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REASONS FOR INVOLUNTARY SEPARATION
Section 5H- Misconduct
5.47. Types of Misconduct. Airmen are subject to discharge when there is evidence of one or more of the acts or patterns of misconduct described in this section ... . If this requirement is met, the entire military record may be considered in deciding whether the member should be discharged or retained.
5.47.1. For information about patterns of conduct that make an airman subject to discharge, see paragraphs 5.49. and 5.50. Airmen in entry level status will not be discharged under paragraph 5.49. If a pattern of minor disciplinary infractions warrants the discharge of an airman in entry level status, process the case under Section 5D.
5.47.2. One serious military or civilian offense may be a basis for discharge for misconduct. A basis for discharge exists if the MCM authorizes a punitive discharge for the offense or a closely related one. Commanders must look closely at the specific circumstances of the offense and the guidance in paragraph 6.1. to decide whether discharge processing is warranted. For more information about specific offenses that are a basis for discharge, see paragraphs 5.52. and 5.54.
Comments: "MCM" is the Manual for Courts Martial.
5.47.3. Conviction by civil authorities is a basis for discharge under some conditions. To find whether the action by a court makes the member subject to discharge for misconduct, see paragraph 5.51.
5.47.4. Misconduct involving homosexual conduct must be processed under Section 5G.
5.47.5. Misconduct involving fraudulent entry must be considered under Section 5C.
5.47.6. Misconduct involving drug abuse must be processed under paragraph 5.54.
5.47.7. Do not start discharge processing for a pattern of misconduct, paragraph 5.49. or 5.50., until the member has been counseled about the deficiencies and given a chance to overcome them. Comply with the requirements of paragraph 5.2. If the sole reason for discharge is one serious offense or a civil court conviction, the counseling and rehabilitation requirements are not applicable.
5.48. Type of Separation:
5.48.1. Refer to Chapter 1, Section 1B, for guidelines for characterizing service. Usually, discharges under paragraphs 5.50., 5.51., 5.52., and 5.54. should be under other than honorable conditions.
5.48.3. If discharge under other than honorable conditions does not appear to be warranted under those guidelines:
22.214.171.124. The separation of an airman in entry level status will be described as an entry level separation.
126.96.36.199. The separation of an airman who has completed entry level status may be characterized as under honorable conditions (general).
5.48.4. The service of a member discharged under this section may be characterized as honorable only if:
188.8.131.52. The member has completed entry level status.
184.108.40.206. The member's record has been so meritorious that any other characterization would be clearly inappropriate; and
220.127.116.11. The GCM authority approves the service characterization.
Comments: "GCM" is General Court-Martial.
5.49. Minor Disciplinary Infractions. A pattern of misconduct consisting solely of these infractions in the current enlistment makes an airman subject to discharge. The infractions under this section may involve failure to comply with nonpunitive regulations or minor offenses under the UCMJ. Infractions of this type result, as a rule, in informal (reduced to writing) or formal counselings, letters of reprimand, or Article 15 nonjudicial punishments. Do not discharge airmen in entry level status under this provision. Process the action under Section 5D if an airman in entry level status should be discharged based on minor disciplinary infractions.
5.50. A Pattern of Misconduct. A pattern of misconduct in the current enlistment consisting wholly or in part of misconduct more serious than that considered under paragraph 5.49. makes an airman subject to discharge. The specific pattern or patterns of misconduct should be cited in the separation case. See Chapter 6, Section 6H, when more than one reason identified below is used. The pattern may consist of:
5.50.1. Discreditable Involvement With Military or Civil Authorities. Acts for which the member was or might have been punished under the UCMJ may be part of the pattern. The lack of UCMJ jurisdiction over the offense is irrelevant. Civil offenses that in and of themselves are not a basis for discharge under paragraph 5.51. may be cited to show the pattern of misconduct.
5.50.2. Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline. This includes conduct of a nature that tends to disrupt order, discipline, or morale within the military community. This category of misconduct usually involves causing dissent, disruption, and degradation of mission effectiveness. It also includes conduct of a nature that tends to bring discredit on the Air Force in the view of the civilian community.
5.50.3. Failure To Support Dependents.
5.50.4. Dishonorable Failure To Pay Just Debts.
5.51. Civilian Conviction:
5.51.1. Airmen are subject to discharge for misconduct based on conviction by civilian authorities or action tantamount to a finding of guilty, including similar adjudications in juvenile proceedings, when:
18.104.22.168. A punitive discharge would be authorized for the same or a closely related offense under the MCM; or
22.214.171.124. The sentence by civilian authorities includes confinement for 6 months or more without regard to suspension or probation.
5.51.2. Action tantamount to a finding of guilty may occur where, notwithstanding the absence of a specific finding of guilty, the court proceeds in a manner that is inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis other than an assumed guilt of misconduct.
126.96.36.199. The most common example of this exists where, under statutory authority, a court or other agency of the judicial or legal system (to include a state or county prosecuting attorney in some instances) without a specific finding of guilty, and with the consent of the individual, proceeds to subject the individual to some form of deprivation or restraint of the person's theretofore unfettered liberty for a period of time as a condition to some ultimate official act of grace, forgiveness, or dismissal of charges; for example, successful probation in return for a clean record.
5.52. Commission of a Serious Offense. Airmen are subject to discharge for misconduct based on the commission of a serious offense if a punitive discharge would be authorized for the same or a closely related offense under the MCM. Discharge processing should be initiated if the specific circumstances of the offense warrant separation.
5.52.1. Sexual Perversion. Airmen are subject to discharge for misconduct based on acts of sexual perversion including, but not limited to, those listed below. NOTE: Sexual perversion cases involving homosexual conduct will not be brought under this paragraph. (See Section 6G).
188.8.131.52. One or more lewd and lascivious acts.
184.108.40.206. One or more indecent acts with or assault upon a child under the age of 16.
220.127.116.11. One or more other indecent acts or offenses.
5.52.2. Prolonged Unauthorized Absence. Airmen may be discharged for misconduct based on unauthorized absence continuing for 1 year or more. When a member who has been absent for 1 year or more returns to military control, the GCM authority decides whether the member will be tried by court-martial. If trial for the unauthorized absence is barred, or is considered inadvisable, the airman may be processed for administrative discharge. Discharge processing takes place at the base where the member returns to military control. Airmen who do not return to military control may not be processed for discharge for unauthorized absence without the approval of HQ AFMPC/DPMARS2. Refer to Chapter 6, Section 6I, for more information.
5.52.3. Other Serious Offenses. If the offense that makes the member subject to discharge under this paragraph is not covered in paragraph 5.52.1. or 5.52.2., cite this paragraph as the basis of the action.
5.53. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). An airman with seriologic evidence of HIV infection may be discharged when he or she is found not to have complied with lawfully ordered preventive medicine procedures.
5.54. Drug Abuse. Drug abuse is incompatible with military service and airmen who abuse drugs one or more times are subject to discharge for misconduct.
5.54.1. Drug abuse for purposes of this regulation is the illegal, wrongful, or improper use, possession, sale, transfer, or introduction onto a military installation of any drug. This includes improper use of prescription medication. The term drug includes any controlled substance in schedules I, II, III, IV, and V of Title 21 U.S.C., Section 812. It also includes anabolic/androgenic steroids, and any intoxicating substance, other than alcohol, that is inhaled, injected, consumed, or introduced into the body in any manner for purposes of altering mood or function.
5.54.3. Evidence obtained through urinalysis or evidence furnished by the member in connection with initial entry in rehabilitation and treatment may be used to establish a basis for discharge. For limits on using such evidence in characterizing service, see paragraph 1.21.
5.55.2. Retention Criteria and Consideration.
18.104.22.168. A member found to have abused drugs will be discharged unless the member meets all seven of the following criteria:
22.214.171.124.1. Drug abuse is a departure from the member's usual and customary behavior.
126.96.36.199.2. Drug abuse occurred as the result of drug experimentation (a drug experimenter is defined as one who has illegally or improperly used a drug for reasons of curiosity, peer pressure, or other similar reasons).
188.8.131.52.3. Drug abuse does not involve recurring incidents, other than drug experimentation as defined above.
184.108.40.206.4. The member does not desire to engage in or intend to engage in drug abuse in the future
220.127.116.11.5. Drug abuse under all the circumstances is not likely to recur.
18.104.22.168.6. Under the particular circumstances of the case, the member's continued presence in the Air Force is consistent with the interest of the Air Force in maintaining proper discipline, good order, leadership, and morale (Noncommissioned officers have special responsibilities by virtue of their status; fulfill an integral role in maintaining discipline; and, therefore, must exhibit high standards of personal integrity, loyalty, dedication, devotion to duty and leadership).
22.214.171.124.7. Drug abuse did not involve drug distribution. For the purpose of this paragraph, drug distribution means the delivery to the possession of another. Distribution does not occur with the transfer of the drugs from one person to another while such persons are engaged in the mutual use of drugs, except that individuals who obtain, or arrange for obtaining, the drugs used by others are involved in distribution. "Delivery" means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of the drugs, whether or not there exists an agency relationship.
126.96.36.199. The burden of proving that retention is warranted under these limited circumstances rests with the member. Findings regarding the existence of each of the limited circumstances warranting a member's retention are required of the board or the separation authority only if:
188.8.131.52.1. The member clearly and specifically raises such limited circumstances.
184.108.40.206.2. The board, or in the absence of a board, the separation authority relies upon such circumstances to justify the member's retention.