George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

M-VETS Secures Honorable Discharge for Army Veteran

Doug Boyle

(Pictured: Student Advisor Doug Boyle)

The Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (M-VETS) successfully argued a claim before the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) seeking a fully Honorable conditions discharge for an Army veteran. M-VETS filed the claim on behalf of the veteran in 2022 and secured a fully Honorable discharge, allowing the veteran to access long-overdue educational benefits.

The veteran served honorably in the active Army from 1994 through 1998. During that period of honorable service, the veteran earned a Good Conduct Medal. However, after suffering an injury during service, she could not participate in physical training, which led to the veteran’s discharge for weight control failure. Without justification, and through no fault of her own, the veteran was separated from the Army with a General, Under Honorable Conditions discharge certificate one month before her enlistment ended. This discharge characterization prevented the veteran from accessing her education benefits.

M-VETS Director, Timothy M. MacArthur, stated: “Thankfully, the veteran reached out to M-VETS for assistance with this matter, and we are glad we were able to correct this issue. Unfortunately, the separation authority made a clear error in judgment regarding the discharge characterization. Since 1998, the veteran was not eligible for educational benefits due to the inaccurate discharge characterization. Now, the veteran can use those earned benefits due to the fully honorable conditions discharge.”

“Thank you, M-VETS!” said the veteran. “Thank you for helping make a close-held dream come true!”

MacArthur continued: “Our client served honorably in the Army, and to be able to correct this injustice was a great result.” MacArthur emphasized the contributions of the student advisors that worked on this matter, Mr. Doug Boyle and Mr. Brady Clapp. “Throughout M-VETS’s representation, student advisors Doug Boyle and Brady Clapp assisted with the client’s matter. I appreciate the time and effort they put into this case,” MacArthur said. “Doug and Brady did a fantastic job, and their hard work paid off.”

Boyle stated: “Working with the client was an excellent experience. Selfishly, it allowed me to develop several skills. First, I could practice client interaction skills—interviewing the client, reviewing documents with the client, and keeping the client updated on the case. Second, I got an opportunity to practice my research by reviewing the client’s military records and relevant Army regulations from the time. Finally, I got to practice my advocacy skills by writing and editing a brief that was submitted to the ABCMR. Most importantly, M-VETS got the veteran the service characterization that was deserved—Honorable!”

M-VETS assists veterans, Servicemembers, and their dependents in a variety of civil matters, including uncontested divorces, landlord/tenant matters, consumer protection, and contract disputes, as well as in military/VA administrative matters, including MEB/PEBs, Discharge Upgrades, Boards for Correction of Military Records, and VA disability compensation appeals.