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I want to leave the army. How do I do it?

Fort Campbell, KY |
Filed under: Military law

I have been in the military for 161 days now and I want out. I just can't take it anymore.

Attorney Answers 4


There is no easy out. You signed a contract. However, there are several ways a service members' career may be terminated, and most of them are not overly good. A soldier could be punitively discharged, or given an administrative discharge, or medical discharge. Generslly, if a soldier does not complete his contract, he will get a characterization of service less than honorable, unless he is no longer fit for duty, and in that case he will be medically discharged with an honorable characterization. As a rule, the service member cannot shoot his way out of don't try. I suggest you call a military attorney to go over your options. In your case, you have not completed 180 days in the service, so there is a possibility of ELS, but only if your command allows it. If you are able to receive an ELS then you will be discharged without a characterization of service. Call if you would like a free consult, or call any of the other regular commentators on this site. V/r Gerry

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Recommend you have a closed door heart to heart with your command first sgt., your base Chaplain, your company commander and your XO immediately. They have an interest in helping you identify the gaps between what you want and what you are getting, physically, emotionally,and personally. They have access
to the tools, people, and resources to support
you. They have the experience and skill sets to
Help you. Most importantly, you're NOT the first Soldier they have dealt with who is in your exact same situation.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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You should NOT consider going AWOL or similar misconduct as a way out. That might get you out but, from MANY years of practical experience with these cases the consequences can be quite severe.
For example, there is NO automatic upgrade of adverse administrative discharges. Sometimes even senior people lie and tell you there is.
Fort Campbell is a difficult post for a lot of reasons.
But this is one of those times you need to sit back and reflect on your future as well as the present.
Talk to a chaplain or your PS. They can generally talk about how to deal with and overcome the initial stresses of a first assignment.
The Army paid a lot for your training, etc., so they are not going to let you out easy.;; 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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"Ain't no sense in looking down; ain't no discharge on the ground." There is no easy or simple way to simply get out of the military. You have signed a contract and made a committment to serve your country! Most likely, you are facing some challenges right now. This is to be expected. If you wanted an easy or simple life, you would have remained a civilian. If you are not frequently encountering challenges, you are most likely playing it safe, playing small and cheating yourself out of your true potential. If you have the same challenges hitting you over and over again, accept responsibility, be flexible, and take a different approach.

Quick fixes and magic bullets have never worked for anything worthwhile in the long run. Becoming a stronger person or a better soldier is no exception. As a soldier in the Army, you can expect to be tested and challenged regularly. Accept this and get excited when challenges present themselves. They are for your benefit. Use them to catapault yourself to the next level! And remember, a certain amount of pain and uncertainty are absolutely necessary to reaching your true potential.

This probably isn't the answer you were looking for. However, often times in life, there is no neat, legal solution to problems. This is the case here. You're still young and new to the Army. Stay positive and be mentally strong. Once your enlistment is up, you can make an intelligent, emotion free, decision about what's best for your future.

Best of luck to you.

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