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Can an administrative separation hurt me in any way?

The quick and unambiguous answer to the above-posed headline question is that, yes, an administrative separation from the military can be accompanied by myriad adverse consequences for a servicemember.

Indeed, a media primer on administrative separation and its potential repercussions states that, when a military member is targeted pursuant to this process, it "can be a big deal."

Here are just a couple reasons why that might be the case.

First, all the military benefits that a soldier, sailor, airman or marine might otherwise be entitled to following military discharge can be forfeited if military service is ultimately punctuated by an administrative discharge. In a given case, those might include educational benefits and home-loan assistance.

And, second, discharged members typically cannot reenlist in any branch of the service. It is patently apparent how devastating that be for any servicemember who has invested many years of his or her life in a military career, with expectations of honorably retiring at some point.

Administrative separation might best be understood in contrast to a punitive discharge, which is sometimes preceded by criminal charges and a court-martial proceeding. The results of that can include an incarceration period and a dishonorable discharge.

Administrative separation, conversely, is marked by the military's attempt to involuntarily cashier a member out of the armed services, usually for some disciplinary-related reason.

An individual targeted under the process will be notified of the reason the military is proceeding and the recommended discharge recommendation (e.g., Honorable, General or Other than Honorable).

Again, those classifications can carry weighty consequences. As noted in the above media overview, any servicemember targeted for administrative separation might reasonably want to secure the services of a proven military defense attorney.

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