Separation Boards

We have the experience!

The Attorneys at Capovilla & Williams have litigated hundreds of separation boards both as active duty military officers, reserve officers, and civilian defense counsels. If you are accused of committing misconduct your command may decide to separate you from the service.

Common reasons command may initiate separation against you

  • Criminal conduct under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
  • Insubordination
  • A pattern of misconduct
  • Drug abuse
  • A civilian criminal conviction
  • Weight or health issues
  • Poor Duty Performance

What happens before separation?

Before your command can separate you from the military, they are required to notify you in writing of the basis and general facts of your case. Command must also notify you of the recommended characterization of service you may receive if the board does in fact separate you.

If you are notified of separation, you may be entitled to an administrative separation board. If you have more than six years of total active military service, or if the basis of your commander notifies you of an Other Than Honorable Discharge, you are entitled to have your case heard before a board of your peers.

What is a separation board and what are my rights?

The administrative board consists of three (3) members senior in rank to you and they will convene to consider all of the evidence presented by the Government also known as the Recorder during the board. From a litigation standpoint, this hearing is very similar to a trial. You are entitled to have an attorney, call witnesses, cross examine the Recorder’s witnesses, and present opening and closing arguments.


At the conclusion of the hearing, the board will deliberate in a closed session to make their decision. During this closed session, the Board will determine whether the Recorder proved by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed the misconduct. If the board determines that you did not commit the misconduct, you win and the case is over. If Board determines that you did commit the misconduct, then the Board will then decide what characterization of service to give to you. Their options are Honorable, General Under Honorable Conditions, and Other Than Honorable.


Our staff at Capovilla & Williams understands how to win a separation board. We know what is at stake and we know that separation boards can ruin an otherwise great military career. Our attorneys know what evidence to present, how to litigate these actions in front of the board, and how to attack the Government’s evidence. Call us and we will make sure that you are ready for the fight.

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