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Other Than Honorable: VP Joe Biden’s Son’s Navy Discharge for Drug Use | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Other Than Honorable: VP Joe Biden’s Son’s Navy Discharge for Drug Use

Vice President Joe Biden. The man who once proclaimed “You cannot go to a 7-11 or Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent – I’m not joking!”and who told Missouri state Senator Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair-bound, “Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see ya!” For years now we as a nation have looked on as Biden’s gaffes becoming increasingly baffling and frequently insulting. One can only imagine the face-palm moments going on back in the White House when yet another Biden Blunder takes place. And yet, today, we have something new. Biden’s son, Hunter.

Joe Biden, Hunter BidenHunter Biden, age 44, is currently a managing partner at an investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC, and is also Council at Boies, Schiller, Flexner, LLP. He seems to possess some of the dark good looks and charisma that may have passed his father by, and his life has not been without pain. In 1972, his mother, Neilia Hunter, and little sister, Naomi Biden, were tragically killed in an auto accident during which he and his brother Beau were severely injured. He has always been a driven man, though, having obtained his bachelor’s from Georgetown and his Juris Doctor from Yale. By 2001 he was a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP, and also served on the board and was a partner for Eudora Global. His career moves are numerous and include his being appointed by former President Bill Clinton to serve the US Dept. of Commerce, where he was Director of eCommerce Policy. No, there’s no doubt Hunter is driven, and no doubt he wants his resume to be complete. And somewhere along the way, he decided he wanted to add the military. Side note: Hunter’s older brother, Beau, is a major in the Delaware Army National Guard.

According to sources, Hunter began the direct-commission selection process in 2012 and was selected as one of seven candidates for a direct commission with public affairs. Due to his age – he was 42 at the time of his application, so 43 by time of commission – he needed a special waiver to get in, a waiver that was granted without much fanfare. However, he didn’t just need one waiver, he needed two. The second waiver was to give him a pass regarding a drug-related incident that occurred when he was younger – how much younger, we do not know – and the Navy claims such waivers are fairly common. In May 2013, Hunter was assigned to the Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, VA.

But it didn’t take long for a problem to occur. The Navy regularly carries out random drug testing, something every sailor is well aware of; it’s not a secret. There aren’t officials hanging from the gangway or hiding behind random bulkheads waiting to spring out with a UA cup. It’s explained. It’s expected. It happens at least 2.5 million times each year. And according to Navy officials, when any given unit is tested, approximately 15% of personnel are randomly selected. When Hunter Biden was tested in June of 2013, not even one month after receiving his commission, he tested positive for cocaine.

It was, interestingly, the Wall Street Journal that first broke the news last Thursday, letting the world know not only had Hunter Biden been discharged from the Navy, he’d been discharged for drug use. But here’s the kicker. It took eight months for him to actually be discharged, during which time the situation was kept amazingly quiet. Although one Navy official rightly cited the fact that adjudication must take place prior to discharge, a period during which the service member continues to serve, there’s more to it than that.

Wrongful drug use is typically charged under UCMJ Article 112a, and numerous lawyers specializing in military law cite the zero tolerance policy every branch of the military tends towards. Court-martial isn’t uncommon, along with other administrative actions – like, say, being discharged. Cases like Hunter’s would be hard-fought by vastly overpaid lawyers with extensive experience in this area, and they’d try the following approaches: proving he ingested it on accident or somehow involuntarily, finding a flaw in the UA testing process or storage process, or angling for his having been singled out. And although, in the end, Hunter was, indeed, removed from the Navy, he was given an administrative discharge, the details of which remain cloudy.

An administrative discharge is a bit of a broad statement, but it definitely could have been worse. So, does this mean Hunter will be getting military benefits? Yes and no. Although we don’t actually know yet whether he was given a general (under honorable conditions) (GD) or other-than-honorable (OTH) discharge – although some news outlets are claiming both – one thing is for sure: he didn’t receive a punitive discharge. And because of that, yes, some of his benefits will most likely remain intact. For one month of service.

Hunter BidenOne would assume – although we all know what happens when we assume – that he was given an OTH. The only way to qualify for the GI Bill is to receive an honorable discharge, so obviously he won’t be getting that, not that he needs it to begin with. But in the case of an OTH, the realities of benefits are truly up in the air. Whether or not Hunter will be eligible for any benefits – and which ones – is up to the discretion of the VA under Title 38, Section 3.12, of the Code of Federal Regulations. So with that in mind, it is absolutely possible for Hunter Biden to receive benefits for one month of apparently cocaine-using service. Are these terms normal for a drug-use-related discharge? Again with the yes and no.

Although some do get off somewhat easy by military standards, there are many service members who have fared far worse after being caught with drugs in their urine. In one case, a petty officer – who wishes to go by the initials J.W.R. – was court-martialed for one-time use and sentenced to 90 days in the brig, also undergoing a reduction in rank and forfeiture of three months of pay. This punishment occurred after J.W.R.’s 19 years of honorable service. He wasn’t the only one, either, there have been countless other sailors thrown in the brig for one-time use, sailors with far more established and solid careers than one month in a commission obtained through two waivers.

Regarding his administrative discharge, Hunter released the following statement through his lawyer: “It was the honor of my life to serve in the US Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge.” Draw your own conclusions.

As for his ability to practice law, no, he is not up for a review of his law license. It isn’t technically required by law, and who in Connecticut would be brazen enough to suggest such actions against an up-and-coming member of a political dynasty?

In January of 2013, at the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball – an event honoring Medal of Honor recipients – Joe Biden gave a brief speech. “We have a lot of bad judgment in my family,” the vice president began, “My son, who is over 40, just joined the United States Navy. He’s about to be sworn in as an officer.” He meant it as a joke, perhaps a poorly timed joke, as seems to happen, but a joke nonetheless. And here we are, October of 2014, with Hunter’s one month of failed service coming to light amid whispers of “soft corruption” regarding his receiving the commission at all and a dull roar of “cover-up” just getting started. Bad decisions, indeed.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Katherine Ainsworth

Katherine is a military and political journalist with a reputation for hard-hitting, no-holds-barred articles. Her career as a writer has immersed her in the military lifestyle and given her unique insights into the various branches of service. She is a firearms aficionado and has years of experience as a K9 SAR handler, and has volunteered with multiple support-our-troops charities for more than a decade. Katherine is passionate about military issues and feels supporting service members should be the top priority for all Americans. Her areas of expertise include the military, politics, history, firearms and canine issues.
Katherine Ainsworth

1 thought on “Other Than Honorable: VP Joe Biden’s Son’s Navy Discharge for Drug Use

  1. Ms Ainsworth, what information are you able to share on Veterans discharged for one time drug use (marijuana) (especially officers) who were given an upgrade to Honorable discharges? I have been researching for such cases but unsuccessful. Do you know of any Air Force Review Board cases since they are public records? I think this is worth reviewing because it provide insight for Veterans on reasons why the AFBCMR and DRB upgrade cases from General to Honorable.

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