A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from their obligation to serve. Each country's military has different types of discharge. They are generally based on whether the person completed their training and then fully and satisfactorily completed their term of service. Other types of discharge are based on factors such as the quality of the person's service, whether their service had to be ended prematurely due to humanitarian or medical reasons, whether the person had been found to have drug or alcohol dependency issues and whether they were complying with treatment and counseling, or whether the person had demerits or punishments for infractions or were convicted of any crimes. These factors affect whether they will be asked or allowed to re-enlist and whether they qualify for benefits after their discharge.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and the United Kingdom and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (June 2016)