is small. The Board is not interested in your civilian life,
but how you performed while in the Navy.
When you leave the Navy, you want to do so with an
honorable discharge. An honorable discharge has many
advantages for you throughout your life. Some of the
immediate advantages are the entitlements to various
veterans benefits and rights. When you apply for a job
or for entry to a school or college, you will find an
honorable discharge is advantageous, and, in many
instances, an absolute necessity. Most important of all,
and vital for your future self-respect and peace of mind,
is the knowledge that your service to your country was
up to standard.
Receiving an honorable or general discharge makes
you eligible for all federal benefits (and they are
considerable). Receiving a dishonorable or bad conduct
discharge by a general court-martial disqualifies you for
any benefits. A bad conduct discharge from a special
court-martial even disqualifies you for any military
benefits such as transportation home or payment for
accrued leave. A bad conduct discharge bars you from
receiving civil service employment preference,
reemployment rights, or other related benefits. The
Veterans Administration decides your entitlement to
veterans benefits on an individual basis.
Failing to receive an honorable discharge also has
consequences of a more personal and far-reaching
nature. You bring shame to your family. You will have
difficulty explaining your dishonorable or bad conduct
discharge to friends who have honorable military
service. You will have difficulty getting good jobs and
getting accepted into good schools. Everybody knows
the Navy does not give bad conduct discharges except
for serious or repeated offenses. Thus, you may have a
hard time proving that people can trust you as a friend or
to do a job.
Receiving an honorable discharge means you can
face the world proudly and secure in the knowledge that
your years served in the Navy were well spent. On the
other hand, receiving a dishonorable or bad conduct
discharge means you must admit to wasted years in the
Navy. It means you failed in your duty to your country
and in meeting the high standards of the Navy.
NAVY GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Identify the requirements for the Good Conduct
You may earn many awards while you are in the
Navy. One of the most important of these awards is the
Navy Good Conduct Medal. That medal is the highest
precedence award among the campaign and service
Make every effort to earn the Navy Good Conduct
Medal. Earning that award can affect your promotion.
Meeting the requirements for the Navy Good Conduct
Medal means you also meet the requirements for
reenlistment, overseas duty, certain Navy schools, and
Navy commissioning programs.
Your CO can recommend you for a Navy Good
Conduct Medal as a reward for 3 years of good conduct.
REVIEW 9 QUESTIONS
Q1. List the five types of discharges the Navy gives.
Q2. When getting out of the Navy with less than 8
years of service, you are _________ from naval
service instead of discharged.