Conditional WaiversOctober 7, 2019
A conditional waiver is a tool for a Servicemember to avoid an unfavorable discharge. If a Servicemember is eligible for a separation board, they are also eligible to submit a conditional waiver. Basically, it is a written offer from a Servicemember that he/she will waive their right to a separation board in exchange for a more favorable discharge (either an HON or a GEN). If this offer is approved, a Servicemember will be separated without a separation board and with the agreed upon discharge. This can be a win-win; the Servicemember gets a more favorable discharge and the Command does not have to expend the time and resources to convene a separation board. Sometimes, however, a Command will want to pursue an OTH/GEN Discharge and will therefore deny the conditional waiver. If this happens, a separation board must be convened.
If a Servicemember is interested in fighting for retention, they should not submit a conditional waiver. Often times, a Servicemember’s appointed attorney will pressure a Servicemember into submitting one because they do not want to put the time and effort into fighting for retention. However, sometimes submitting a conditional waiver is in a Servicemember’s best interest. Consultation with an experienced military attorney who understands the complexities of the separation process is crucial.
This article was written by military attorney Matthew Barry