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It is possible to reenlist with certain general discharges.

Reenlisting in a branch of the military with a general discharge may require direct action. A general discharge from the military indicates that the service person was found to be deficient of their duties in some way. This type of discharge is not considered dishonorable, but is not the same as honorable either. When trying to reenlist after receiving this type of discharge, a former soldier may need to take certain steps to regain active status.

Find the reenlistment code on the general discharge form

Find the reenlistment code on the general discharge form. Every discharge from the military includes a reenlistment code.

Contact a military recruiting office

Contact a military recruiting office for the desired branch to discuss the reenlistment code. Each branch of service has its own codes. If the reenlistment code is favorable, reenlistment can be immediate. If not, additional steps are necessary.

File an appeal with the branch board of corrections. If the reenlistment code on the discharge does not allow for reenlistment, file an appeal.

Wait for the outcome of the appeal process. Be present at all hearings for the appeal. If you win the appeal, reenlistment will then be possible.


  • Hire a lawyer versed in military law.


  • Certain conduct resulting in a general discharge may not be appealed. Sexual orientation and drug charges are among these reasons along with other offenses depending on the branch of service.