Legal Question in Military Law in New York

Early Separation from the Army due to Monetary Reasons

Hi, I am currently serving out the remaining year and a half of my 4 year enlistment in the US Army. My fiancee is currently working on a deal with Progressive Insurance which would result in her being bought out by them for about US$10 million. I was wondering if this large influx of money into our accounts would enable me to be early separated from the Army due to the fact that I would have no motivation to do what people told me. I've heard rumors of people being separated after winning the lottery, I was wondering if this was still possible. Also, I've heard rumors of being able to ''buy out'' the remainder of your contract. Is this also True? ANy help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Asked on 4/18/05, 1:09 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Neal Puckett The Law Firm of Puckett and Faraj, PC

Re: Early Separation from the Army due to Monetary Reasons

First, your fiancee's prospective business deal is in no way connected to you. In other words, as to you, it has no more legal significance than if it happened to your neighbor down the street.

Second, you signed a contract with the U.S. Army, the breach of which carries criminal penalties.

Third, in World War II, the sons of the rich and mega-rich were enlisting in droves, and considered it an honor to serve their country.

Fourth, there are no separation regulations that provide for terminating, or buying out, your enlistment contract, because of a change in your financial situtation, which is NOT happening to you (see paragraph 1).

Fifth, all of the rumors you have heard, including lottery winners getting out of their contracts, are false.

Finally, your country needs you, and expects you to honorably fulfill the terms of the enlistment contract you voluntarily undertook when you swore an oath to serve in the U.S. Army. To attempt to weasel out of that obligation under some notion that YOU might share in someone ELSE's good business judgment would reflect badly on your character and would dishonor the memory of those who gave their lives in service to their country.

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Answered on 4/18/05, 5:56 am

Donald G. Rehkopf, Jr. Brenna, Brenna & Boyce, PLLC

Re: Early Separation from the Army due to Monetary Reasons

I am sorry that Mr. Puckett chose to cast aspersions on your character, simply for asking an honest question. The answer is more complicated than he related. While it is of course true that what happens to another individual has absolutely no bearing on you or your situation as he notes, that does not mean that there are not methods of seeking an Administrative Discharge or other options.

But, you need to note that your enlistment is for EIGHT (8) years, not four. You agreed to serve on Active Duty for four years, but your "Military Service Obligation" is Eight (8) years. Go back and read the "fine print" on your enlistment papers. That means, depending on your MOS, at the 4 year mark, if you are subject to "stop loss" provisions, they can keep you for the additional four years. Because the Army has been having so much trouble KEEPING Soldiers in and not having enough people enlisting, they have been keeping many people beyond their "normal" ETS dates.

The "rumors" that you have heard are all Barracks Bullshit = lies. IF you disobey an order, you will most-likely be court-martialed, the same as if you went AWOL. That, contrary to popular opinion, is a FEDERAL conviction and will be on your "record" for life. I doubt if that is what you are seeking.

My advice is for you to keep a low profile and just wait for your ETS date. If you want any additional information, please contact me directly at [email protected]

Good luck,

Don Rehkopf

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Answered on 4/19/05, 3:44 pm

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