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I Cannot Tell a Lie

Page 5


What to Do if You're Told to Lie

So, what should you do if your recruiter encourages you to commit a crime by lying? Well, that's up to you. You can listen to the recruiter and take your chances. You can tell him/her "No!" and stick to your guns. You can request or find a different recruiter. Or, you can help stop this unlawful practice by making an official complaint. Understand that making an official complaint may not result in prosecution of the recruiter (it depends upon how much evidence there is), but it will darn sure make sure that the recruiter's supervisors are aware that something wrong might be going on. That's the only way they can correct a problem situation (or a problem recruiter). If you can somehow locate the address or phone number of the recruiter's immediate commander, that's the best place to make your complaint. If not, you can write to the following:

Air Force Inspector General
Air Force Recruiting Service
Randolph AFB, TX 78150

Army Inspector General
U.S. Army Recruiting
Fort Knox, KY 40121

Navy Inspector General
5722 Integrity Dr
Bldg 768
Millington, TN 38054

Marine Corps (East Coast) Commanding General
Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD)
Parris Island, SC 29905

Marine Corps (West Coast) Commanding General
Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD)
San Diego, CA 92140

What if You've Already Lied. Is it too Late?

So, what if you're already in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP)? Is it too late to tell the truth? No! As a rule, the military never prosecutes members in the DEP (I don't know of a single case where anyone in the DEP was ever criminally prosecuted by the military). At best, correcting false information on your enlistment paperwork while in the DEP will result in an angry recruiter and delay in when you can ship out to basic while a waiver is considered. At worse, you will be released from the DEP. Being released from the DEP is not the same as a fraudulent entry discharge. In fact, it's not really a discharge at all, because you receive no discharge characterization (i.e., "honorable," "General," or "Under Other Than Honorable"), and you don't receive a DD Form 214 (Record of Discharge). If you are released from the DEP, you can honestly answer "no" to any employment application that asks if you've ever serviced in the military. Additionally, a discharge from the DEP has absolutely no effect on you if you wish to try and join a different military service (a discharge from the DEP may prevent you from joining the same service from who's DEP you were released from, however). Once you take that final oath and go on active duty, however, it's a completely different story.

If you're in the DEP, and you've lied or withheld required information on your enlistment paperwork, it's YOUR responsibility to have it corrected. It's YOUR signature on the forms certifying that the information you've provided is correct and complete. You start with your recruiter. You INSIST that your paperwork be corrected, and you INSIST that you be shown proof of the correction. Tell your recruiter that you will absolutely tell the truth at MEPS on your final shipping day (before you take the active duty oath), even if it means disqualification. If your recruiter tries to talk you out of it, don't listen! It's your life, and it's YOU who will suffer the consequences if your false statements are later discovered. If your recruiter absolutely refuses to help you correct the paperwork, inform them politely, but firmly, that if you do not receive assistance, you plan to report them for a violation of Article 84 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. You can report them using one of the addresses above, or report them directly to Service Laison at MEPS.

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