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Appealing ELS discharge with the USAF?
March 4, 2013 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Just over three years ago, I was discharged from the US Air Force during basic (a month in). It was classed as an ELS, but my code was 2c. I've since worked through the issues that caused said separation, but I have absolutely no idea what I should do. I guess my question is, should I appeal my discharge? If so, how would I do that? (the AF Board of Records says to file paperwork with them only when all other avenues have been exhausted) If I were to look at another branch (say, US Army) would I even have to appeal? (Info I found says that you can potentially get a waiver, but I don't know how to approach this with a recruiter, especially now with looming defense cuts.) I'm honestly not sure what I should be doing. Any help is appreciated.
posted by FriscoBowie to Law & Government (4 answers total)
 
My understanding is that a USAF RE-2C means you are ineligible for reenlistment, and that waivers are not authorized and will not be considered. Where are you seeing official guidance that says otherwise?

Also, on what grounds would you appeal the discharge? By your own admission, you had issues you needed to work through that caused the separation.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:44 PM on March 4, 2013


According to this:

Individuals with an Air Force RE Code of "2" are usually ineligible to reenlist in the Air Force, but might be eligible to join another military service, if the circumstances which resulted in the code no longer apply, or if a waiver is issued.


And then good ole wikipedia says:

RE Codes in the "2" series often place restrictions on reenlistment: this is especially true in the Air Force, which has a policy permanently barring airmen separated from the Air Force with an RE Code 2 from reenlisting in the Air Force (though reenlistment into other components of the Armed Forces may be possible with a waiver).


I'd just call a recruiter and lay it out, it can't hurt.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 8:02 PM on March 4, 2013


Proviso: I am a law student, but I am not a lawyer, or your lawyer; nor is this legal advice. I have limited familiarity with discharge issues from volunteering in the area of VA benefits; and this post is intended to provide generic information only. Please consult an attorney (or legal service agency) practicing in this area for advice on your individual situation.

I guess my question is, should I appeal my discharge? If so, how would I do that? (the AF Board of Records says to file paperwork with them only when all other avenues have been exhausted)

The normal procedure for appealing a discharge would indeed be through the BoR and failing that maybe the Sec'y of the AF. After that, a lawsuit. However, legal remedies may not apply to an ELS--as ELS is its own thing that works like a prescreening at the AF's sole discretion. (This is something a lawyer practicing in this area can tell you for sure.) ELS often comes at the recruit's request, which could also tend to make reversing it more difficult.

If I were to look at another branch (say, US Army) would I even have to appeal? (Info I found says that you can potentially get a waiver, but I don't know how to approach this with a recruiter, especially now with looming defense cuts.)

This might be of help, with regard to the Navy although I can't vouch for the reliability of the site:

For reenlistment eligiblity into the Navy only. For example, a discharge code from the Army of RE-2C would be eligible w/o a waiver; whereas an RE-2C from the Air Force would not be eligible for waiver consideration, whatsoever.

Equally specific guidance re: the Army is harder to find.

The suggestion above, of calling a recruiter and laying it out is sensible. Recruiters may also be able to advise on other avenues for prior service applicants seeking to return.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2013


You guys all gave me more stuff to look at, either that I hadn't seen or that I'd missed. I really appreciate the new directions in which to look. Thanks!
posted by FriscoBowie at 6:35 PM on March 7, 2013


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