Before you separate from the military, you can expect to receive proof of your service in the form of a DD214. The DD214 is issued by The Department of Defense to every veteran; your record will include important information, including your discharge status: Honorable, General Other Than Honorable (GOTH), Other Than Honorable (OTH), Dishonorable, or Bad Conduct. Zero8Hundred services are available to all veterans, no matter your discharge status.
What is an Honorable Discharge?
An Honorable Discharge is the top-most ranking a service member can receive upon leaving the military. This status indicates you have faithfully and patriotically performed your duties, and conducted yourself in a manner of benefit to your branch.
What is a General Other Than Honorable Discharge?
A General Discharge means that you have performed some or most of your duties in a exemplary fashion; however, there may have been an incident of misconduct, or perhaps a failure to adapt to a particular environment or group. A General Discharge is not necessarily bad in that it does not have a stigma associated with it, and veterans may still be able to reenlist, however, they should confer with a Peer Navigator to gain more clarification.
What is an Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge?
It’s important to remember that if you are seeking transitional assistance with an OTH standing, you are still wholly eligible to enroll at Zero8Hundred. An Other Than Honorable discharge indicates a number of offenses occurred during your tenure with the military. These offenses typically include incidents of drug use or possession, harassment or assault, and problems with authority. Military reenlistment is not common, though also not impossible with an OTH discharge status.
What is a Dishonorable Discharge?
A Dishonorable Discharge is the harshest discharge status a military service member can receive, as it is given via court-martial and not by military administration. Service members who receive this standing are accused of felonies involving homicide, fraud, desertion, and crimes that would put any person, service member or not, in hot water. If you receive a Dishonorable Discharge, it is not possible to reenlist with the military. However, those with Dishonorable Discharges can still enroll at Zero8Hundred to find resources that are willing to assist you with your transition.
Are Military Records Public?
Military personnel records (DD214’s) are only made public exactly 62 years from the date of your military separation. This information used to be publicly accessible up until 2004, when The United States implemented The Privacy Act to protect civilians and military personnel alike. In order to receive someone’s military record prior to this date, they would either need to be the next-of-kin, and would also have to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Next of kin includes:
A survived, unmarried military spouse
Father or Mother
Son or Daughter
Brother or Sister
Veterans themselves can also order a copy of their DD214 Form from the National Archives upon submission of a copying fee.
To gain more closure about the opportunities available for service members with different discharge statuses, enroll at Zero8Hundred to speak confidentially with one of our trained Peer Navigators.