Army Discharges Military Mom for Refusing to Deploy

Article Placeholder Image
By Kamika Dunlap on February 12, 2010 10:00 AM

The Army discharges Spc. Alexis Hutchinson and the military mom gets to be with her son.

So what's the catch?

Hutchinson, a single mom will now be demoted from specialist to private and lose all military and veteran benefits for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan.

According to the Associated Press, instead of facing criminal charges at a court-martial, the Army cook will be discharged by the military to care for her infant son.

But this means Hutchinson will not get honorable discharge. In addition, the military mom will be stripped of her rank and become ineligible for future military or veterans benefits, said her attorney, Rae Sue Sussman.

 Hutchinson faced four court-martial counts:

  • Missing movement (for missing her overseas flight);
  • Being absent without leave;
  • Dereliction of duty; and
  • Insubordinate conduct.

Those charges could have landed her behind bars for two years, if she had been convicted.

As previously discussed, the military mom refused to deploy Afghanistan, claiming she had no one to keep her baby.

Shortly before her scheduled year-long Afghanistan deployment Hutchinson went AWOL for less than 24 hours and returned voluntarily, Sussman said.

She was then arrested for skipping her unit's flight and confined to the boundaries of Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.

All single-parent soldiers are required by the Army to submit a care plan for dependent children before they can deploy to a combat zone.

Hutchinson had such a plan but it fell through.

Her attorney argued that the Army was being unreasonable in asking the single mother to leave for Afghanistan with the rest of her unit without suitable arrangements for her son.

According to a recent report, since 9/11, 30,000 single mothers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.