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I came up positive on a UA but it was not intentional- what are my options?

I have a scenario a senior leader comes up Positive on a UA, however the medication the leader took was in a mislabeled bottle and the leader did not know they were taking prescribed medication inappropriately. What can this person expect from their CoC;

The Evaluator - Army Evaluation & Counseling Guide

Basically this is going to come down to your personal integrity. Recommend you read AR 635-200 and AR 600-85.  The commanders has the ability to waive one event of this nature in a career but odds are slim. Three scenarios I see are:

1. Separation
2. Allowed to Retire
3. Reprimanded in some method that does not stay on your permanent record

If your integrity is in tact within your organization odds are they might listen to you.  You need to build a case for them. For example Spouse provides a sworn statement as to what happened and why.  Volunteer to take on the spot test any time day or night for up to 12 months.  Consider volunteering for a lie detector test.  If you have concerns about this than I would recommend you see a civilian attorney in your area with prior JAG experience.  Then I would ask them to refer you to a tough lie detector examiner.  Take the test and if you pass put that in your packet you submit.  The Army may then want you to take an examine  with CID.

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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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    You should not be entertaining these positive UA excuses top, how could someone not know that they took some sort of antidepressant or narcotic which for the most part what they test for on a UA. I’ve done more UA’s I the past three months then I’ve done in my whole army career, this is so hot right now no one in the COC is gonna listen to any of this.

    • Mark Gerecht


      First let me be absolutely clear. Do not support nor have I supported the illegal use of drugs. It is disappointing that you see me as entertaining an issue rather than providing guidance but that’s your choice. At ASKTOP.net I don’t take sides in an issue. If an individual used drugs illegal than that’s on them. During my career I personal saw 2 cases in which Soldiers were basically convicted by a chain of command only to find out the Soldier was not guilty, or not guilty of what they were being charged with. In addition, if I recall correctly 100’s of Soldiers received false positives and in some cases were potentially separated from service as a result of issues at the testing facility. So to your point. My goal is to give Soldiers and leaders information about their situation, so that both sides are informed. I do not want a Soldier thrown out of the Army or improperly punished nor do I want the chain of command to listen to some sob story. What I want is for the Soldier and chain of command to be treated fairly. I nor you for that matter have any idea if this Soldier is guilty of anything. Specifically because we do not have all the facts. I wonder if you would be so fast to jump to judgement if this was you in a similiar situation. Keep in mind as leaders we have a responsibility to keep emotions out of the situation and to make decisions based on the facts. For example: As a 1SG I had a Soldier that was supposedly raped by another Soldier. The portions of the chain of command became emotionally charged and the Soldier was on the way to being court martial and it had only been 24 hours since the alleged issue. I asked the members of my command to take a deep breath and find out what happened, look at the facts. They thought I was crazy…then a day later the Soldier was found not to have committed rape at all. However decisions had already been made that severely impacted his career. Then the command had to jump through hoops to try and rectify the issue. Imagine if we all jump to conclusions. I have no clue if this Soldier is guilty or not but they have a right to be heard by a chain of command that is willing to listen. My experience has been most chains of command do the right thing. So you should not worry if a Soldier is lying, stretching the truth chances are the chain of command is smart enough to figure it out. I hope when metering out justice to the Soldiers you supervise you are more factual than emotional.

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