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My husband is in DEP for Nuclear Navy. Can he drop out of the Navy without being punished?

Albuquerque, NM |

My husband is currently in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) in the Nuclear Navy program. He is months and months away from going to boot camp. Anyways, he has a chance at a scholarship for college to get his bachelors. He is wanting to drop out of DEP and not go to the Navy afterall. He wants to go to school. Can he legally do this and how?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    Yes. There is a way to do it.

    He must communicate I'm writing with the commanding officer. He should NOT discuss with the recruiter.

    Have him give me a call tomorrow and I can explain the details, I do not charge for that.

    www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Generally, it's been my experience if someone discharges from the DEP there were no long term repercussions - ie he may have to wait a year to enlist before be tries again or he may need a waiver if he wants to enlist later or if he wants a commission later.

    When I was an operations officer at a recruiting station in the Marines - DEP discharges were part of the planning process, ie we expected so many due to the Person not graduating, getting injured, or just refusing to ship.

    Further, if he is a scholarship candidate, the officer selection officer may want to talk to him about the reserves and aster commission.

    I would recommend that be call an experienced military law attorney to discuss all of his options and rights. The recruiters can be pretty insistent.


  3. It’s an all-volunteer service. He cannot be forced to ship to bootcamp. His recruiter will tell him that he signed a mutually binding contract with the government of the United States--that is true enough, but the government will not enforce its contract against a DEPper who refuses to ship.

    I disagree with attorney Cave (an exceedingly rare occurrence) and I believe your husband should notify his recruiter ASAP--Longer lead time means the recruiter will have to scramble less to fill the loss in a Nuke shipper--recruiter will be less ticked-off, and less pressure will be applied to your husband to stay in the program. Recruiter will tell your husband that he has to interview with the Chief Recruiter, maybe the Enlisted Production Officer (EPO), CO or XO of the recruiting district, but that is not the case--he is not required to interview with anyone. Simple notice of termination of the DEP agreement, in writing, and a face-to-face with the recruiter is the way ahead I'd recommend.

    Your husband should keep in mind, that the door to military service will be closed forever- (likely to any service branch) once he repudiates the contract--that goes double for officer programs.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


  4. Technically, he is under contract. In most instances, however, prior to shipping to boot camp the Navy will not enforce it if he communicates with his recruiter. Feel free to give me a call for a free consult. Additional information is available on my website. Best of luck.

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