If You Go AWOL in the Army What Happens

If You Go AWOL in the Army: What Happens?

The Army is a highly disciplined institution that expects its members to adhere to strict rules and regulations. However, there are instances where soldiers may decide to go AWOL (Absent Without Leave) for various reasons. Going AWOL is a serious offense with severe consequences. In this article, we will explore what happens if you go AWOL in the Army, including the potential legal and administrative repercussions.

1. What does AWOL mean in the Army?
AWOL stands for Absent Without Leave. It refers to a soldier who is absent from their assigned duty or place of duty without proper authorization from their superiors.

2. What are the consequences of going AWOL?
The consequences of going AWOL can be severe. Soldiers who are caught going AWOL may face legal actions, including criminal charges, confinement, and a dishonorable discharge. Additionally, they may lose their military benefits, such as healthcare and educational benefits.

3. How long can you be AWOL before considered a deserter?
If a soldier is absent from their duty for more than 30 days, they are considered a deserter. Being labeled as a deserter carries even more severe consequences than being AWOL.

4. How is AWOL different from desertion?
AWOL and desertion are similar in that they both involve a soldier being absent without proper authorization. However, the key difference is the duration of the absence. AWOL refers to a temporary absence, whereas desertion is a more permanent absence with the intent to abandon the military.

5. How is AWOL reported?
When a soldier is absent without leave, their immediate superiors must report the absence to higher-ranking officers. A search is conducted to locate the AWOL soldier and bring them back to their duty station.

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6. Can you voluntarily turn yourself in after going AWOL?
While turning yourself in after going AWOL does not absolve you of the consequences, it may be viewed more favorably by the military justice system. Voluntarily returning allows for a process called “self-initiated return,” which can potentially lead to reduced punishments.

7. Can you face court-martial for going AWOL?
Yes, going AWOL is a serious offense that can result in a court-martial. A court-martial is a military trial that can lead to various punishments, including confinement, reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay, and a dishonorable discharge.

8. Can I go AWOL due to personal or mental health issues?
While personal or mental health issues can be challenging, it is important to seek help through proper channels within the military. There are resources available, such as military chaplains, mental health professionals, and support networks that can assist soldiers in dealing with personal or mental health issues. Going AWOL is not a viable solution and can further complicate the situation.

Going AWOL is a decision that can have long-lasting consequences. It is crucial for soldiers to understand the gravity of their actions and seek appropriate assistance through military channels. The military provides resources to support soldiers facing personal or mental health challenges, and it is vital to utilize these resources rather than resorting to unauthorized absence.

In conclusion, going AWOL in the Army is a serious offense that can result in legal actions, confinement, and a dishonorable discharge. Soldiers who find themselves in difficult situations should seek help through proper military channels rather than going AWOL. The Army values discipline, duty, and honor, and it is essential for every member to uphold these values.

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