1. #1
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    Default Military Article 15

    hey all,

    i am officer in the army and will be getting out of the military in the next couple of months. i recently (last summer) got an article 15 for fraternization. It was a gigantic mistake and something that I deeply regret. I will be getting out of the army in the next few months to pursue my life long dream of becoming a FF. Up until the Article 15, I have had a stellar Army career and unfortunately is the only blemish on my record. I have worked hard on preparing to become a FF (EMT, FF 1 and 2, Fire Science degree, staying fit, studying for written and oral boards). I am not getting kicked out of the Army ( I am getting out because my commitment is up) I will be getting an honorable discharge from the Army. Is an Article 15 something that is found out on a background check? If so, what impact will that have on my chances of getting a FF job? Is it something I should volunteer up front? Former military guys: What military records are dug up on a background check? Any help/info/advice you guys can send my way is appreciated.

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    An Article 15 is the military equivalent of a misdemeanor. It is titled non-judicial punishment. It would depend upon the local jurisdiction as to the depth of the background investigation and if misdemeanors are looked at.

    Your case would not have been an offense in the civilian community so I would hope that it would not be considered. You may have to explain what fraternization is because of it being a UCMJ Article.

    Note to those who are wondering: Fraternization is the “dating” between military members where one is a commissioned officer and the other is an enlisted member. The charges are normally levied against the officer. The closest civilian equivalent would be a manager dating a subordinate.

    I am retired military and also served some time as a First Sergeant. Unfortunately I had to deal with several of these situations.

    The Article 15 should not be a roadblock. Good luck on your future career.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

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    No worries, many of us have been called on the carpet, captain's mast, or what ever, including me. It was never an issue during the background or physic eval.
    On add: I don't beleive it was ever found on the background. I was able to maintain a decent clearance level and I think that is all the further they went.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 12-06-2006 at 10:22 AM. Reason: added comment
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Will it turn up on the background? Depends on how intensive they are, or
    if someone contacts them and tells them.

    Your best bet is to be HONEST AND UPFRONT about it. If you are, I can't imagine anyone would have an issue with it. If you give them a reason to believe that you MAY have tried to hide it, then you are screwed....

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum
    It was never an issue during the background or physic eval.
    Who did yours? Mistress Cloe? Sorry, couldn't let that one go by.

    Now the issue at hand: Yes, be honest and upfront about it. It WILL come up. (No pun intended there.)

    On most if not all background paperwork to be filled out, there will be a section asking about any Non-Judicial Punishment. If you don't reveal it and WHEN the investigator finds out about it, you will be out.

    You have the Honorable Discharge lined up, so that says a lot about you as well, sir.

    Good luck,
    bam

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    I did disclose it, and it was in my background packet, but like I said, it was never an issue. They didn't bring it up and I sure wasn't going to volunteer any info!
    I agree with bam, it's the Honorable Discharge that's important. Now if you where being discharged with an OTH or big chicken diner, then you may have a little tougher row to hoe...
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdffwannabe
    hey all,

    i am officer in the army and will be getting out of the military in the next couple of months. i recently (last summer) got an article 15 for fraternization. It was a gigantic mistake and something that I deeply regret. I will be getting out of the army in the next few months to pursue my life long dream of becoming a FF. Up until the Article 15, I have had a stellar Army career and unfortunately is the only blemish on my record. I have worked hard on preparing to become a FF (EMT, FF 1 and 2, Fire Science degree, staying fit, studying for written and oral boards). I am not getting kicked out of the Army ( I am getting out because my commitment is up) I will be getting an honorable discharge from the Army. Is an Article 15 something that is found out on a background check? If so, what impact will that have on my chances of getting a FF job? Is it something I should volunteer up front? Former military guys: What military records are dug up on a background check? Any help/info/advice you guys can send my way is appreciated.
    Red flags:
    College-educated, Commissioned Officers of the Armed Forces don't write like this.
    Army is capitalized. Any Soldier knows this.
    Honorable Discharge... not many enlisteds know this, but Officers are not given discharges. They simply slip away into the active or inactive Reserve, or resign their commissions.

    I call BS 6 ways from Sunday.

    I was a Moderator on Military.com for more than a year... I've had plenty of interactions with Officers and NCOs from all services, and believe me--this post (and poster) has none of the characteristics of any real Officer or NCO I've met or served with.

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    1141man: Judges ruling- Good Call.
    Lets see if they come back and dispute the ruling.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    1141man:

    Does being a moderator on a military bulletin board make you an expert on all things military? Guess what, I am an Officer in the USAF and there are Honorable, Dis-Honorable, etc discharges for Officers. How do I know this? Because I just got an honorable discharge. And, who cares if things are capitalized or mis-spelled? This is a freakin bulletin board, not a spelling and grammatical contest. One of the most experience and well respected contributors to this board (Capt Bob) mis-spells all the time. You gonna give him crap too? Go **** up a rope.


    FFwannabe: Bottom line, be honest about it. Your issue shouldn't be an issue, as long as you are truthful. I know a couple of guys (officers) who have screwed their military careers due to Article 15s but have gone on to have very successful civilian careers. Military and civilian law are two different things, you wouldn't get punished for something like this in the civilian world so it shouldn't be a big factor. Good luck.

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    Thanks to the guys who provided helpful information. Like I said, the Army has been good to me, but my dream is to be a fire fighter. All I wanted to know is how much that issue would get in the way. Thanks again.

    For the doubters, come have a cold beer with me sometime and I'll show you 3 different dog tags from 3 different troops of mine who died in Iraq defending freedom so you can run your mouth off.

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    Default Easy!!

    B52...Calm down. Its easy for someone to sit back and throw mud at some one from afar. You know what you did and have done. We are (most of us) are here to help not disparage someone's service. I'm a product of L.A. City schooling and English wasn't my best subject either. So what....lets move on and try to help not hender here. I'm in for the cold beer and trade some stories. I too have six very good friends that are on "The Wall" and would love to tell you about them.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
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    Well we have a disputed ruling. Not ever having been an officer in the military, I don't know what an officers final discharge is. But he came here, made the point and I will take that on face value and believe him. That aside, as I said before, the Honorable Discharge is what seals the deal for me, welcome Brother and good luck.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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    hey, i'm not the one doubting the guy's service, just trying to help out. i get a little amped up when the spelling and grammatical police start squaking. who cares right?

    I second what SPFD said (man the vikes suck don't they? Fellow Minnie boy here), the guy is getting an Honorable and as long as he is up front about what happened he should be alright. I wouldn't take too much advice from me though, I haven't been hired by anyone yet, but honesty is always the best policy. Former military guys, who have been hired can provied a lot more insight. Like BCLepore said in the post about the misdemeanor; people make mistakes. Be a man about it, admit it, recover and overcome. Like I said though, I'm just a FNG, so listen to the OFGs, especially former military OFGs for ultimate guidance.

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    From my experience, getting a NJP shouldn't be too much of a hinderance. Most entities can't get into someone's military records. I liked my first article 15 so much I went back and got another! I still got out with an honorable discharge though, and all I have ever had to show was a copy of my DD214 to prove it and get veterans points. I still was able to maintain my security clearance as well. If asked, I would bring it up. If you aren't asked, I wouldn't say anything more about it. As was mentioned before, civilian law is a much different animal than military law where one can get punished for a multitude of things that would never be imagined by a "normal" civilian. So, I would carry on and not worry too much about it.

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    I recently got out of the Air Force and was an agent with the office of Special Investigations and used to run backround checks. I'm here to tell you that an Article 15 is nothing in the civilian sector. CC's and First shirts hype the things up to way more then they really are. I know of a few that never even made it to the persons permanent military record. Bottom line is that it's all up to who is running the backround, how deep they wanna dig, if they can even get access to your military record, and if they know anything about the military. I'm with everyone else on this one and say the only thing that matters is your Honorable discharge. Good luck and most importantly, stay safe!!!!!

    HOPE I SPELLED EVERYTHING RIGHT!!!!!

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    You inferred that you spent time in Iraq. Please contact your nearest Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and enroll for medical care. Be sure to request the Persian Gulf exam.

    You will meet the enrollment requirements because of service in a combat zone. The Persian Gulf exam establishes a baseline for future reference. This will be helpful in case you decide to apply for a service connected disability later on or medical conditions are identified as being caused by service in that location.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

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    My aren't we all a little defensive...

    B52: Well, I grew up the son of a career squid, and am currently an NCO in the CA NG. I know a couple things about the military as such, and learned a whole lot more about the other services during my stint at military.com...I frequented all the various service boards and interacted with members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and our allied foreign services as well, since I was the overnight "Mod-at-Large" so to speak. The site more than occasionally got its fair share of poseurs, especially those guys who claimed they were Green Berets, but their MOS was 11B (hint: SF MOSs all begin with "18"). *LOL*
    Mods were expected to catch such discrepancies in people's statements and profiles, and give posers the boot... having had some investigatory training courtesy of CA POST and college CJ courses, I was damn good at what I did.
    Further, we were expected to be knowledgeable in our particular areas (mine was Guard & Reserve affairs), and learn as much as possible about the other services so we could be a help to all members, not just our own "constituents".
    Now, as to the verbiage of "discharge"...
    As it relates to Officers, "discharge" is generally used in the context of an involuntary separation for cause, i.e. conduct, interest of national security, or failure to promote (DOPMA). A Voluntary Separation is just that--a voluntary resignation of commission. If you are not being involuntarily separated, have not resigned your commission, but completed your initial active service obligation you are in fact still in the Inactive Reserve and still subject to call-up for the rest of your days (as you still technically hold your commission and serve "at the pleasure of the President"), hence my comment about Officers "slipping away into the active or inactive Reserve".
    Enlisted incur only their contracted MSO (generally 4 yrs AD or M-DAY Guard/Reserve + 4 yrs IRR first term). If they complete their AD or M-DAY time and are discharged to the IRR, and then complete their IRR obligation, they are then basically civilians, free of any further military obligation unless they re-enlist or a draft is re-instituted and they are drafted back to active service.
    Now, it is true that at the end of any period of active Federal military service, you are issued a DD214, whether AD going to IRR status, Reservists and Guardsmen returning to M-DAY status from an active Federal deployment, Officer or Enlisted. I suppose this might be the "discharge" you're talking about. If so, then it's a simple miscommunication and misunderstanding.

    As for the spelling police--Everyone in the military, hell, most civilians even, know that the proper names of branches of service are capitalized. Army. Air Force. Marine Corps. Navy. Coast Guard. Jeeze, the least one can do is capitalize your own service! *LOL* I can see not capitalizing "air farce" as a jibe at the blue-suiters...

    Maybe the guy is an Officer. My gut feeling says no, and that instinct has been right far more often than not. If he IS, then great, thanks for the service.

    As to those who say to hide it, all I can say to that is no matter what service you are or were in, your service Values contain one of the following words: "Honor" or "Integrity". If you deliberately omit or lie on an application, saying you've had no trouble during your military career when in fact you have, you've failed to live up to both of those Values. Simple as that.

    If NJP isn't a "big thing", then it should be no issue to disclose it, explain what happened, and move on. Right?

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    The spelling is a non-issue, public skools suck.

    An officer in the military is given a commission, and if there is no
    reason to rescind that commission, they retain that commission for
    as long as they care, being subject to recall in the reserves.

    Reaons to rescind as pointed out include punishment, failure to
    achieve rank, etc.

    BUT, upon leaving active duty, one is still issued a DD-214,
    and given a discharge status.

    Just perhaps, and I don't know for sure, but can there be a
    fraternization charge levied against NON-commissioned officer,
    ie, Sergeants?

    As an aside, I have almost never seen an Article 15 NOT make it to a permanent military record, as they normally contain punishment such as portion of your pay as a fine. Too many offices involved to not make it in the record.

    I have (often) seen LOR's (Letters of Reprimand) never make it into
    personell files.

    mtdffwannabee - clear this up - what was your actual rank? E 1-9, W 1-5 (or however they run) O 1-10? General of the Army?

    Insofar as the Squid and the Air Force, we in the Air Force liked the Navy.

    Great bunch of folks. We loved them. It was great to have somone else
    that could put up with carrying the Marines around!

    Also, who was smarter. Picture temporary duty in both services.

    A Navy seaman sitting on his 5' X 2' bunk, in a closet-sized room smelling of oil and rolling from the waves, which he shares with 6 other men, after not having seen the sky for 30 days says: "this really sucks".

    Air Force personnel sitting in an easy chair in an air conditioned hotel, holding a remote control, says: "no cable? this sucks!"

    Now, who was the smarter one?

    Off we go, into the wild blue yo.. Oh, lets run through the drive through
    before we go.....

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    Yes NCO's can get busted for messing around with the troops as well. I have run across this only once before and both parties were told to knock it off and there was nothing more than the O getting a toungue lashing and the knowing grin after he left the room. The O was male and the E was female. The military seems to not want to flog the O's in public, bad for the image. As you can tell I am an E and yes the e-mail and cable are both up at this time so life is good!

    People make mistakes in life and as long as you own up to them and move forward then that is all you can do!

    I heard of an Air Force survival instructor at the Army's jump school, they asked him why he was at jump school and he said "Who puts the air in airborne?" I guess he got the pleasure of doing many many push up's for that comment. The truth but not quite the right forum!

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    In my job I have looked through hundreds of personnel files both at the base level and unit level. I'm not saying all the time but some of the time I find an Article 15 in the unit file (which you take with you when you leave the base and are free to look through and toss whatever you see fit) and nothing in the permanent file that gets sealed enroute between bases. It's totally at the discretion of ones CC. I interrogated an Amn who worked on F-15's who eventually confessed to smoking weed at least 50 times while on active duty. My eyes lit up with joy thinking I got this scum bag and he's a gonner. NOPE!!!! his CC gave him an LOR and sent him back out on the flight line. This is just one of many cases of leanient CC's. Anyways, it's obvious there are different views on the matter of disclosure. When it comes down to it, I'd say just go with your gut. Thanks for SERVING no matter what your rank is!!!!!!!!

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