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Old 04-20-2009, 01:15 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
4,677 posts, read 1,835,431 times
Reputation: 900

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I went into the Navy at 18 to get away from my some stuff at home. I didn't like it so I went AWOL at the age of 20. I went back after a couple of weeks and received a dishonorable discharge. 6 years later I figured out how stupid and immature that was and how it affects me now. I have heard there is a way to petition to get it changed to an other than honorable discharge. Can you do it, is this hard to do, and how do you do it?
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Old 04-20-2009, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Hawaii/Alabama
1,595 posts, read 2,967,085 times
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You may certainly petition to change your Discharge but do not hold your breath. AWOL is taken very seriously and it is highly unlikely that they will change their opinion now. It is worth a try.
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Old 04-20-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,754,492 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by grmngrl8203 View Post
I went into the Navy at 18 to get away from my some stuff at home. I didn't like it so I went AWOL at the age of 20. I went back after a couple of weeks and received a dishonorable discharge. 6 years later I figured out how stupid and immature that was and how it affects me now. I have heard there is a way to petition to get it changed to an other than honorable discharge. Can you do it, is this hard to do, and how do you do it?
I believe there is a Board of Military Review. I may be wrong. I have not read on that for a while. Just contact a navy office and they will tell you how to work on it.
However, I agree that once it is on your record, it may not be impossible but it is an uphill battle.

If you plan to do that, you better have a very good reason with good supporting documentation to get it upgraded.

It is sad to me when I keep telling my Soldiers to think very hard in doing stupid things like that and yet they decide to do it. In today's world, those things can hunt people for the rest of their live. If you are not successful in getting it upgraded, all I can tell you is to make sure you have a very clean record at all times, work hard in improving your life like making sure you attend college, do community service, have a good credit record, a good employment record, etc. and you still have a chance to minimize the negative impact for future employment. Also, get a good network of friends and spread a good reputation as a reliable and honest individual wherever you go. Do have a good network of people that have connections in the business world and can give a good word for you.

However, the best and safest way is to simply start your own business where no one can fire you from.

It is not the end of the world. You just need to be positive and make it work for you. Also, wherever you go and you must say why you went AWOL, simply be honest. Do not make any excuses. Just say what you just said, "It was a stupid mistake, not excuses".

Good luck.

You have great day.
El Amigo
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:08 PM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,343,969 times
Reputation: 395
I concur that it would be pretty difficult and a bureaucratic nightmare to reduce a dishonorable. During my active duty career I actually only saw dishonorables given for serious criminal convictions under the UCMJ. Short duration AWOLs, while yes an offense of good order and discipline, from my experience in themselves never resulted in a discharge unless coupled with some other incident or charge. General discharges under conditions other than honorable were pretty common. There are attorneys who can be consulted that deal with military offenses so it might be worth a consult to get a review on your chances in altering the classification, but it may be very pricey.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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Did you get a full-bore "Dishonorable" or did you get "other than honorable circumstances" or "administrative"? That seems pretty severe for 2 weeks of AWOL, did the Nav have other reasons to not like you? Unfortunately the general civilian population don't realize there are, what, about 5 grades of discharge, with Honorable being best, and Dishonorable being worst. As such they tend to ask "Honorably Discharged or not?" and if not assume it's dishonorable.

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 09-26-2014 at 02:43 PM.. Reason: Removed Off Topic Portion.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
657 posts, read 1,381,006 times
Reputation: 414
FWIW, "AWOL" for less than 30 days and within US territory is considered UA (unauthorized absence) and not AWOL.. Unless there was other disciplinary action on the SVM's record, or the duty which was abandoned was directly vital to national security or classified material (ie. secret or above), then I doubt one's CO would issue a true DD.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:23 PM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,772,218 times
Reputation: 1281
It does seem strange to me that one can even get any discharge by disappearing for two weeks. Just imagine, going to your commander, request to quit, they say no, you simply don't go to work for two weeks. If that were the case, people would be at a civilian job interview..."Ya, I'm in the military, but if you hire me, I just come to work here and they'll discharge me in a couple of weeks"...
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Vernon, CT
9 posts, read 33,780 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
It does seem strange to me that one can even get any discharge by disappearing for two weeks. Just imagine, going to your commander, request to quit, they say no, you simply don't go to work for two weeks. If that were the case, people would be at a civilian job interview..."Ya, I'm in the military, but if you hire me, I just come to work here and they'll discharge me in a couple of weeks"...
Well ya, if you don't mind having a dishonorable discharge on your record.

I don't no anyone with personal experience of anything like this, but I'm almost certain that I've heard it's much harder to get loans, credit, jobs, etc. with a dishonorable discharge on your record.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:40 AM
 
774 posts, read 1,637,286 times
Reputation: 680
I worked in Law Enforcement when I was in the Navy. We had AWOL/UA sailors and sailors turned over to us from civilian police agencies, or sometimes they would turn themselves in. They got sent back to their duty station pretty quickly. To me, a dh sounds extreme like others have said here, if that was your only offense. You could try the Board for Correction of Naval Records. Not sure if they have a web site. Talkk to a lawyer. It might be worth your while.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:24 PM
 
23 posts, read 67,430 times
Reputation: 15
And keep in mind that a Dishonorable Discharge may result in a person being barred from any kind of Federal employment.
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