Board processing is used in all other instances. A service member is entitled to appear before the board if the military is seeking the Other-than-Honorable discharge, the service member is an officer, the service members’ length of time in service is greater than six years, and if the reason is a matter of national security. The board consists of three officers, a legal advisor, and a recorder. Unlike a court-martial, a board processing has no formal rules of evidence and decides the facts by the preponderance of the evidence. The preponderance of evidence means the offense more than likely occurred. During the hearing, the service member can have the counsel represent him, bring witnesses, question witnesses brought against him, and challenge a member of the board.
At the conclusion of both the processes, the board makes several decisions including whether alleged misconduct has occurred. If misconduct is found to have occurred, a recommendation is made concerning whether separation is warranted, and if separation is warranted, then the type of characterization of service as either Honorable, General, or Other-than-Honorable. If the board recommends an Other-than-Honorable characterization, a judge advocate will review the proceedings. The board’s recommendations are forwarded to the service member’s chain of command.