Did Hunter Biden Receive a Dishonorable Discharge? Claims, Debunked

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Sep. 30 2021, Published 12:53 p.m. ET

President Biden's recent COVID-19 vaccine mandates for large businesses having been deemed constitutional. However, there's still a fight for military service members. President Biden wants the Pentagon to require vaccines for U.S. military members. He even suggested offering dishonorable discharge as an alternative for active-duty troops who don't want to get vaccinated.

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Meanwhile, memories of President Biden's own family military history come into question. Was his son, Hunter Biden, dishonorably discharged?

Hunter Biden tested positive for cocaine while in the military.

While Hunter Biden was in the Navy Reserves, he tested positive for cocaine in a urine analysis. The positive drug test prompted his removal from the Navy Reserves. He was discharged in 2014.

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Hunter Biden had a brief military career, signing on at the age of 43 to become a part-time ensign in the Navy Reserve. He required two waivers to join the military, one because of his older age and the other due to a drug-related incident when he was younger.

When Hunter Biden officially joined the Navy Reserves, he was assigned to Navy Public Affairs Support Element East in Norfolk, Va. After just one month, the positive cocaine drug test halted his fledgling military career.

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Hunter Biden wasn't dishonorably discharged, only "administrative"

Hunter Biden didn't receive a dishonorable discharge following his positive drug test. Eight months after the urinalysis, he received an administrative discharge.

Shortly after the event, Hunter Biden said that it was "the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward."

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At the time, President Biden was Vice President under President Obama. He didn't make a statement and chose to let his son handle the consequences of his own actions.

Not all administrative discharges are honorable

The Navy doesn't provide honorable discharges to service members who fail drug tests. The harshest form of administrative discharge is OTH (Other Than Honorable). Due to the Privacy Act, the public doesn't know what type of administrative discharge Hunter Biden received following his failed drug test.

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It's likely that Hunter Biden got his discharge changed from dishonorable to administrative due to his ties as the then-VP's son. This is especially true given his short-lived military career. What we don't know is how much of a break he really got.

Beau Biden's military experience was a stark contrast

President Biden's other son, the late Beau Biden, was a Major on the 261st Signal Brigade in the Iraq War. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Legion of Merit Award by General Odierno for his services in the war. After his death, Beau Biden was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award.

Despite Hunter Biden's quick and freckled military history, he has gone on to work as a lawyer, lobbyist, and even a painter. His artwork was recently showcased by the prestigious Georges Bergès Gallery in New York and Berlin.

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