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What does undesirable discharge from the army mean

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It is dishonorable discharge, and could happen if your a deserter, and if you commit a crime, such as assault, murder, rape, etc...

"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -François-Marie Arouet

It is less than an honorable discharge but, not as bad as a dishonorable discharge.  It is given for lesser infractions of the UCMJ and to those who just can't "get with the program".

God and me..........we be mates!

Discharges from the Armed Forces come under five headings.  They are:

1.  Honorable Discharge.  Adminmistrative discharge with appreciation for "Honest and faithful service."  Honorable Discharge includes re-enlistment, full VA benefits, etc.  One must earn this noblest discharge.  The service is sorry to see you go and you are welcome back any time.  I have an Honorable Discharge from the Marines.  That Discharge is the proudest and noblest thing on my wall.

2.  General Discharge.  Most discharges are Generals.  Includes re-enlistment, full VA benefits, but any slider can get it and no work involved.  Usually awarded for "average" service, not the exemplary service required for Honorable.  No disgrace, but no bragging rights, either.

3.  Undesirable Discharge.  The lowest administrative discharge.  No VA benefits other than education, no re-enlistment, etc.  Usually awarded because the serviceman was a real slob, had significant disciplinary problems, two or more Summary Court Martials, 6-7 "Office Hours" (Commanding Officers' Non-Judicial Punishment), alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual deviancy that a command will not tolerate, or other "Conduct unbecoming to a serviceman."  That is a dishonor that no real man would endure.  I have seen one man who actually rated a UD, get it, then he promptly ended his life.  That is how serious a UD is.

The above are Administrative discharges.  But two more await those who deserve it.

4.  Bad Conduct Discharge.  Awarded by Special Court Martial, punitive, and in many cases accompanies lengthy imprisonment and other severe disciplinary action.  Usual causes are assault and battery, willful insubordination, friendly-fire fatalities where the artilleryman knew better than to fire, etc.  This discharge creates a federal criminal record and nothing will erase it.  It is the surliest dishonor short of the requirement for the man's hide. 

5.  Dishonorable discharge.  Awarded by a General Court Martial for specific misconduct forbidden under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, part of the Manual for Courts-Martial).  DD usually accompaniess life imprisonment without parole or when deserved, the death penalty.   Only the absolute worst get a DD.  And they deserve it.

Now, the weird one: Amnesty Discharge.  This discharge is even lower than DD if you asked me: at least a DD hit someone who actually served, but Amnesty is for those spineless jellyfishes that never so much as served.  A special program cooked up by Jimmy Carter to relieve Vietnam draft dodgers of their crimes.  AD was awarded only to those who cowardly fled their homeland rather than accept their country's call to arms.  Klansman Clinton and "Hanoi" Jane Fonda have that dubious distinction.  I wouldn't wish that off on a broke-down dog, but neither was the dog so immoral as these miserable cowards.

All in all, one's character of service will dictate his discharge.  Folks, that is the measure of your morals.

Even light will bend to do our bidding if we apply force correctly. The lowest servant in Heaven is still in Heaven, whoever rules in hell is still in hell, but they won't rule for long. No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a little child.



Per Shift911 (re: Undesirable Discharge).
It is dishonorable discharge, and could happen if your a deserter, and if you commit a crime, such as assault, murder, rape, etc...
Desertion in the face of battle always rates a General Court Martial and often results in the death penalty.  I had just picked up Corporal, and shipped into country in May 1970, picked up a squad of "newbies" straight out of BITS.  We led ARVN troops into a hot spot, then they heard some lunatic with a tin can, thumping the "advance" to NVA troops.  Then I turned around to find a bunch of ARVN rifles, that had never been fired and only dropped once.  I had to call in an artillery fire mission, and my Marines then pulled back to a good position of concealment and mopped up the NVA.  The end of that hassle is that I only trusted ARVN so far after that.  Such is the character of a deserter that I could cheerfully have handed every last one of those losers over to their CO -- if he had not also deserted the face of battle.
I don't know exactly why, but somehow, I can do without deserters.  If I ever see one of those low-life cowards again, his ass is grass and I just became a lawnmower.

Even light will bend to do our bidding if we apply force correctly. The lowest servant in Heaven is still in Heaven, whoever rules in hell is still in hell, but they won't rule for long. No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a little child.

Basically, there are three levels of discharge for military service: 1) Honorable, 2) Undesirable, and 3) Dishonorable.

Most military personnel get an "Honorable" discharge. One would have to do something quite horrendous to get a "Dishonorable" discharge. Such a discharge makes gaining future employment very difficult.

An "Undesirable" discharge can occur when "Section 8" is invoked. This often involves severe incompetence or psychiatric problems.

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