My 18 yr old son feels he made a big mistake. Is it possible for him to get discharged?
Getting out from an enlistment contract is difficult, and there are very few, restricted circumstances where you can leave the service early.
Can you provide more information about your son's thoughts?
If he is merely in boot camp or post-boot camp and doesn't like the Marine Corps, he's probably not going to have to be able to leave his contract early.
Also, I'd be remiss if I was not to raise the, seemingly, obvious point: it would not be good for your son to decide that he doesn't like the USMC anymore and to just come home without leave or come home on leave and not go back as scheduled. This situation, the commonly-known AWOL or Unauthorized Absence, will trigger a number of disciplinary, administrative, and/ or criminal actions against him.
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Employment / Labor Attorney
He should speak with a military law attorney to see if he has grounds for a discharge. Making a mistake, however, is not going to be enough. He can try the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, which has staff in San Diego.
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It depends on where he is in the process. If he has already reported, there are very few if any options available. If he has only signed up, but not reported, there are other options.
Assuming he is out of bootcamp, there isn't much he can do that would not affect him for years to come. The contract he signed is a legally binding contract--you can imagine the government is not very flexible when its asked to allow a contract to be broken- it doesn't have to be flexible, so it's not.
Your son should speak with his immediate NCO, chaplain, Company Commander, ASAP.
If in bootcamp he can quit simply by telling the drill instructor he wants to quit.
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Military Law Attorney
I need more facts in order to provide you with a good answer. I was previously stationed at Parris Island, and worked on the Drill Field, so I have some experience with these kind of cases. Please feel free to call and discuss. The initial consultation is free.