GI Rights Hotline

Military Discharges and Military Counseling

Call 1-877-447-4487

Documentation for an Other Designated Physical and Mental Conditions Discharge

With some of these conditions, local commands are reluctant to believe that the problem exists and to grant discharge. Medical or psychiatric documentation is vital.

The best documentation for a personality disorder is a current and thorough psychiatric evaluation. While the military will require psychiatric examination by a military psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist, civilians are usually more thorough and more sympathetic than military doctors.

Military commands and psychiatrists may demand to know why a civilian psychiatrist was consulted, even though it is perfectly legal to do so. Members can justify the consultation by explaining how their emotional state frightened them, and it is best to avoid discussing discharge.

You may want to write a cover letter describing your difficulties in performing your duties and what you have tried to do to alleviate the problem. This letter should not be a request for discharge but an outline of the problems you are having.

The GI Rights Hotline may be able to help you find psychiatrists or licensed psychologists who are generally supportive and willing to learn about the military’s criteria and procedures.

It is not helpful to give the psychiatrist a detailed account of how the military has made life miserable for you. Instead, discuss your own feelings and actions, without simply laying blame on the military. It is always best to be open and honest.

While it is important to be honest, do not give a psychiatrist self-incriminating information about illegal activity (drug use or homosexual acts, for example) unless you want such information to be included in the report. There is no patient-doctor confidentiality in the military! Do not stress your desire for discharge but focus on discussing the problems you are experiencing.