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Separation for the convenience of the Government, Army Chapter 5

This handout provides general information concerning Chapter 5 administrative
discharges. Chapter 5 sets forth many discharges. This handout provides specific
information about three types of Chapter 5 administrative separations — Paragraph
5-8, Parenthood; Paragraph 5-13, Personality Disorder; and Paragraph 5-17, Other
Designated Physical or Mental Conditions. AR 635-200 contains more specific
information. If you have additional questions, please consult with a Trial Defense
Service (TDS) attorney.

I. Basis for Chapter Elimination:
a. Chapter 5-8 (Involuntary Separation Due to Parenthood). AR 600-20 requires all
singleparent Soldiers or dual military couples with dependents to submit a family
care plan. The commander is required to initiate separation proceedings under
Chapter 5-8 for any interference with military duties arising from family
responsibilities. Prior to initiating separation action, commanders must counsel
Soldiers about providing a plan and the adverse consequences that can result if
they fail to provide a workable plan.

b. Chapter 5-13 (Personality Disorder). If a physician trained in psychiatry or a
licensed clinical psychologist notifies the commander that the Soldier has a
deeply ingrained personality disorder and this disorder is so severe that the
Soldier’s ability to function effectively in the military environment is significantly
impaired, then the commander may initiate a Chapter 5-13 separation action.

c. Chapter 5-17 (Other Designated Physical or Mental Conditions). This Chapter
is very similar to Chapter 5-13, except that it covers conditions that fail to rise to
what the doctors call a “disorder.” These are conditions such as chronic airsickness
or seasickness, dyslexia, sleepwalking, claustrophobia or “other disorders
manifesting disturbances or perception, thinking, emotional control or behavior
sufficiently severe that the Soldier’s ability to effectively perform military duties is
significantly impaired.” The key factor is that the condition must significantly impair
a Soldier’s ability to perform his/her assigned military tasks.

II. Command Requirements Before Separation: Before initiating separation under
Chapter 5, the commander must insure that the Soldier has had adequate
counseling and was given an adequate opportunity for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation
efforts vary, but may include change to a new section or platoon within the unit
or to a new unit.

III. Soldier Rights: Soldiers have the right to consult with a TDS attorney or with
private counsel at no expense to the Government and to submit matters for the
separation authority to consider before the separation authority makes a final
decision regarding separation. Additionally, Soldiers with at least 6 years of active
and/or reserve service are entitled to an Administrative Separation Board. All
Soldiers pending Chapter 5 separation should consult with an attorney before
making any decisions concerning the Chapter 5 separation.