12 September 2009

Chapter 11 - Entry Level Separation

1. WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR A CHAPTER 11? The inability, lack of reasonable effort, or failure to adapt to the military environment. The soldier will have completed no more than 180 days of active military service.

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

a. Soldier cannot adapt socially or emotionally to military life.

b. Cannot meet the minimum standards prescribed for successful completion of training (i.e. PT or Weight standards) because of lack of aptitude, ability, motivation or self-discipline.

c. Soldier has demonstrated character and behavior characteristics not compatible with satisfactory continued service.

d. Have failed to respond to counseling.

e. Females who become pregnant and cannot satisfactory complete their training.

f. A soldier convicted of a courts-martial not given a punitive discharge.


a. The soldier must be formally counseled in writing (preferably on DA Form 4856) and this counseling must include:

1. The reason for counseling.

2. The fact that separation action may be initiated if the behavior continues.

3. The type of discharge that could result from the possible separation action and the effect of each type.

4. The soldier should be given a reasonable time to correct the deficiencies (Para 1-18b, AR 635-200). (Soldier should not be separated when the reason is that military service is different then civilian occupation.)

3. PROCEDURE. The unit commander notifies the individual that he is pending separation action in writing. After a reasonable amount of time, the unit commander forwards the packet, with his recommendation, to the approving authority, Battalion size element commander, for final action. The approving authority can either approve or disapprove the separation action.


a. You have the right to consult with consulting 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. You have a right to waive the above rights in writing. Failure to respond within seven (7) days (that means not signing the form) means you give up all your rights.

e. You have a right to a separation medical examination upon approval by the separation authority. (You may also waive this)

5. TYPE OF DISCHARGE. Members separated under this chapter will be given an uncharacterized discharge.

6. EFFECT OF DISCHARGE. Members should receive little or no prejudice in the civilian community from this type of discharge they will receive no benefits from the military or VA. This includes the GI Bill (no return of money put in) and accrued leave.

7. TIMING OF SEPARATION: You will be separated as soon as possible. Separation takes approximately ten (10) working days from the time the chapter is approved by the separation authority.

Note: Any misconduct committed after discharge is approved, but before separation, can still be prosecuted.


  1. When applying for civilian jobs do I have to check previous military service or discharge if I have an ELS without a DD214 because I did not ship to basic because of severe family issues? I also do not have a RE code either.
    Thank you very much.

  2. how long can this process take

  3. I have an ELS. Can police departments or other employers actually see what the els was for?

  4. I received an ESL in 1987. I completed Basic at Fort Sill. I was a contract cadet at NMMI and SMP with the 2/89th FA Tng in Amarillo. I failed my hearing test at Fort Riley. My inability to complete my training was not due to lack of aptitude, ability, motivation or self-discipline. I was high speed and low drag.

    How does the ESL effect me?

  5. can you be requested for a MEB if you are facing chapter 11?


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