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World War 2
US Army
US National Guard

What does a comment on a person's army discharge papers that says: 42 days lost under AW 107 Lapel Button Issued mean?

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September 14, 2011 12:16AM

Hopefully someone else will contribute to this, but I am pretty sure this means that your Old Man, took alittle detour and went AWOL (Absent With Out Leave), as in he didn't report for duty as ordered. He took a few more days off, and then slinked back on post with tail between his legs (No big deal, hell, you ain't never been in the military lessen ya gots one good AWOL story.) Any way, the military doesn't take kindly to you doing this, and ya's usually end up with some kind of marker. For example, he marines put a red stripe on you if your overweight.I imagine your pop got to wear a similar marker in the form of a button. It tells everyone youv'e been a really bad boy! Anyway, you eventually don't have to wear the stupid thing and that's that, lessen a few bucks and maybe a stripe or two. Of course it goes on your service record. His punishment consisted of having to wear the stupid button, for an unknown period of time, and he got 42 days of pay taken away, which doen't mean he was gone 42 days without leave, just that it cost him that much pay! Under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) being away from, or failing to show up for duty at the perscribed time will result in a charge of AWOL, which turns into desertion after 30 days, I think? Anyway, the US Military doesn't care what your excuse is, your still AWOL, got it! You could be in a jail cell someplace, and when you get released, guess what, the MP's then take you to their jail; Sweet! Ha Ha!Yep, always leave it the the Armed Forces to show a good time. All part of the learning experience of life, where we like to cure you the old fashioned way!Hope this helps, and of course there is a story to this, worm it out of him is he is still around to tell you. Heck, with time, these things are the episodes of that military experience which make you an old salted veteran. Wear them with pride, you bought and paid for them! That's what most veterans will tell you.

Answer

I can't believe how many web pages contain "Articles of War". I quickly found the original British version from 1749 and US version of 1806, but Article 107 was a much later addition.

"ART. 107. SOLDIERS TO MAKE GOOD TIME LOST.Every soldier who deserts the service of the United States, or who without proper authority absents himself from his organization, station, or duty for more than one day, or who is confined for more than one day under sentence, or while awaiting trial and disposition of his case, if the trial results in conviction, or who through the intemperate use of drugs or alcoholic liquor, or through disease the result of his own misconduct, renders himself unable for more than one day to perform duty shall be liable to serve, after his return to a full duty status, for such period as shall, with the time he may have served prior to such desertion, unauthorized absence, confinement, or inability to perform duty, amount to the full term to his enlistment."

So, if your grandpa wasn't court-martialed (which would certainly be noted in his discharge papers), he probably partied a bit too much and over-stayed his leave or came back too drunk for duty.

All Hat No Horse