1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Getting Kicked Out of the Military - Involuntary Discharges


As I said, one cannot simply quit the military, in most cases. The military services can certainly kick you out, if you fail to measure up to their standards (see Administrative Discharge article ), but that way is usually neither fast, nor is it pleasant. In most cases, the commander must show "rehabilitative measures" before they can impose an involuntary discharge, and that can mean Article 15 (loss of stripes, loss of pay, restrictions, extra duties, correctional custody -- i.e., "jail"), before the commander finally gets fed up and kicks you out.

Failing Weight and Fitness Requirements

This will certainly get you kicked out -- ultimately. The process is neither fast, nor easy. Commanders must first show they tried to rehabilitate you, by entering you into mandatory exercise programs, mandatory diet programs, etc. In any event, it usually takes several months of weight/fitness failures, despite rehabilitation attempts, before the commander finally decides to initiate discharge action. Along the way, you may lose a stripe or two, be made ineligible for promotion and schools, and may even be removed from your normal military duties and reassigned to doing "make work."

Failing Training

Failing in training, such as military job training, or weapons qualification training might result in a discharge. Then again, it might not. You run the risk that your commander may decide to simply reclassify you into a job that any idiot can do. You then get to spend the remainder of your enlistment digging field latrines, or polishing the brass, or painting the bulkhead. ("What did you do in the military, Daddy?" -- "Well, son, I was the best floor-scrubber our Division ever had.")


Going AWOL (Absent Without Leave) might get you kicked out, and it might not. In any event, you run the risk of court-martial or Article 15. See my AWOL and Desertion article. Also, if you are discharged, it will probably be under other than honorable conditions (OTHC), which may impact on future employment, and veteran benefits.


Getting into trouble will likely get you kicked out, sooner or later, but you probably won't like the discharge characterization. Plus, you'll certainly receive Article 15 punishment, along the way, and you run the risk that your commander will even refer you to trial by court-martial for one or more of your misdeeds.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.