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Question About General Discharge



Hello all,

I just recently learned here on Hadit about seperation codes, and looked mine up -( after 42 years )

I knew I had a 212-General... now I know specificly it was under SPN-264 - unsuitability- character, AND behavioral disorder.

I also saw there was an SPN-265 - Unsuitability - character disorder! No behavioral problem in there...

Of course neither is correct in my case, but whats the difference?

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The 'difference ' is what could possibly occur if you ever applied for a federal job.

For VA benefit purposes , the VA goes by the Character of Discharge.

This shows what I mean :


A Military lawyer, same last name but no relation to me,

answered a similar question here:


Edwin Crosby is an expert on SPN codes :


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  • HadIt.com Elder

One of the maor problems with "SPIN" codes is that they changed from time to time, and service to service.

Each service had a group of codes that were commonly used, and may differ with time/era.

Worse, a favorable code used in the past by one service can morph into a bad code used by one of the other services.

Another go around has/had to do with the difference between a DD214 and an actual Discharge.

DD 214's were originally a "release from active duty". A discharge was often a stand alone document.

This occurred due to a "six year obligation" vs a shorter enlistment or active duty period. The DD 214 was issued

covering the actual active duty period, eventually followed by the discharge certificate when the six year period ended.

DD214's were sometimes issued with the entitlement certificate for VA loans printed on the back side.

Currently, when a DOD uniformed services ID card is issued, the issuer seems to use the DD214, even when a seperate discharge document exists. As an example, My DD214 shows a release from active duty to the reserves in the late 1960's.

My Discharge has a date in the 70's and a much higher rank at discharge.

Using the DD214 date entitles me to lower rates for military lodging (big deal) but causes problems if I wanted to join or use one of the on base clubs.

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