29 August 2009

Chapter 9 - Separation for ASAP Failure

1. WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR A CHAPTER 9? Discharge is based on alcohol or other drug abuse or substance abuse such as the illegal, wrongful, or improper use of any controlled substance.

Action will be taken to separate a member when it is clearly established that:

a. Despite attempts to rehabilitate the soldier while enrolled in the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), further efforts are unlikely to succeed; and

b. The commander determines that further rehabilitation efforts are not practical, thus declaring the soldier a rehab failure.

2. WHAT MUST THE COMMANDER DO BEFORE THEY CAN INITIATE A CHAPTER 9 FOR AN ASAP REHABILITATION FAILURE? The following must take place, unless waived under special circumstances.

a. The soldier must be formally enrolled in ASAP for substance abuse.

b. The soldier refuses to participate in the program.

c. The soldier doesn’t satisfactory complete the ASAP program.

d. The soldier lacks potential in the military due to an alcohol, drug, or other substance abuse problem.

e. If long-term rehabilitation is necessary at a civilian institute.

There is nothing in Chapter 9, AR 635-200, that prevents a separation under a different section if the case should arise.

3. PROCEDURES. The unit commander forwards the packet to the intermediate commander, who can either disapprove the unit commander’s discharge request and direct reassignment, or forward the packet recommending approval.  If a soldier has six or more years in the service, the approving authority can convene a board of officers and enlisted to hear the case and make recommendations on retention and type of discharge.  The approval authority has the discretion to suspend the discharge for up to six months to give the soldier a chance to rehabilitate himself/herself. Accrued leave at time of discharge is governed by AR 630-5.


a. You have the right to consult with a military defense counsel within a reasonable time, or civilian counsel at your own expense.

b. You have a right to submit statements on your own behalf.

c. You have a right to obtain copies of documents which your commander will forward in support of his separation recommendation.

d. If you have six or more years in the active service you have a right to an Administrative separation Board.

e. You have a right to waive the above rights in writing. Failure to respond in seven days (not signing the form) means you give up all your rights.

5. TYPE OF DISCHARGE. Members separated under this program will normally be given either an Honorable or a General, Under Honorable Conditions Discharge Certificate (Para 9-4, AR 635-200).

a. Honorable: An honorable discharge will be given for proper military behavior and proficient performance of duty. If the soldier has served faithfully and performed to the best of his ability, and there is no derogatory information in his military record, he should receive an honorable discharge. If there are infractions of discipline, the seriousness and frequency will be evaluated. When there is a doubt, it should be resolved in favor of the honorable discharge. It is the pattern of behavior, not the isolated incident, that is important.

b. General: This is a discharge of separation under honorable conditions. A general discharge is given to a soldier whose record and performance is satisfactory. This is usually given to someone who had frequent non-judicial punishments but not for serious infractions. when this type of discharge is issued, the commander must state the specific basis for it.

6. EFFECT OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF DISCHARGES. At the present time, the only people eligible for educational benefits are those that are issued an Honorable Discharge Certificate and that serve on Active duty for a specified amount of time. For other veteran’s benefits and programs, the military gives the same entitlements for both an honorable discharge and a general discharge under honorable conditions. With either discharge, veteran’s benefits depend on the length of service and other factors.  The eligibility for all other benefits are to be determined by the agency assigned to oversee such benefits.

7. TIMING OF SEPARATION: You will be separated as soon as possible. Note: Any misconduct committed after discharge is approved, but before separation (approximately 10 working days after approval by the separation authority), can still be prosecuted.

8. HOW TO FIGHT BACK IF YOU DID NOT WANT THE DISCHARGE OR IF YOU WANT AN HONORABLE INSTEAD OF A GENERAL DISCHARGE; The main way of opposing the discharge if you have less than six years of service is with statements. You may also request a personal interview with the separation authority, but he does not have to grant you one.

You can submit a statement that you write yourself, stating your side of the negative information that your commander has compiled, and respectfully stating why you want to stay in the Army or why you believe you should be given an honorable discharge. If you have requested a reassignment and been denied it, you should mention this too. You should include a positive statement about the Army.

Statements from supervisors and co-workers are also very important. If you are opposing the discharge, statements should address the negative items in your packet, and address the areas covered in paragraph 1, the basis for the action. The statements should specifically and directly comment on whether these factors are true of you. Hopefully, the supervisors will also recommend that you be retained on active duty or that you receive an honorable discharge if you are separated from the service. You should keep copies of all such letters you get because you can use them in an attempt to have your discharge upgraded, if necessary

If you are seeking an honorable discharge, the statements should specifically and directly comment on the factors listed in paragraph 5 regarding “types of discharges.” Also include copies of any good certificates, letters or awards. If your discharge is approved and you still wish to stay in the Army, you should write a letter to the Separation Authority requesting that the execution of the discharge be suspended for six (6) months so that you can prove your ability and commitment to soldier back into the Army.


  1. If you are a chapter 9 ASAP failure and are receiving an honorable discharge, does that go on the bar code as an Alcoholic related incident and therefore harder to seek employment?

  2. No. It goes on as an ASAP failure.

  3. If I am trying to get into a police academy would this count as history of drug abuse and make me inelligible?

    1. i have the same problem i admitted myself into the program because i confessed to smoking marijuana can i still be eligible?

  4. i received a chapter 9 based from a self enrollment but had other incidents. i was never formally put onto a command referal. when chapter packet was pushed through and completed, i also did not have a memo from the ASAP team deeming me as a failure. when the chapter was completed and i was discharged i was still enrolled in asap and making all my apointments with over a month of sobriety and heavey into AA and the 12 step program. i was never informed i could request a reassignment (was this a right to know?) seemed like my unit was on a witch-hunt and i made it easy for them.

  5. I was a self-referral into the level 3 SARP program. Seven (7) months later I received a DUI. I was given a general discharge (under honorable conditions). This hit me by surprise due to the fact that legal told me the guideline indicates an honorable discharge because it was a one time isolated incident with no other disciplinary actions. What must I do to have my discharge upgraded and how long might this take?

  6. I am currently enrolled in the ASAP program. My counselor said he would recommend that I be placed in inpatient treatment for 30 days due to my continued drinking, I refused to go and he informed my supervisor. My supervisor ordered me to go and that If I didn't go I would be disobeying a lawful order and would be given a Article 15 with an OTH discharge. Is this possible can your supervisor or commander order a soldier to an inpatient treatment?

    1. yes if you deny a command referral you can be discharged because when enrolled in asap technically you can't drink at all because of the memorandum you signed when you got enrolled in the program and if you break that cpontract with them it will end up getting you a chapter 9 but in your case your command will most likely hit you with an article 15 and that other than honorable discharge but if i was you i'd do the 30 days its not that bad i did it and it helped me out pretty good and i self reffered myself so think about it

  7. Although I had involuntarily separated with an Honorable Discharge and my DD Form 214 mentioning that my discharge is "Alcohol Rehabilitation Failure," would that bar me from SOFA employment in Japan? I don't drink anymore and I didn't fail due to alcohol use, but I may have a job lined up.

  8. My son has pleaded guilty to an article 15 under violation of 112a (use of a controlled substance) He has had an excellent performance record for 3 years and served in Afghanistan. He has lost his rank from e-4 to e-1 and is doing his 45 day extra duty. They are chaptering him out. Is there a way of still receiving an honorable discharge or stopping the chaptering out.

  9. I want to know if there is anything wrong in my ch9; such as dates of being assigned in ASAP or how long I was in ASAP or when I started; can this be a reason so that I can get a chapter review. Will I be able to change my re code or reason for discharge. I requested my military records for my discharge a while back. I decided to go through it and read everything so I can try to re enlist. I know I cant with a re code 4, but I wanted to see what I can do. I noticed I have a memo that first stated the ch9 was disapproved than one stating it was. What was weird was that the one that was disapproved showed the correct dates when I was assigned to ASAP and the one that was approved shows incorrect dates. It shows that I was in ASAP a lot longer than I really was it shows I was assigned to ASAP when I was not even stationed at this unit or even base. I believe the reason my discharge ch9 was approved was because the dates where wrong and it look like I was already in ASAP when I first got in trouble with alcohol, when in fact I was not. I have paperwork proving I was not stationed at this unit or base during which it states I was in assigned to ASAP. I want to know will this help me to get a review of discharge and can I get my ch9 changed or at least my re code, I have a bar of re enlist.

  10. I self-refer myself for canibus use over 3 months ago and I am still in ASAP. I relapsed and failed a company UA. My commander is trying to give me an article 15 for illegal substance abuse.

  11. If i went thru the gate and got selected for a random search they found an empty bag of spice i then confessed to smoking it they took me away to the station i got a drug test and.passed they are still pushing for a chapter what xan i do to fight this

  12. One of my soldier were enrolled in ASAP twice 5 years ago. He was drunk on duty a week ago and blew .10. Commander is issuing a Chap 9. Can she do that taking into consideration his ASAP was five years ago?
    And how can he fight this?

  13. i was referred to asap and required to attend 2 days adapt class. my investigation is still open, am i required to take the polygraph and or do i have the right to refuse( would that hurt me in any) for decision of chapter?

  14. Can you be considerd a ASAP failure and recieve Chap9 if you have completed ASAP in the past and had a relapse years later but wish to seek treatment again?

  15. I failed a UA about a year and half ago and I still don't know if i am getting discharged or not. In that time i have had a change of command, will this affect anything and is there a stature of limitation on when command needs to process the discharge.


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