The acronym "AWOL" stands for absent without leave. It is a well-known term for military personnel and involves some serious penalties for those who are found guilty of committing it. This blog will cover some of the ways that a service member may be considered AWOL; this post's contents, though, are not comprehensive. Please consult with a military law attorney if you have questions about a specific case.
As with any other job, a military career requires a Virginia resident to show up and do their work when they are told to do so. When a civilian fails to report to work, their employer may allow them some leeway and an opportunity to explain why they failed to report for their shift. In the military, though, a service member can be significantly sanctioned if they fail to report for duty.
The strict hierarchy of the United States military has long been touted as one of the greatest assets of the nation's defense system. The structure in which power is passed up the chain of command and through which orders are set down ensures that individuals know where they stand with regard to what is expected of them and to whom they are accountable. Respect is a key component of making this system work and, recently, a high-ranking commander was reprimanded for conduct that some believe was highly unprofessional.
Last month, this blog discussed the process of seeking a discharge upgrade. Put simply, a discharge upgrade improves the character of a veteran's discharge and, therefore, increases their capacity to obtain veterans' benefits by virtue of their years of military service. Discharge upgrades can be vitally important to the futures of military personnel, as many of the benefits they should enjoy require them to have discharge statuses other than dishonorable.
A Virginia service member who allegedly commits a felony may be subject to criminal conviction as well as court-martial procedures from their branch of the military. A court-martial is a serious process through which a service member may be dishonorably discharged from their branch of service and may, in the future, be denied access to veterans' benefits that they otherwise could have received but for the circumstances of their release from service.
Men and women who commit their lives to service in the United States military often are eligible for benefits after their periods of service end. Whether they may receive those benefits, though, can depend upon the manner in which they were discharged from their branches of service. This post will generally discuss military discharges, what those different discharges can mean for Fairfax residents, and what a person can do to improve their discharge status.