I often hear people say, "oh, he or she was dishonorably discharged from the military" for doing something relatively minor. I think there's a lot of misconception out there about the types of military discharges. So here it is, spelled out in a list
  1. Honorable discharge
    These are the discharges that the overwhelming majority of people get when they either reenlist, have some change in status, or leave military service. Most benefits that veterans get after they've left the service, like the G.I. Bill and some other benefits require an honorable discharge.
  2. General discharge
    Sometimes called "general under honorable conditions," these are the discharges that people get who have some kind of blemish on their record, like a one-time drug use, or a DUI, or something like that.most people who get general discharges are administratively separated early from the military for whatever it was that caused them to have that characterization of discharge.
  3. Other than honorable discharge
    This is the most severe form of discharge that a person can get without going to court martial. I think a lot of people confuse other than honorable discharges with dishonorable discharges, and they're not the same thing at all. These discharges are for people who commit misconduct in the service. Just about any form of misconduct can lead to court-martial, but a lot of times the military just thinks it's best to just kick the person out.
  4. Bad Conduct discharge
    This is a punitive discharge. The only way to get a Bad conduct discharge is to get convicted at court-martial. It is actually a part of the sentence. There are several types of court-martial, and they all have limitations on the sentence that can be awarded. A bad conduct discharge can be awarded by either a special or a general court-martial, and it's usually awarded to people who did bad stuff, but not necessarily really really really super bad stuff.
  5. Dishonorable discharge
    This is also a punitive discharge, and can only be awarded at court-martial. In the main, the people who get dishonorable discharges are people who have committed serious crime like rape and murder, Child molestation, child pornography, things like that. The dishonorable discharge is for the worst of the worst.