"Awards and Decorations per DD 214 - DOC"
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY NAVAL DISCHARGE REVIEW BOARD (NDRB) DISCHARGE REVIEW DECISIONAL DOCUMENT FOR ex-Pvt, USMC MD07-00789 CURRENT DISCHARGE AND APPLICANT’S REQUEST Application Received: 20070516 Characterization Received: GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS) Narrative Reason: PERSONALITY DISORDER Authority: MARCORSEPMAN 6203.3 Applicant’s Request: Characterization change to: HONORABLE Narrative Reason change to: NONE REQUESTED Applicant’s Issues: 1. Characterization not warranted by overall service record. 2. PTSD prevented readjustment after combat. DECISION By a vote of 5-0 the Characterization shall remain GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS). By a vote of 5-0 the Narrative Reason shall remain PERSONALITY DISORDER. Date: 20071115 DOCUMENTARY REVIEW, WASHINGTON D.C. Representation: Leominster Dept of Veterans’ Services DISCUSSION Issue 1 (Equity).When the service of a member of the U.S. Marine Corps meets acceptable standards it is appropriate to characterize that service as honorable. A general discharge is warranted when service has been honest and faithful, but significant negative aspects of a member’s conduct or performance of duty outweigh the positive aspects of the member’s military record. The Applicant’s service was marred by 3 nonjudicial punishment proceedings (NJP) for violations of Articles 92, 121 and 134 of the UCMJ. The Applicant implies that his combat service alone outweighs his misconduct; however, it must be noted that most Marines, to include those with combat tours, serve honorably and therefore earn their honorable discharges. In fairness to those Marines, commanders and separation authorities are tasked to ensure that undeserving Marines receive no higher characterization than is due. The NDRB found that the Applicant's service was equitably characterized. Issue 2 (Propriety/Equity). The Board found the Applicant’s claim unsupported by the evidence. Competent medical authority determined that the Applicant had a personality disorder that existed prior to his enlistment. The Board did not challenge the validity of the VA disability determination; however, concluded that this evidence did not disprove or negate the medical diagnosis of personality disorder. Further, the Board noted that 2 of the Applicant’s 3 NJPs occurred prior to his return from Iraq, and the first occurred before even deploying. The Board found no evidence that the Applicant was not responsible for his conduct. In reviewing discharges, the Board presumes regularity in the conduct of Government affairs unless there is substantial credible evidence to rebut the presumption, to include evidence submitted by the Applicant. After a thorough review of the available evidence, to include the Applicant’s Summary of Service, Medical and Service Record Entries, Discharge Process and evidence submitted by the Applicant, the Board found that the discharge was proper and equitable. SUMMARY OF SERVICE Prior Service: Inactive: USMCR (DEP) 20020620 - 20030615 COG Active: NONE Period of Service Under Review: Date of Enlistment: 20030616 Years Contracted: 4; Extension: NONE. Date of Discharge: 20060512 Length of Service: 02 Yrs 10 Mths 27 Dys Lost Time: Days UA: NONE Days Confined: NONE Education Level: 12 Age at Enlistment: 19 AFQT: 91 MOS: 0311 Highest Rank: PRIVATE FIRST CLASS Proficiency/Conduct marks (# of occasions): 4.2/3.9(7) Fitness reports: NOT APPLICABLE Awards and Decorations (per DD 214): CAR, HSM, IRAQ CAMPAIGN MEDAL, SSDR, GWOTSM, NDSM Docket No. MD07-00789 MEDICAL/SERVICE RECORD ENTRIES RELATED TO CHARACTERIZATION OF SERVICE OR BASIS FOR DISCHARGE 20040223: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Complaint of “head problems.” Boxed for 3 years pre-service, about 10 concussions, syncope episode in December while swimming, family noticed changes in speech and mental status. Diagnosis: Normal neurological findings. Recommendation: Consult for head CT; Follow up post lab results; Full duty. (NDRB note: No further information found in record.) 20040416: NJP -- Viol UCMJ Art. 92 – violate order (underage drinking), 20040307; Art 134 – drunk and disorderly, 20040307. Awarded - FOP ($312.00) for (1 months), susp 6 months; Restr (14 days); Extra Duties (14 days). 20040624: Deployed to Iraq. 20040830: FOP awarded and suspended on 20040416 vacated this date due to continued misconduct. 20040907: NJP -- Viol UCMJ Art. 121 – Stole 2 bottles of Rip Fuel supplements from exchange, 20040830. Awarded - FOP ($552.00) for (2 months), 1 month susp 6 months; RIR (E-1). 20050128: Redeployed to CONUS. 20050427: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Lower back pain for 6 months, intermittent pain. Diagnosis: Mechanical lower back pain. Recommendation: SIQ 24 hrs; Take prescribed medications; Light duty 14 days; Follow up 7-14 days. 20050503: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Follow up for lower back pain Diagnosis: Mechanical lower back pain, noncompliant with treatment recommendations. Recommendation: Motrin, Flexeril; Light duty 14 days; Follow up at end of light duty. 20050505: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Examination for government vehicle operator’s permit. Recommendation: Not qualified due to psychological issues. 20050509: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Confinement physical Diagnosis: Lower back injury; mechanical LBP w/radiculopathy, noncompliant with treatment recommendations Recommendation: Fit for confinement, defer to brig. 20050720: NJP -- Viol UCMJ Art. 134 – Made Molotov cocktail (beer bottle, sock and lighter fluid), threw it from barracks balcony where it burned and had to be put out by DNCO, 20050506. Awarded – Restr (10 days); Extra Duties (10 days). 20050802: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Complaint of psychological problems, very anxious, isolated, always angry, does not feel himself, getting into verbal and physical altercations during past week Diagnosis: GAD Recommendation: Appointment with division psychiatrist on Monday. RTC as needed. 20050808: Medical Record: Reason for visit: Appointment w/ Division Psychiatrist, 2d Marine Division, Applicant attributed all of his problems to Iraq and PTSD. Diagnosis: Axis I: No diagnosis. Axis II: Antisocial Personality Disorder, existing prior to enlistment. Not imminently suicidal or homicidal, but posed an immediate danger to himself. Recommendation: Expeditious administrative separation; return Wed for follow-up individual appt; return every Thurs for group therapy; stress management; financial management counseling; psychologically fit for light duty, no weapons, firing range, field firing; psychologically unsuitable for further service. (NDRB note: Entry refers to civilian assault and battery with dangerous weapon. No further information in record.) 2 Docket No. MD07-00789 DISCHARGE PROCESS Date Notified: 20051005 Basis for Discharge: CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO: PERSONALITY DISORDER Least Favorable Characterization: GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS) Commanding Officer’s Intended Recommendation: GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS) Date Applicant Responded to Notification: 20051005 Rights Elected at Notification: Consult with Counsel WAIVED Obtain Copies of Documents ELECTED Submit Statement(s) (date) WAIVED Administrative Board NOT APPLICABLE Commanding Officer Recommendation (date): NOT FOUND IN RECORD (20060303*) *20060425: Commanding Officer, 24th MEU, referred to CO recommendation of 20060303 and endorsed, concurring that Applicant be discharged on the basis of personality disorder with a characterization of service as general (under honorable conditions). Noted that the recommendation had been delayed due to operational commitments and administrative errors, forwarded to MEF SJA on 200600315, returned for inquiry into delay and determination as to whether basis for misconduct existed. SJA review (date): SUFFICIENT IN LAW AND FACT (undated) Separation Authority (date): COMMANDER, II MEF (20060511) Basis for discharge directed: CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT DUE TO: PERSONALITY DISORDER Characterization directed: GENERAL (UNDER HONORABLE CONDITIONS) Date Applicant Discharged: 20060512 TYPES OF DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED BY APPLICANT AND CONSIDERED BY BOARD Related to Military Service: Service and/or Medical Record: Other Records: Related to Post-Service Period: Employment: Finances: Education: Health/Medical Records: Substance Abuse: Criminal Records: Family/Personal Status: Community Service: References: Additional Statements From Applicant: From Representative: Other Documentation (Describe) VA decision letter dtd 20060921; Email between representative and 1stLt T_ PERTINENT REGULATION/LAW A. Marine Corps Separation and Retirement Manual, (MCO P1900.16F), Paragraph 6203, CONVENIENCE OF THE GOVERNMENT, effective 2001 September 01 until 2007 June 06. B. Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5420.174D of 22 December 2004, Naval Discharge Review Board (NDRB) Procedures and Standards, Part II, Para 211, Regularity of Government Affairs, Part V, Para 502, Propriety and Para 503, Equity. 3 Docket No. MD07-00789 ADDENDUM: Information for the Applicant Complaint Procedures: If you believe that the decision in your case is unclear, not responsive to the issues you raised, or does not otherwise comport with the decisional document requirements of DoD Instruction 1332.28, you may submit a complaint in accordance with Enclosure (5) of that Instruction to the Joint Service Review Activity, OUSD (P&R) PI-LP, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000. You should read Enclosure (5) of the Instruction before submitting such a complaint. The complaint procedure does not permit a challenge of the merits of the decision; it is designed solely to ensure that the decisional documents meet applicable requirements for clarity and responsiveness. You may view DoD Instruction 1332.28 and other Decisional Documents by going online at “http://Boards.law.af.mil.” Additional Reviews: Subsequent to a document review, former members are eligible for a personal appearance hearing, provided the application is received at the NDRB within 15 years from the date of discharge. The Applicant can provide documentation to support any claims of post-service accomplishments or any additional evidence related to this discharge. Representation at a personal appearance hearing is recommended but not required. If a former member has been discharged for more than 15 years, has already been granted a personal appearance hearing or has otherwise exhausted his opportunities before the NDRB, the Applicant may petition the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR), 2 Navy Annex, Washington, DC 20370-5100 for further review. Service Benefits: The Veterans Administration determines eligibility for post-service benefits, not the Naval Discharge Review Board. There is no requirement or law that grants recharacterization solely on the issue of obtaining Veterans' benefits and this issue does not serve to provide a foundation upon which the Board can grant relief. Employment/Educational Opportunities: The Board has no authority to upgrade a discharge for the sole purpose of enhancing employment or educational opportunities. Regulations limit the Board’s review to a determination of the propriety and equity of the discharge. Reenlistment/RE-code: Since the NDRB has no jurisdiction over reenlistment, reentry, or reinstatement into the Navy, Marine Corps, or any other of the Armed Forces, the NDRB is not authorized to change a reenlistment code. Only the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) can make changes to reenlistment codes. Additionally, the Board has no authority to upgrade a discharge for the sole purpose of enhancing reenlistment opportunities. An unfavorable “RE” code is, in itself, not a bar to reenlistment. A request for a waiver can be submitted during the processing of a formal application for reenlistment through a recruiter. Medical Conditions and Misconduct: DoD disability regulations do not preclude a disciplinary separation. Appropriate regulations stipulate that separations for misconduct take precedence over potential separations for other reasons. Whenever a member is being processed through the Physical Evaluation Board, and subsequently is processed for an administrative involuntary separation for misconduct, the disability evaluation is suspended. The Physical Evaluation Board case remains in suspense pending the outcome of the non-disability proceedings. If the action includes either a punitive or administrative discharge for misconduct, the medical board report is filed in the member’s terminated health record. Additionally, the NDRB does not have the authority to change a narrative reason for separation to one indicating a medical disability or “PTSD.” Only the Board for Correction of Naval Records can grant this type of narrative reason change. Automatic Upgrades - There is no law or regulation, which provides that an unfavorable discharge may be upgraded based solely on the passage of time or good conduct in civilian life subsequent to leaving Naval service. The NDRB is authorized to consider post- service factors in the recharacterization of a discharge to the extent such matters provide a basis for a more thorough understanding of the Applicant’s performance and conduct during the period of service under review. Examples of documentation that may be provided to the Board include proof of educational pursuits, verifiable employment records, documentation of community service, credible evidence of a substance free lifestyle and certification of non-involvement with civil authorities. Issues Concerning Bad-Conduct Discharges (BCD) – Because relevant and material facts stated in a court-martial specification are presumed by the NDRB to be established facts, issues relating to the Applicant’s innocence of charges for which he was found guilty cannot form a basis for relief. With respect to a discharge adjudged by a court-martial, the action of the NDRB is restricted to upgrades based on clemency. Clemency is an act of leniency that reduces the severity of the punishment imposed. Board Membership: The names and votes of the members of the Board are recorded on the original of this document and may be obtained from the service records by writing to: Secretary of the Navy Council of Review Boards Attn: Naval Discharge Review Board 720 Kennon Street SE Rm 309 Washington Navy Yard DC 20374-5023