Air Force Vax

Air Force May Have Let Unqualified Officers Issue Dishonorable Discharges To Unvaxxed Airmen

The Air Force failed to comply with the Department of Defense’s (DOD) standards for deciding whether to characterize dischargers as honorable or dishonorable, a government watchdog found.

DOD policy requires superior officers, with a rating of E-7 or higher, to review individual cases and make a final decision on discharging a service member under honorable, neutral or dishonorable conditions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a Thursday report.

However, the Air Force allowed junior noncommissioned officers to participate in those decisions, potentially affecting airmen discharged over the COVID-19 mandate.

“Provisions in the Air Force’s policy for noncommissioned officer board member qualifications conflict and one is inconsistent with DOD policy, which may lead to differing implementation of board processes,” GAO said.

“Being separated from the armed forces for misconduct, unsatisfactory performance, or other reasons can have lifelong implications,” to include being denied veterans’ education and health care benefits and future employment, GAO wrote.

When a member of the military faces discharge, the member can request the service convene an “administrative separation board” to review the member’s case, according to GAO. The separation board makes the call whether to characterize the conditions surrounding the member’s departure from the military as “honorable,” “general (under honorable conditions)” or “other than honorable.”

The discrepancy could include members of the Air Force who refused the COVID-19 vaccine and were progressing through the discharge process between June 24, when the Air Force last updated its policy, and July 27, when a district judge blocked the Air Force from removing servicemembers for vaccine-related reasons.

The Air Force discharged 162 airmen between June 27 and July 11, department fact sheets show. In April, Air Force personnel leaders said roughly 70% of unvaccinated airmen received general discharges, MilitaryTimes reported. . . .  (read more on Daily Caller)

Administrative Separation Boards: Air Force Should Clarify Member Qualification (GAO, 2 FEB 23)

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