Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vice President's son discharged for cocaine use

Hunter Biden
One of Vice President Joe Biden's sons has been discharged from the U.S. Navy after testing positive for cocaine use during random urinalysis. Hunter Biden, a lawyer working at an investment firm, was a direct commission Navy Reserve ensign assigned to a public affairs unit in Virginia. Cocaine use can lead to either a court-martial or nonjudicial punishment followed by administrative separation. It has not been revealed whether he received a general discharge or a more stigmatizing veterans-benefits-forfeiting other-than-honorable discharge. He was commissioned last year at age 42 and "popped positive" on the drug test after only three months. He was discharged last February, a fact that only became known recently. One cannot help but wonder whether he would have received both an age waiver and a waiver for prior drug use had he not been the Vice President's son, or what qualified him for a public affairs billet. Details here and here.

Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo
with Senator Gary Hart (1980)
Readers of a certain age may recall that the Navy gave then-Sen. Gary Hart a direct commission as a JAG Corps Lieutenant (j.g.) in 1980. At age 44, he was six years overage at the time, and required a waiver. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1982.

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