How Aaron Alexis got an honorable discharge despite his record
Initial reports indicated Alexis, a 34-year-old Navy contractor, had received a general discharge from the Reserve, a category that suggests an unsatisfactory record. But the Navy said Alexis had in fact applied for and received an honorable discharge.
The Texas man suspected of killing 12 people entered the Navy Yard on Monday morning and gained access to the secure Navy Sea Systems Command building, where he went on a shooting spree that spread panic at the base just a mile and a half from the U.S. Capitol. He was armed with an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, a double-barreled shotgun and a handgun, a law enforcement source said.
A military official said that before discharging Alexis honorably, the Navy had been pursuing a general discharge against him on a series of eight to 10 misconduct charges, ranging from traffic offenses to disorderly conduct.
However, when it became evident the case against Alexis would not support a general discharge, he was allowed to apply for an early discharge under what is known as the Early Enlisted Transition Program, which is only used for honorable discharges, the military official said.
Basically, the Navy wanted to get rid of him. When the OTH discharge proceedings floundered, Alexis was offered the early out option, which he took.