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COMDTINST 1000.4A Military Separations (March 2023) Misconduct
- COMDTINST 1000.4A Military Separations (March 2023) Misconduct (2.6 MB)
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1.B Separating Active Duty Enlisted Members
1. Policy. Except as specifically provided here, only Commander (CG PSC) may direct a discharge for misconduct and the type of discharge (under other than honorable, general (under honorable conditions), or honorable) as warranted by the particular circumstances of a given case. (See Section 2B of this Instruction.) Disability evaluation processing will be terminated as described in Section 2.A.5. of this Instruction for members discharged for misconduct. See Section 2.00. of this Instruction when recommending the discharge of a first-term performer for misconduct. Coast Guard members separated pursuant to this Section are subject to recoupment of Advanced Education Costs in accordance with Reference (g).
2. Reasons to Discharge for Misconduct. Commander (CG PSC) may direct discharging a member for misconduct in any of these cases:
a. Civilian or Foreign Conviction. Conviction by foreign or domestic civil authorities or action taken tantamount to a finding of guilty, e.g., adjudication withheld; deferred prosecution; entry in adult/juvenile pretrial intervention programs, or any similar disposition of charges which includes imposition of fines, probation, community service, etc., of any offense which could warrant a punitive discharge if prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Whether a civilian offense could warrant a punitive discharge shall be determined by examining the maximum authorized punishment for the same or the most closely related offense under the UCMJ and the Manual for Courts-Martial (including Rule for Courts-Martial 1003(d)). A member subject to discharge because of conviction by civil court may be processed for discharge even though an appeal of that conviction has been filed or intent to do so has been stated.
b. Pattern of Misconduct. Members may be separated when they have:
- (1) Two or more non-judicial punishments, courts-martial, or civilian convictions or a combination thereof within a 2-year period,
- (2) Three or more unauthorized absences, each is at least three or more days, within a 2-year period,
- (3) Six or more unauthorized absences and the total amount is at least six days, within a 2-year period,
- (4) A pattern of failure to contribute adequate support to dependents (See Reference (i)).
- (5) A pattern of failure to pay just debts, or
- (6) A pattern of shirking.
c. Commission of a Serious Offense. Commission of a serious offense does not require adjudication by non-judicial or judicial proceedings. An acquittal or finding of not guilty at a judicial proceeding or not holding non-judicial punishment proceeding does not prohibit proceedings under this provision. However, the offense must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. Police reports, CGIS reports of investigation, etc. may be used to make the determination that a member committed a serious offense.
- (1) Members may be separated based on commission of a serious military or civilian offense when the maximum penalty for the offense or closely related offense under the UCMJ and Manual for Courts-Martial includes a punitive discharge. The escalator clause of Rule for Courts-Martial 103(d) shall not be used in making this determination.
- (2) Mandatory administrative discharge processing is required for members who engage in drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel. Prior to initiating administrative discharge processing, a commanding officer may submit a memorandum to Commander (CG PSC-EPM-1) with a recommendation that the member should be retained, in spite of evidence that the member engaged in drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, if mitigating circumstances or an exceptional situation warrants consideration for retention. Absent such a request, or if the request is denied, administrative discharge processing will be initiated for:
- (a) Any member who is convicted by foreign or domestic civil authorities, or who had action taken against them equivalent to a finding of guilty, such as adjudication withheld, deferred prosecution, entry into a pretrial intervention program, or any similar disposition of charges which may include fines, probation, or community service, or who is convicted by a court martial, or awarded non-judicial punishment for drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel;
- (b) Any member who refuses to take a breath test to measure blood alcohol concentration by a recognized authority for suspicion of drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel; or
- (c) A situation where the member's commanding officer has made a written finding setting forth the facts of the matter, and that based on a preponderance of the evidence, the member was drunk or impaired while operating a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel in violation of Federal, state, or local law.
d. Alcohol Consumption. Voluntary alcohol consumption is not an excuse for misconduct and does not mitigate the impact of misconduct. This basis for separation, not unsuitability under Section 2.O of this Instruction, will be used for all members receiving an alcohol incident that involve serious misconduct (including, but not limited to: domestic violence; hazing; drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel; or other misconduct that meets the definition of a serious offense in this Section). With the exception of cases involving a second or third alcohol incident, or drunken or impaired operation of a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel, commanding officers have discretion to determine whether or not to initiate administrative discharge processing for commission of a serious offense, after a careful review of the circumstances of the case. However, commanding officers and administrative boards are prohibited from designating unsuitability as the basis for separation if administrative separation processing is required by this Instruction or Reference (h) and the evidence supporting separation includes any misconduct addressed in this Section. Unsuitability will only be designated as the basis for separation in alcohol incident cases involving minor misconduct (including but not limited to: underage drinking that does not involve the commission of a serious offense, and short periods of unauthorized absences of several hours or less).
- (1) Mandatory administrative discharge processing is required for members who commit or attempt to commit an offense under Article 120, UCMJ (Rape and Sexual Assault generally), or Article 120b, UCMJ (Rape or Sexual Assault of a Child). Administrative discharge processing will be initiated for:
- (a) Any enlisted member convicted in Federal or State court of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, incest, or attempts to commit any of those acts, while in the Service or found to have been convicted prior to entry into the Service, will be processed for separation;
- (b) A situation where the member’s commanding officer convenes an administrative separation board or recommends administrative separation based on evidence a member committed or attempted to commit an offense under Article 120, UCMJ (Rape and Sexual Assault generally), or Article 120b (Rape or Sexual Assault of a Child), must be forwarded to Commander (CG PSC) for disposition.
- (2) Drugs.
- (a) Involvement with Drugs. Any member involved in a drug incident or the illegal, wrongful, or improper sale, transfer, manufacture, or introduction onto a military installation of any drug, as defined inChapter 7 of Reference (h), will be processed for separation from the Coast Guard with no higher than a general discharge (under honorable conditions). When the basis for separation is solely due to involvement with drugs, the member is not entitled to an administrative separation board, unless the characterization of service contemplated is Other Than Honorable. When the member has reached eight or more years and characterization of service contemplated is general, the member is not entitled to an administrative separation board, but the separation requires the endorsement of the first flag/SES in the chain-of-command.
- (b) Obstructing drug urinalysis testing by tampering with urine samples or documentation, including someone else’s. Tampering includes, among other actions, submitting another person’s sample in place of the member selected for testing, submitting samples containing substances other than urine, and altering the bar code labels, Urine Sample Custody Document, or unit sample ledger. Members discharged under this provision will be issued no higher than a general discharge. When the basis for separation is solely due to involvement with drug, the member is not entitled to an administrative separation board, unless the characterization of service contemplated is Other Than Honorable. When the member has reached eight or more years and characterization of service is general, the member is not entitled to an administrative separation board, but the separation requires the endorsement of the first flag/SES in the chain-of-command.
e. Fraudulent enlistment. A member may be discharged for procuring a fraudulent enlistment, induction, or period of active service through any material misrepresentation, omission, or concealment which, if known at the time, might have resulted in rejection. The enlistment of a minor with false representation of his or her age or without proper consent will not in itself be considered a fraudulent enlistment.
f. Civilian conviction of sexual misconduct. Enlisted members convicted in Federal or State court of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, incest, or attempts to commit any of those acts, while in the Service or found to have been convicted prior to entry into the Service, will be processed for separation.
g. Involvement in prohibited relationship. (See Reference (i), for policy guidance).
a. Commanding officers must afford a member a reasonable probationary period to overcome deficiencies before initiating administrative discharge action in cases of a pattern of failure to contribute adequate support to dependents (See Reference (i), a pattern of failure to pay just debts, or shirking. If a command contemplates discharging a member for reasons contained in this paragraph, the command shall initiate a formal probation or treatment period of at least six months. Additionally, the command shall make an appropriate Administrative Remarks, Form CG-3307, entry in the member's PDR stating the command will initiate administrative discharge processing unless the member shows significant improvement in overcoming the deficiency during the probationary period.
b. The member must acknowledge the entry in writing. For Reservists who are shirking, a letter via Certified Mail, return receipt requested (Restricted Delivery to addressee only), stating the probationary period has begun may substitute for the Administrative Remarks, Form CG-3307, entry. Commanding officers are authorized to recommend discharge at any time during the probation if the member is not making an effort to overcome the deficiency. Submit copies of all Administrative Remarks, Form CG-3307, entries as an enclosure to the discharge recommendation submitted to Commander (CG PSC-EPM-1).