According to Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-3208, Airmen may be administratively discharged for a failure to meet Air Force standards. Airmen are most often discharged for misconduct (Section 5H of AFI 36-3208) or failure in the fitness program (Section 5K). There are different types of misconduct: minor disciplinary infractions (paragraph 5.49), pattern of misconduct (paragraph 5.50), civilian conviction (paragraph 5.51), commission of a serious offense (paragraph 5.52), drug abuse (paragraph 5.54), and sexual assault (paragraph 5.55).
When Airmen are discharged, they receive one of three types of service characterization: Honorable, General (Under Honorable Conditions), or Under Other Than Honorable Conditions ("UOTHC"). The characterization of service often determines what commander can approve your discharge.
If you have been in the Air Force for more than six years, or your command recommends a UOTHC characterization, you are entitled to a Board Hearing before discharge. In those circumstances, you should consult with an attorney.
If you are not entitled to a Board, you should still submit a rebuttal to the discharge. A strong rebuttal may allow you to stay in the Air Force or could help you get a discharge upgrade in the future.
If you are notified of administrative discharge, you are entitled to three duty days to submit a written response. Your written response becomes a part of the official record, so it is important that you submit a professional, respectful, and persuasive response.
You can also read more about an Air Force discharge and how to respond in our recent blog posts:
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