How Bad Is an Other Than Honorable Discharge on Your Record?

Question by mrskerlin: How bad is an other than honorable discharge on your record?
My stepson is getting kicked out of the Army with an other than honorable – the reason of drug abuse. Will he have a hard time getting a career type job when he grows up and shakes some of his past bad habits?

Best answer:

Answer by laughter_every_day
It will make it more difficult, but not impossible. Government jobs especially will be hard to come by. Other employers vary widely. Of course self-employment is wide open.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!



6/12/10: Governor Quinn Signs Law To Help Veterans with Addiction, Mental Health Disorders – CHICAGO — June 12, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that creates the Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act. The new law allows counties throughout Illinois to create special judicial courts for Veterans who may have mental health or substance abuse disorders. “Many of our brave servicemembers come home suffering from the effects of war, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries, substance abuse and other service-related disabilities,” said Governor Quinn. “This law will help us take better care of our Veterans who need treatment, not jail.” House Bill 5214, sponsored by Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake), allows the chief judge of each judicial circuit in Illinois to create a Veteran and Servicemembers Court Program (VSCP) for military Veterans charged with nonviolent crimes. Veterans who receive approval for enrollment in the VSCP will receive mental health and substance abuse screenings, and must submit to treatment. Upon successful completion of the program, the original charge(s) may be dismissed. “This is groundbreaking legislation that allows qualifying veterans the opportunity to pay their debt to society while also receiving much-needed treatment for service-related disabilities,” said Dan Grant, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “It is a proven and successful method of restoring mind, body and spirit to a veteran in need.” The VSCP models other


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9 Responses to How Bad Is an Other Than Honorable Discharge on Your Record?

  • Chris says:

    If he wants to get a job at a place that does background checks or a job with the government, he can forget about it. Jobs that do not do background or do not care, he will still get hired by them. Places like McDonald’s, gas station, or ditch diggers will all be fine places to look for new work.

  • engineer50 says:

    It ain’t good.

  • MrOrph says:

    A OTH is the most severe form of administrative discharge. This type of discharge represents a serious departure from the conduct and performance expected of all military members. OTH discharges are typically given to servicemembers convicted by a civilian court in which a sentence of confinement has been adjudged or in which the conduct leading to the conviction brings discredit upon the service. UOTHC discharges can be accepted in-lieu of court-martial proceedings at the service-member’s request. Persons facing OTH are guaranteed, by the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the right to have their discharge heard by an administrative discharge board, which is similar to a court-martial but is not a public forum.

    Recipients of OTH discharges are barred from reenlisting into any component of the Armed Forces (including the reserves), and are normally barred from joining the Army and Air National Guard, except under rare circumstances which require exception-to-policy waivers. As of September 2006, all 50 states had policies barring the reenlistment of UOTHC discharge recipients.

    In addition, the majority of veterans’ benefits are not available to individuals who receive an under other than honorable conditions discharge, including the Montgomery GI Bill and (in most cases) VA healthcare benefits.

    The main problem will be applying for a job. That type of discharge will need explanation. He can leave off his military service, but:
    a. If the employer ever found out (and it’s pretty easy) it may be duragtorily viewed as deception
    b. Prospective employer may winder where has he been all that time.
    c. Any background check, even the slightest, will reveal his service.

    You can apply for an upgrade to the discharge:
    Once discharge is finalized, General, Entry-Level/Uncharacterized, and Under Other Than Honorable Conditions (UOTHC or OTH) discharges may be appealed for upgrade through the Discharge Review Board of the respective service, however, the appeal must be filed within 15 years of the date of separation, and it must be shown that the characterization of service was the result of an error or injustice.

  • spartacusamerican says:

    An OTH isn’t good …. but it isn’t the end of the world. A JAG officer spoke to us about this but I can tell you it won’t look good on a resume, like if he wants to be a cop or something, but it won’t ruin him forever like a dishonorable discharge would.

    OTH is like a general discharge. Not good, not bad, and something that would most likely barr him from future military service.

    Tell him to keep his mouth shut about the military and never show a DD-214 when it comes to seeking a job.

  • MadMaxx says:

    How proud he must be of that! Put it this way… I would never tell anyone I received that type of discharge… he has one heck of a future planned eh?

    I doubt that many employers will care by the time he gets his wired together. In the old days, that would have been a dishonorable which is definately bad thing. He can kiss any type of federal employment goodbye.

  • amielemign says:

    I wanted to? thank you for this great video

  • Kenda Gammell says:

    Everyone should get? help not just the VET’s they knew it was not a Rock-paper-scissors kind of war. Why should Vet get any better treatment?

  • Richard Howard says:


  • casterTroy1941 says:

    Congratulations Governor Quinn on your victory-which is also a victory? for our good state. Thank you for everything you have done for the military, the veterans, and our families. You will always be a Illinois State Hero in my book.

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