How I Got Out of the Military

I joined the Army National Guard in 2002. I decided Army was more meaning full than my current career about 18 months later so I went active duty. All the time I was reading about terrorism and liberty... and government.

I realized that government is a main cause of terrorism, not the solution. Government is the opposite of liberty. The more government, the less liberty and vise versa.

When we deployed to Afghanistan, I told them I thought what we were doing was wrong and making things worse. I wanted to submit a conscientious objector packet I'd been working on.

They sent me to the psychologist who said he didn't want to hear about my beliefs and diagnosed me as having a personality disorder. He said the paperwork was easier that way and both were honorable discharges.

I was out of Afghanistan, cleared from my duty station and was back home in the States in 44 days. Most of that time was waiting for an available flight out of Afghanistan.

I recently wrote out how others can do that too in a free special report. Then I recorded answers to all the major conscientious objector questions. That's available for free too. Mostly, I just want to help others get out too because that's the road to making America strong and free.

If you want to see the free info, go to I maintain a blog too at I hope this helps anyone out there looking for a solution.
SovereignWarrior SovereignWarrior
26-30, M
17 Responses Jan 8, 2008

I got out of the military with an honorable discharge and benefits over 12 years ago. Getting out early is something that has haunted me ever since even though I read the stories and feelings of desperation here and readily recognize them. Just realize you may end up wishing you had stayed as odd as that may seem now.

Here's my story...

I joined the Army shortly before 9-11 and was seriously conflicted about it before I even swore in. I had been married for less than a month and had joined to provide for my new wife (and the family she wanted) while at the same time trying to distance her from her ex-fiance who she was still in love with. I'm also deeply religious so I was raised with the priorities of God first, wife second, everything else comes after that.

To be honest I had already had serious bouts with depression before joining the military, due to feelings of failure and rejection by God for an affair I was in before I was with my wife. From the very beginning I hated it. I had no control over my life and could not simply quit. What made things worse was my inability to run. I wemt to my drill sergeant one day and asked to see the chaplain. He said no problem, but I had to tell him why. I told him I didn't think I could hack it anymore. He told me I was welcome to go see the chaplain, but I was not getting out of the Army.

I never went to see the chaplain, stuck it out and about half way through basic I began to feel better and succeed.When I got to AIT, life got a little better, until my wife moved out to where I was. Then things slowly began to fall apart for me emotionally again.

SIDENOTE: The military is not an ideal place for married couples.

This is when I began to actively seek separation. I went to see the Chaplain there, explained my mental state due to marital problems and he said if I would just go see mental health, he would talk to my CO if that didn't help.

SIDNOTE: I had good CO's and NCO's during my short time in who genuinely cared.

I went to mental health and put down everything I could think of that I thought might help get me out. He read the paper and told me it would be easier for me to get out once I got to my first duty station.I thought of going back to the Chaplain to take him up on his offer, but I thought that perhaps once we got to my duty station, my marriage life would improve and life would improve.

There were two other aspects at play at this time as well. 1. My wife told me she was pregnant with our first child 2. The ratcheting up after 9-11.

My sense of self preservation began to be overtaken by a desire to be part of the military response to 9-11. It was a growing feeling I had where I eventually resolved that day that even if it cost me my marriage and I didn't get to see my child, I wanted to deploy to Afghanistan. My dad was a Vietnam veteran and I thought the days of us fighting pointless wars were long past. I didn't believe the American people would allow their military to fight another pointless war and this military action in Afghanistan was certainly justified.

I was in Military Intelligence school in class one day when I finally resolved this was what I wanted. I was going to begin requesting deployment from that day forward. Ironically, that very same day (over a year before we actually invaded Iraq) my senior MI instructor stood up in the class and said, "well it looks like we are going to Iraq." (He'd been around the block and had his ear to the ground long enough to know the sound of the war drum and what it meant)

The journey I made mentally from self centered to patriotic soldier wanting to deploy took a punch to the gut in that moment. I will wrestle with this for probably the rest of my life.

What it basically came down to though is I could no longer resolve giving up my marriage and my family for another pointless Vietnam war like my dad was in. As long as my marriage and family stayed intact I would try, but my will to try became tethered to my marriage. We moved to Germany and that is where everything began to fall apart. She wanted to go home to have the baby and it meant we would lose our place in line for housing. I was told I would go 2 to 3 years without her being able to move back. I knew that spelled the end of my marriage.

I devised a plan. I began to make threats of suicide if my wife left.

In honesty I was suffering deeply from depression and didn't want to go on anymore. I was also terrified I might be deployed, not have my mind on my job and end up getting someone killed by not paying attention.

I went to a mental health professional who wrote a recommendation for my chapter. The regulations required them to give me time to adjust. My wife ended up being willing to stay and have the baby, but by then I was too scared and already committed to getting out so I told her to go on home.

This went on for six months until I finally gave in to God. I told Him that if he wanted me to stay in the Army and it cost my marriage then I would. I was through fighting. I went to my psychologist and confessed everything about trying to get out, that I was depressed, but not truly suicidal because suicide went against my belief system.

Two weeks later I was on a flight home with an honorable discharge. A month or two after my return home we invaded Iraq.

Later on, the scandal of what got us into the Iraq war came out. Just like there was no gulf of Tonkin incident, there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Despite the dishonesty of the US government with the American people, nearly 13 years later, part of me wishes I would have stayed in, but all things considered it was probably in the best interest of not just myself, but the Army that I not remain in service which brings me to my summary.

If you want out of the military, you need to choose why it is in the best interest of the military to discharge you. Make sure you consult your military regulations concerning this.

Ultimately you are a financial investment of the government and the system is structured in such a way so as to obtain the most out of the investment.

Also, try and get an honorable discharge or under honorable conditions discharge. Anything less can cause you other problems later in life in terms of employment.

Ultimately there are ways out. Do not let anyone tell you that you can't see mental health or a chaplain.Whatever you do, follow your conscience.

I hope this helps,

God bless

Agreed. I sometimes have days I wish I would have stayed in just for the experience and the camaraderie. I think the fact that I joined because I believed in the justice of the cause is what got me in the end. If I would have gone in with the attitude that it was just an exciting career with decent benefits, I would have been relatively fine. But then you have to find a way to live with being an active participant in needless killing.

Add a response...

This is an old post but I recently joined the army and when I enlisted everything was fine. I'm 19 and the first ni ght I left for basic I had someone break into my home while my wife was home. She wasn't harmed nor was anything stolen. Only my back door broken completely. Anyways, I came to my first Sargent immediately after I left reception and my phone had been taken from me at that point in time. He told me to suck it up. I blacked out an disobeyed a couple of orders in basic and got an article 15. Had a few panic attacks. The whole 10 weeks I was the there I got countless letters saying how people were harassing my wife looking through windows and looking through my car windows. The whole 9 yards. I was denied speaking to mental health. I made it through. Had a few panic attacks and when drill sargents yelled at me an noticed my ring I'd freak out in a panic attack. Still I made it to AIT. After I left my home for AIT ad I got an extra day for thanksgiving to go home some broke in again right after I left. My wife wasn't home this time and my window was shattered. A few things taken. I'm still here and I spoke to my first Sargent at my new station. He told me basically the same thing. Except he told me to get my wife to move. I have almost no family as I was brought up through foster care and my wife is generally the same. No family. I requested to speak to mental health to my platoon sargent and he took note an told the first Sargent then we had our conversation and I asked about mental health and he blew it off. I'm questioning myself as to if I made the right joice to join the army. I joined cause I wanted to protect and care for my country. To start my family. However, it seems as if the army doesn't care about me. I want out. My wife wants me home. She's in fear for her life.

I'm 17, I recently joined the national guard thinking about benefits and what will help me out and my future. But since then I've realized I've made a mistake. When I told my friends about it all they said was "congratulations, you're now owned by the government". That's when I really got nervous, I've now realized it's not what I want to do. I'm going to drill this weekend and my recruiter called me and said if I don't go the drill staff will end up calling the police and they will drag me to drill. I really don't enjoy being "owned" nor do I ever want to be. I'm being deployed to Missouri on July 25th, two weeks after I graduate from highschool. I am at basic for 5 months to be an mp and I believe ait adds in somewhere in between those 5 months. I'm not sure what to do. I think I did something before completely thought it through. Thanks for your time, hope you can help

i've been in the army for about two and a half years now and I have come to the same conclusion you have. i do not want to work for the army anymore and i will refuse to deploy. do you have a simpler resolution than refusing to work.

If I were doing it right now (without PTSD), I would file for conscientious objector. It could take up to a year. They have the kind of CO where you get all the way out and the kind where they switch you to a non-combat MOS. Search for the AR on it for a full description.

ive been the army for 9 months now and i want out without it ruining my civi life. i joined during a diffcult time with my family, etc. things have improved since then. and the army isnt as what i thought it was portratied as.

Read up on your options on the GI Rights Hotline website.

I have been in the navy for 5 months going through the seal program. I recently dropped out of BUDs and am now on hold at TSC. They have me leaving next month to go to another station, but I want to get out of the navy beforehand. While I was in a-school in October, I lost motivation and desire not only to not be in the seal program, but the military altogether. I realized I'm not cut out for this lifestyle and I'm seeking an ELS.

I've read up on it on GI rights and want to take the "failure to adapt" route. Do I start by talking to my current LPO or go straight to the CO? I will be over the 180 day mark if I wait until my next duty station.

I can't imagine they're going to give you a discharge. It's just extra paperwork with no benefit for them. They may tell you of course you're discouraged after leaving a tough training program like that. Failure to adapt isn't usually something you can request. But then it might not hurt to try. If you make a big fuss about it with the transitioning staff, it might not carry over to your new station if it doesn't work. Officers are generally going to be easier to talk to than enlisted. If nothing else, a Chaplain or JAG might be able to point you in the right direction. You can always call the GI Rights phone number and ask them. Good luck.

I know this is an older post, hopefully still active. I've been in the army for 9 months now. Through 12 weeks of basic and 4 weeks of Ait the army royally screwed my pay. I was told that it was my fault and that I would not receive back pay. After ait I married my fiance. The two weeks of leave I had was spent trying to ammend my orders only to be told that I would have to wait til I got to my ds. Now 3 months here, my pay isn't right, and my wife and child aren't here. At this point I just want out.

Sorry that's happening. I had a pay issue that I submitted for at least 3 times that was never resolved before I got out. Things always take much longer than you would expect. I'd say find something productive to do with yourself while you're waiting for resolution. There's not a discharge available for just being fed up for the slow speed of processing things. That comes with the territory. Starting the ball rolling for any other discharge should be considered carefully as you can't undo it once you start causing problems for your superiors. It's not the same as just quitting a job. I'd recommend giving it some time. You can always make that decision later.

I am in the army and will hit my two year mark next month. I have a year and some change left in my contract but I want out now. The army has done nothing but ruin my life and marriage. I want out and would be happy with a general discharge. I don't even care at this point. The unit I'm in is soo *** backwards and I am fed up with the bullshit. And most of all in the toll it's taking on my personal life, there is no job in the world that is more important then my family and in the army family is last. F that! I will not let the army ***** my family from me any longer. We are supposedly deploying soon and my ets date is two months after we would get back but I do not want to deploy with this unit or at all at this point. I am away from home enough as it is. Is there any way that I can get out at my two year mark having one year left or some way I can refuse to deploy and stay on rear d or have them chapter me out for refusing? Either way I don't care I just want out this is not the kind of lifestyle I want or will put up with anymore. Also thank you for what you are doing for all these guys and girls. The military is a ******* trap! and once you're in they control every aspect of you're life.

It's true. Nothing can replace family.

I knew one guy that got out because he had an alcohol problem and threw a chair through a barracks window when he was drunk one time. I don't know what kind of discharge he got but he sure didn't get deployed.

Here are a couple of links for further research:

If you google, "refuse to deploy", it comes up with a bunch of stories of folks who did so. You can probably get a good idea of what happens should you choose that route.

Talk with your family about your options and get some advice from different sources.

Take care and good luck.

I've been in the military for nearly 7 years now deployed more times than i would have liked but it caused a big problem with me and my wife she loves me but not the military. i have missed more than half of my childs life because of it i have tried to go to my higher ups but they keep telling me that i signed up and no one forced me what would be the easiest way to get out with an honorable discharge. i cant take loseing my family and it seem the military could care less.

Well, your criteria of easiest and honorable might be at odds. The easiest honorable way would be to either fake an injury or simple serve out the remainder of your time. The easiest way isn't necessarily honorable and the honorable way isn't necessarily the easiest. Check the GI Rights Hotline for a list of types of discharges.

i have been in the military for a couple of years at first it wasn't that bad until i made it to my first unit. It was a cav scout unit and i got moved from there to another unit sortly after because another unit need so many people to deploy i served that deployment and came back home with a more angry personality and now i am going to Afghanistan i see no reason why i am deploying because my ets date drawing near but they still want to ship me out is there any way that i can convince them to let me stay on rear d so i can serve the few months left in my contract or is there a way to get a early separation before hand?

I can't think of a way to get out honorably unless you have some kind of medical condition that would prevent your deployment. There's no incentive for them not to deploy you. You could look into hardship discharges but the fact that you've already been deploying would make it a hard case to justify. Good luck.

Im in the army right now im 1 week into my processing an im having really bad depression problems. I need to get out of the army i mentally cannot do this for the next 3 years. there is no way. all i think about is leaving im looking up anyway to get out. i wanna go back to college. Is there any way i can get out?

bcpesk, if you're currently deployed, I don't know of a way to get out faster than 30 days short of serious injury. Anything else will take at least 30 days with paperwork and all.<br />
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The military isn't what most people want to do with their lives. The ones that stay in and serve a single term go on to do other things too. There's a culture in the military where they try to make you believe the military is the only thing you can do. Don't believe it. You'll be able to come out and do something else fairly easily depending on which skills you've acquired.

question-I'm in the marines, I've been constantly moving since I've gone through boot camp, going straight to mct and then school and then straight into a deployment cycle. we have 30 days left of this and I cannot imagine myself staying in anymore, this isn't what i want to do with my life and it's been bringing me down ever since. Do you have any advice so I can make the transistion back to a civilian and get out early?

Erikaleija, they typically return the service member to the home of record.

my husband will be getting out soon i dunno how fast or long they are doing the paper work, but i was wondering will they still help us move back home.. we are in nc and family are in ca so i was wondering like they let him out and say bye bye and not even help? will they still help us with a tmo or anything??

Dude, you're doing a good thing! I did the same thing in the navy except I got a failure to adapt type's middle ground. I agree with this philosophy...the more you're limited, the more you're fate is put in someone else's hands rather than your own! It's not freedom to control other people, I think no one has the right to tell you to wear your seatbelt, don't speed when no one else can be seen for miles, don't curse infront of a petty officer when they're cursing you out, etc. The law should only contend to Respect of others...How is illegalizing marijuana in your own privacy a law? You won't hurt anyone but your own memory...anywho, it's great that you're doing this man, nearly all my friends got out before me (early) and I have no shame to say that those were some pretty smart people and some of the best people I've known!