UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE SEPARATION UNDER CHAPTER 9, AR 135-178
What is the basis for this chapter?
The command may initiate separation of a soldier under the guidance set forth in chapter 2, section 1, if the soldier is unqualified for further military service due to unsatisfactory performance. Chapter 2, section 1 provides the command general guidelines on separation and characterization of service. Such guidance includes whether or not there is the potential for rehabilitation and further useful military service; the seriousness of the circumstances forming the basis for separation; the likelihood of continuation or recurrence of the circumstances forming the basis of separation and the soldier’s entire military record. Chapter 2, section 1 also requires commanders to identify soldiers who may be candidates for early separation and utilize counseling, retraining and rehabilitation before starting separation action.
What are the criteria for Chapter 9 Unsatisfactory Performance?
Commanders may initiate separation of a soldier for unsatisfactory performance if the following have been clearly established:
a) A soldier will not develop sufficiently to participate satisfactorily in further training or
become a satisfactory soldier or the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the basis for separation is such that retaining the soldier would adversely impact military discipline, good order, and morale.
b) It is likely the soldier will be a disruptive influence in present or future duty assignments.
c) It is likely that the circumstances forming the basis for separation will continue or recur.
d) The ability of the soldier to perform duties effectively in the future, including potential
for advancement or leadership, is unlikely.
Is the command required to attempt a rehabilitative reassignment?
Yes, IAW para. 2-4, the counseling, retraining and rehabilitation are prerequisites for initiating separation action for unsatisfactory performance. Para. 2-4d. however, allows the officer exercising separation authority to waive the rehabilitation reassignment requirement if it determines one of the following:
a) Reassignment is not feasible because there are no units available within a reasonable commuting distance of the soldier's residence.
b) Further duty of the soldier would create serious disciplinary problems, or create a hazard to the mission or to the soldier, or would seriously affect unit readiness.
c) Further duty of the soldier would be inappropriate because the soldier is resisting all
rehabilitation attempts or that rehabilitation would not produce the quality soldier the ARNGUS or USAR desires.
Can the command choose to separate a soldier under this chapter instead of Chapter 12, Serious Acts of Misconduct?
No. If a soldier has committed serious acts of misconduct s/he must be separated under Chapter 12, the command may not seek to discharge the soldier under this chapter in an effort to avoid penalties.
Does this chapter apply to pregnant soldiers?
Yes. A pregnant soldier may be separated under this chapter if the soldier’s substandard duty performance is not attributable solely to the condition of pregnancy.
What is the appropriate characterization of service?
The service of soldiers discharged under this chapter will be characterized as honorable or general under honorable conditions.