Get Discharged From the U.S. Military
Get Discharged From the U.S. Military

How to Get Discharged From the U.S. Military. There are many ways to obtain an administrative discharge from the military. Whether you are a conscientious objector or you just plain object, here are legitimate reasons that will lead to a request for your early departure from military service.

Get discharged on Entry Level Performance and Conduct. Within the first 180 days of active duty, a member may be discharged due to an inability to adjust to the social, mental and physical demands of military life. It may be quite evident that you do not meet the minimum standards of performance for military duty. However, do not assume that this is the case. As there is no formal request for this discharge, you must proactively discuss your challenges with your commanding officer to ensure the process can be completed within the stipulated time frame.

Be a "Conscientious Objector." Due to firm ethical, moral or religious beliefs, a member believes that it is wrong to kill a human being in war. Request for this discharge can be long, arduous and looked upon with suspicion. Your application will need to include the nature of your current beliefs and their impact on your daily lifestyle, how your beliefs changed after entering the military and how you determined that discharge was your only option. You will then be interviewed by a psychiatrist, chaplain and investigating officer. During your interview with the investigating officer, you should be represented by a lawyer or counselor and provide supporting witnesses like a pastor, family and friends.

Admit to "Homosexual Conduct." A member may be discharged for engaging or attempting to engage in homosexual activity, be identified as a homosexual or marries someone of the same sex. To ensure an honorable discharge, seek guidance from an attorney or counselor prior to disclosing your sexual orientation or upon learning of an investigation. You will need to write a letter stating your intention to engage in homosexual activity. Do not admit any previous homosexual activity nor name sexual partners. Be well aware that this entire process is essentially a public announcement of your sexual orientation and may make you vulnerable to harassment and discrimination.

Justify "Hardship or Dependency." A member's family is suffering severe financial, physical or psychological problems. This would include issues stemming from death, debilitating illness and divorce leaving a family member in a potentially permanent adverse condition. You will need to document your familial situation and justify how your separation will address it. You must also show failed efforts to implement alternative solutions. You may receive a full discharge or be placed in the inactive reserves.

Request "Disability." A member has a physical or psychological disability that interferes with fitness for duty. If you have an adverse health condition identified by a counselor or doctor, a medical officer may request on your behalf a military discharge. You may need to be persistent in getting someone to make this request. Conditions which existed prior to membership may lead to an erroneous enlistment discharge. A medical board will make the determination. These decisions can be appealed.