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Can I be held past my ETS date for extra duty if I am pending an Article 15?

I am being recommended for an article 15 for telling a leader "NO" because I was told to climb a rope and I thought it was too dangerous given the close proximity to my ETS. I have 2 months left before my ETS. If they give me extra duty can they hold me past my ETS? And will I get a dishonorable discharge because of this?

The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

First there is no excuse for refusing an order unless the order is:  illegal, unsafe, immoral, unethical, or unsafe.  It is one of these items then you better be prepared to defend it with facts.  Stating no in the presence of others to a senior leader is most likely not the best course of action. Perhaps attempting to pull him to the side and explain your concerns might have been a better course of action but that is hind sight at this point.

Have you already taken your ETS physical.  I recall in some cases Soldiers were exempt from certain activities to prevent possible injury before ETS.  This prevented the Army and/or VA from becoming liable for unnecessary injury.  Now this was years ago and I do not know of a regulation that covers this activity but you might check some of the medical regulations or ones that deal with physicals.
If you are recommended for an Article 15 typically you will not be held past your ETS and it takes a lot to get a dishonorable discharge.  Odds are you will leave on your ETS date (you might pull extra duty until the day you leave) with an honorable discharge unless they decide to chapter you which would most likely be a general discharge (the odds of this are rare but possible). The downside is you might leave 1 or more stripes lighter depending on if they give you a summary, company, or field grade article 15.
You might find the following post useful:

How can I convince my chain of command to drop an Article 15?

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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  • Stephen


    There is no regulation stating that soldiers aren’t required to participate in PT. My old CO would make guys do PT all the way up to their ETS date. He only did this to guys he didn’t like. Jerk move really.

    Every other CO and 1SG that I’ve had didn’t make their guys PT after their Phase II physical. This was just more of a “gentlemen’s agreement” that we had. There is no regulation stating you don’t have to do PT any more. Some guys in the Army are dumb but you should have just tried to climb the rope.

    • Mark Gerecht


      Stephen, Good point on the phase II. I frequently did not have my Soldiers doing PT while they cleared, inprocessed, and completed the phase II. These tend to be local policies.

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