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October 13, 2004

Comments

Beldar

Tom, I've trackbacked this post from my own post on the topic, which includes quotes from and links to the relevant statutes (which are otherwise kind of hard to locate because they've since been superseded and are no longer in the U.S. Code).

Geek, Esq.

Kerry was not discharged until 1978. In 1972, he entered the inactive reserve.

The Pentagon likely had a ton of inactive reservists as of 1978, since that was an indefinite commitment. The 1978 discharge was simply a purge of unneeded officers from the Pentagon's forces.

This is a complete nothing of a story.

Cecil Turner

There's no real way of telling, absent the records, but I don't see anything here. The letter says he's "hereby honorably discharged." If it were an upgrade to a previous discharge, it ought to reference the earlier discharge--and it doesn't say that. Looks like an involuntary separation to me, with an honorable characterization.

Frank

I am afraid I have to agree with Geek as to the non-significance of this matter (but also with the desirability of releasing Kerry's records completely.)

A reserve officer who did not participate in any sort of activity/training after release from active duty would have been carried on the books for a number of years as a normal matter of course. (Nothing wrong with non-participation once you had met your active duty commitment and weren't in one of the unusual specialties where reserve participation might be ordered.) But then after some number of years of inactivity, the officer would as a matter of administrative routine have been asked to resign since whatever experience he or she had would have become valueless. If the officer responded and accepted the discharge, an honorable discharge would have been issued if the officer was elegible for such a discharge at the time of his last release from active duty. But if the officer did not respond or refused for some reason, then it would have been necessary to convene a board which would rubber stamp the issue of an honorable discharge, probably to dozens or hundreds of people at a time. I left active duty in 1970, and it seems to me it took 6 or 8 years before I was asked to resign and received my discharge, but I was in the guard for a while which may have delayed things.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Kerry's agreement called for six years. Three on active duty, two on ready reserve with 48 drills per year plus a two week "summer camp", and one year in standby reserve. After he met those commitments he would have been discharged.

But he wasn't discharged until 1978. Because he only met the first of the above: he served three years on active duty from December 1966 to January 1970. No evidence at all he ever put in even one day after that. He should have been discharged in December 1972.

Michelle Malkin's explanation of him being passed over for promotion doesn't wash. He wasn't participating in ANY Naval duties. He, unlike W, didn't meet his commitments.

Geek, Esq.

Patrick:

He entered inactive status in theNaval Reserve in July of 1972.

http://www.johnkerry.com/pdf/jkmilservice/Transfer_To_Standby_Reserve.pdf

Naval officers, from what I understand, were not discharged until they resigned or were administratively separated under 10 USC 1163, which is what happened here.

Roofer

The question of whether or not someone who aspires to be commander-in-chief ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the armed forces is certainly relevant, IMHO.

If the MSM won't ask the question, I suggest that we do. Spend a few minutes and a dollar or two calling the national Kerry campaign HQ or the DNC, and ask this question: "Has Senator Kerry ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Navy Reserve?"

A "no" answer puts this to rest immediately. Anything else would be quite telling.The question of whether or not someone who aspires to be commander-in-chief ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the armed forces is certainly relevant, IMHO.

If the MSM won't ask the question, I suggest that we do. Spend a few minutes and a dollar or two calling the national Kerry campaign HQ or the DNC, and ask this question: "Has Senator Kerry ever received a less-than-honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy or the U.S. Navy Reserve?"

A "no" answer puts this to rest immediately. Anything else would be quite telling.

TM

I see Mr. Turner is doing some heavy lifting over in the comments at Beldar - someone has tracked down the mysterious "BUPERSMAN" reg, and this does look like a routine administrative separation.

Here is a bit of backwards logic, and a question I can't answer - Kerry has been in the public eye, and attracting critics, for decades. Could he have kept a less-than-honorable discharge quiet for all this time? Wouldn't some disgruntled vet have a buddy with access to the records? Or is the record-keeping too buttoned-down?

norespecterofpersonages

The board in question is most likely what used to be called the Board for the Correction of Naval Records?

Cecil Turner

Almost certainly not. BCNR wouldn't have the authority to issue a discharge, nor would they be involved except in upgrading a characterization, which this apparently wasn't. I suspect it was one of those Retention Boards (or the equivalent)--and there sure doesn't appear to be much here.

Thanks TM.

Cecil Turner

Here's a mouthful. It's a "Naval Reserve Officer Mobilization and Disposition Board" run by the BUPERS Reserve Officer Status Branch.

atwilson

Regarding the possibility that John Kerry, "war hero", might have been less than honorably discharged and in so doing, had his commendations rescinded: Do you think that might explain why he "threw away his medals"? Might it be possible that in throwing away his medals, he could use that as an excuse to friends and family for why he no longer had them, instead of admitting that he was involuntarily discharged and had them taken away from him? Would it not also explain why after many years (after 1985's miraculous record change to honorable discharge, and assumed reinstatement of his commendations...thank you Bill Clinton)that he then admitted that he only threw away his ribbons and still has his medals? Curious.

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