Dishonorable discharge

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A dishonorable discharge is the expulsion of a soldier from the army with the loss of all military honors . A payment of honorary wages is also excluded. This term is mainly used in America and is not used in the Bundeswehr .



There is no dishonorable dismissal in the Bundeswehr. There is only the termination of the employment relationship with loss of all remuneration and benefits in kind. The reasons for terminating the employment relationship of a soldier are regulated in Germany in the Soldiers Act (SG). The corresponding regulations can be found for professional soldiers in § 43 ff. SG and for temporary soldiers in § 54 ff. SG. Reasons for termination in the case of serious offenses or criminal offenses are in particular dismissal , the loss of the legal status of a soldier or removal from employment through judgment in judicial disciplinary proceedings.

The reasons for dismissing a soldier are usually in the run-up to the start of the service (cf. § 46 and § 55 SG). If convicted of a criminal offense after taking up service, one speaks of a loss of legal status as a soldier . The reasons for dismissal and loss of legal status are given in Section 48 SG. The reasons given there correspond most closely to those that would lead to a dishonorable dismissal in the USA, for example. Anyone who has been sentenced by a German court to imprisonment of at least one year for a crime is released or loses their legal status as a soldier . In addition, one of the other reasons listed in Section 38 SG can lead to loss of legal status as a soldier or to dismissal. It usually involves the conviction for the commission of crimes such as peace treason , treason , endangering the democratic rule of law or treason and endangering external security .

The consequence of losing the legal status of a soldier is the loss of his entitlement to remuneration and benefits, with the exception of the compensation for the injured, which he is entitled to under the Soldiers Supply Act . A "dismissal" with the loss of all remuneration and benefits in kind can therefore in particular be the result of the following offenses and crimes:

  • Drug use (including one-off), drug possession, drug trafficking
  • Listening to or possessing right-wing extremist, seditious or inhumane songs

United States

In the USA the dishonorable discharge (may english dishonorable discharge ) be the result of the following offenses:

  • Insubordination
  • Committing a criminal offense within the USA (but not petty offenses )
  • Committing an offense abroad that would result in a minimum of two years in prison under American law
  • Full drunkenness in the case of recurrence

In any case, a dishonorable discharge in the USA leads to:



United States

In the USA, an indirect consequence is the social ostracism of the person concerned. For example, in most states, a dishonorable discharge from military service must be shown on the résumé or an applicant must explicitly point this out during an interview. A large number of companies regard a dishonorable dismissal as an absolute exclusion criterion when filling a position - which does not necessarily apply to an applicant's prison sentence. Any service to the state (police, authorities) is no longer possible. Experience shows that it is almost impossible for the person affected to regain a foothold in society.


  • USA: Charles Graner , a US - reservist , was due to proven torture in Iraqi Ghraib prison Abu- degraded and American US before a military court found the him to ten years imprisonment condemned. After that, as usual in such cases, he was dishonorably discharged from the army.
  • USA: Charles Robert Jenkins . The US soldier deserted to North Korea in 1965 and surrendered to the US Army in 2004, where he was convicted of desertion and favoring the enemy. He was then dishonorably released after serving a prison sentence.
  • Soviet Union: After the mutiny on the Storoschewoi , all crew members with the exception of the leader Valeri Sablin were dishonorably dismissed. The latter was sentenced to death and executed in 1976.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Hunt for Red October. The real story . N24. May 29, 2011. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.