Military Discharge And The Law: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

By | January 28, 2015

Bottom-line? There is apparently much more to a military discharge than what we hear about in the movies and on television!  

And, for the ex-soldier who may have been erroneously categorized, the future negative ramifications on career can be significant!

This morning I had the privilege of listening to a presentation on military discharge that included a behind the scenes back-story that can have such a great impact.

As a neophyte in this process, the discussion by attorney Gary Port was illuminating concerning what can happen to a soldier who is under the assumption and possible misconception he has simply been honorably discharged.

Gary recently retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel and was serving in the United States Army Reserve as legal adviser and Ethics Officer to the Commanding General of the 78th Training Division, and is a partner in the law firm Port and Sava.

Mr. Port made clear the fact that there is much more than simply receiving one of what are actually 6 different types of discharge, 3 considered non-punitive, 2 punitive and one that is uncharacterized.

Non-Punitive Discharge

  1. Honorable
  2. General Under Honorable Conditions
  3. Other Than Honorable

Punitive Discharge

  1. Bad Conduct
  2. Dishonorable

Uncharacterized Discharge

  1. Entry Level Separation

In fact, in addition to these designations there are what are known as RE Codes and SPN Codes that may be included as part of the discharge record and that will follow that soldier throughout his career whether correct, incorrect or somewhat questionable.

It’s a fascinating section of the law that many of us are completely unaware of and, given the massive shrinking of the military taking place over the past few years, one that both attorney’s and employers need to understand.

In the future Gary will be guest posting articles here on the various aspects of this subject.


Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at

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