Members of the naval service may be separated
administratively for many reasons. Some separations are
characterized and some are not. We will discuss the different
types of characterized and uncharacterized separations.
Any member being separated, except those
separated for immediate reenlistment, must be advised
of the purpose and authority of the Naval Discharge
Review Board (NDRB) and the Board for Correction of
Naval Records (BCNR) at the time of processing for
such a separation.
Separations are characterized as honorable, general
(under honorable conditions), or under other than
honorable (OTH) conditions.
HONORABLE. An honorable separation is with
honor. The quality of the members service has met the
standards of acceptable conduct and performance of
duty or is otherwise so meritorious that any other
characteization would be clearly inappropriate.
An honorable separation requires a minimum final
average for the current enlistment in performance and
conduct marks of 2.8 and a minimum average in
personal behavior of 3.0.
A member who would be eligible for a
charactrization of service as general may receive an
honorable discharge if he or she was awarded certain
personal decorations. These personal decorations could
be, for example, the Medal of Honor, Navy
Commendation, or Navy Achievement Medal.
CONDITIONS). The general characterization is
proper when service has been honest and faithful.
However, significant negative aspects of the members
conduct or performance of duty outweigh the positive
aspects. A characterization of separation as general is
under honorable conditions and entitles the member to
all veterans benefits. A member would be eligible for
a characterization of separation as general if the
members final average for performance and conduct
marks fall below 2.8 and below 3.0 in personal behavior.
UNDER OTHER THAN HONORABLE
CONDITIONS. A characterization of OTH is
appropriate when the reason for separation is based upon
a pattern of adverse behavior or one or more acts that
arc a significant departure from the conduct expected
from members of the naval service.
Persons who receive an OTH discharge are not
entitled to retain their uniforms or wear them home.
However, they may be furnished civilian clothing at a
cost of not more than $50. They must accept
transportation in kind to their home of record. They are
not eligible for notice of discharge to employers.
The Department of Veterans Affairs makes its own
determination with respect to the benefits as to whether
the discharge was under conditions other than
These types of separations are separations that, due
to the short duration of service, are uncharacterized.
ENTRY LEVEL SEPARATION. A member in
an entry level status (first 180 days of a period of
continuous active military service) will ordinarily be
separated with an entry level separation (ELS). The
exceptions to this are (1) when characterization under
OTH conditions is authorized under the reason for
separation and is warranted by the circumstances of the
case and (2) when characterization as honorable is
clearly warranted by the presence of unusual
circumstances involving personal conduct and
performance of duty.
These types of cases must be
approved by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV).
VOID ENLISTMENT OR INDUCTION. A
member whose enlistment or induction is void will not
receive a discharge certificate, characterization of
service, or an ELS. The separation will be an order of
release from custody and control of the Navy. Reasons
supporting a void enlistment include the following:
. Enlistment without the voluntary consent of a
person who has the capacity to understand the
significance of enlisting. This may include enlistment
of a person who was intoxicated or insane at the time of
It may also include a person who was
coerced into enlisting by being presented with the option
of enlisting or going to jail.
l Person under the age of 17.
. Deserter from another service.
BASES FOR SEPARATING ENLISTED
This section lists the types of separations available
for the particular bases of separation, the applicable
procedures, including counseling where required, and
defines these bases in general terms. Figure 9-1 shows