 14 – Separation for Misconduct

This post provides general information concerning Chapter 14, AR 635-200, Separation for Misconduct. AR 635-200 contains more specific information.

I. Basis for Chapter Elimination: There are four types of Chapter 14 separation actions: (1) conviction by a civil court; (2) pattern of minor military disciplinary infractions; (3) pattern of military or civilian misconduct; and (4) commission of a serious offense.  Each type is different from the others and requires separate grounds for separation.

II. Command Requirements before Separation:

(1) Conviction by a Civil Court (paragraph 14-5). The commander must believe that the specific circumstances of the civilian conviction warrant separation from the Army; separation is not mandatory. Additionally, the civilian conviction must be for an offense that if tried by court-martial, would authorize a punitive discharge, or the sentence by civilian authorities includes confinement for 6 months or more, without regard to suspension or probation.

(2) Pattern of Minor Military Disciplinary Infractions (paragraph 14-12a). The commander must provide evidence of a pattern of misconduct consisting solely of two or more minor military disciplinary infractions. The type of behavior that qualifies for minor disciplinary infractions is very discretionary on the commander’s part. Before initiating separation under Chapter 14, the commander must insure that the soldier has had adequate counseling and an adequate opportunity for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation efforts vary, but may include a transfer to a new section or platoon within the unit or to a new unit.

(3) Pattern of Military or Civilian Misconduct (paragraph 14-12b). Similar to (2) above, the commander must provide evidence of discreditable involvement with civil or military authorities that is prejudicial to good order and discipline in the Army. Before initiating separation under Chapter 14, the commander must insure that the soldier has had adequate counseling and an adequate opportunity for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation efforts vary, but may include a transfer to a new section or platoon within the unit or to a new unit.

(4) Commission of a Serious Offense (paragraph 14-12c). The commander must provide evidence of a specific military or civilian offense that the commander believes warrants separation from the Army. The offense, if tried by a court-martial would authorize a punitive discharge upon conviction.

III. Soldier Rights: Soldiers have the right to consult with a military trial defense service attorney or with private civilian counsel at their own expense and to submit matters for the separation authority to consider before the separation authority makes a final decision regarding separation. Additionally, soldiers with at least 6 years of service OR soldiers who are facing the possibility of an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge are entitled to an Administrative Separation Board. All soldiers pending Chapter 14 separation should consult with an attorney before making any decisions concerning the Chapter 14 separation.

IV: Separation Authority: The separation authority is normally the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is typically the first colonel in the chain of command. However, if an Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharge is recommended, the separation authority is normally the General Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is typically the Commanding General.

V. Characterization of Service: An honorable, general, or OTH discharge is possible under Chapter 14 proceedings. Soldiers in an entry level status (which means they have 180 days active duty service or less) may receive an uncharacterized description of service.

VI. Separation Pay: Separation pay is not authorized.