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.
Army Chapter 5 Separations.
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IV. Separation Authority: The separation authority is normally the Special
Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is usually the first Colonel in the chain
of command.

V. Characterization of Service: Soldiers separated under Chapter 5-8 and 5-17
may receive an honorable or general discharge; however, no Soldier
discharged under Chapter 5-8 or 5-17 will be awarded a general discharge
unless the Soldier is notified of the specific factors in his service record that
warrant such a characterization. Soldiers in an entry-level status (which
means they have 180 days active duty service or less) may receive an
uncharacterized description of service.

Soldiers separated under Chapter 5-13 will not receive a general discharge
unless they have been convicted of an offense by general court-martial or
convicted by more than one special courtmartial in the current enlistment,
period of obligated service, or any extension thereof.

VI. Other Chapter 5 Separations: As noted above, AR 635-200 also contains
criteria for other types of Chapter 5 separations. These separations are not
commonly used and, consequently, are not discussed in detail in this fact
sheet. Soldiers with questions about these other types of separations should
review Chapter 5 and speak to a TDS attorney.

VII. Separation Pay: Soldiers with at least 6 years of active duty service who
have completed their initial term of enlistment or obligation may be eligible for
separation pay. Soldiers should confirm their eligibility for separation pay and
the amount of pay with the transition section at Personnel.
Army Chapter 5
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