The Mayer Law Blog

Discharges, A Clarification

Posted October 19th, 2016 in General

From recent inquiries, we realize that there is a bit of confusion about discharge characterizations. Here’s a list of possible characterizations:

  • Honorable – This is the best. Everyone wants one of these. Honorable Discharge.
  • General, Under Honorable Conditions – Sometimes, this is shortened to “General Discharge.” Other times, you may see it written as “Under Honorable Conditions” or “Under Honorable Conditions (General).”
  • Other Than Honorable – This is often referred to by its acronym, OTH.
  • Bad-Conduct Discharge – Often referred to by its acronym, BCD. Some people say “Big Chicken Dinner,” in an attempt to be cute.
  • Dishonorable Discharge – Usually simplified to “Dishonorable.”
  • Uncharacterized (Entry-Level Separation) – This is actually not a characterization. It is occasionally given to new service members during their first 180 days of service.

The following are NOT characterizations of military service:

  • Generally Honorable
  • Under General Honorable Conditions
  • General, Under Other Than Honorable Conditions
  • Generally Bad Conduct and Dishonorably Conditioned
  • Generally Othered
  • Other Than General Conditions
  • Uncharacteristically General Conditions


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