RTU been AWOL 2 months


I went AWOL late june of this year from DST, reasons being that I was reported depressed by a MO and they failed to get me the CPN they had promised countless times and had been given numerous appointments only to be told he is still at catterick...

The army had been helping me with some debt I had accumulating since feb this year, and they have put the depression and de-motivation down to the fact that I barely had enough to fuel my car to go home even on payday...

I have had the WRVS and AWS onto me saying that I should come back, and I have explained to them everything and why I went AWOL, also spoke directly to my 2IC and he said come back before 120 days and you will avoid going to colchester, and that they promise to help me out with the depression (which to be honest isnt as bad as it was) and sort out some IVA for my debts...

Question I have is, what the hell will my punishment be (roughly) if im not going to the glasshouse? My 2IC seems to know how much I loved my job and never went AWOL because I hated it, so even if I was to get court marshalled im sure he would speak on my behalf too.

My guess is maybe X amount of weeks ROP's and confinement to camp, loads of works parties, inspections and a fine, but I'd like to know roughly and in around exactly what disciplinary action i could be facing (albeit saying they will help me, he also said himself and the sergeant major cannot detail what will happen over the phone, it will all be done in the process, because i also have to face the general, because at the end of the day i have still committed a military offence)

Im quite open to receiveing a harsh punishment, because im a firm believer of do the crime, do the time, however its not me im worried about, my fiance and step daughter have re-located next to my unit so that i can be with them once i return to unit from being awol (next week) when she moves into the house the same day im turning myself in voluntarily, i know shes going to want to know whats happening, but im also guessing from entering the gates and reporting to the guardroom i will be sent to a cell, and no time for a phone call etc? (i have no uniform whatsoever, its all up at DST...) im just quite confused as to how its going to pan out, logically, from going onto camp?

Just to add its been made quite clear that it is not within the 2IC or CSM's wishes to have me discharged, so im almost certain i'll be back on track after the punishment has been served.

So anybody been in this situation or delt with this situation let me know how it all happened.

Thanks, and im open to flames and/or genuine replies, ive been on arrse long enough to know there are loads of civvies posing to be soldiers thinking they are internet warriors :)
Before all the p*ss takers have come on and slate you.....you have started the ball rolling by speaking with the CofC so get your self straight back to your camp. Speak with your 2ic/CSM let them know that your turning up back in camp and your doing it voluntary rather than being picked up by MPs/police and as you say face your punishment. The sooner you do this the better as you can sort your life out and your family and you arent constantly looking over your shoulders. Regarding punishment no point speculating though as it will be an individual case but if you get this sorted sooner and do it on your own back then who knows you may find you still have a career.
The matter regarding finances speak to Citizens advice first of all and they will hopefully be able to point you in the right direction at decent companies who will try and resolve your issues....dont bury your head in the sand
The_IRON is quite right.

Get back to camp and get things sorted. If you are £100 in debt you have got a problem, if you are a £1,000 in debt the bank has got a problem. Get some help as soon as you can, you will feel much better.

Be honest with everyone, including yourself and work hard at getting your life back on track.

I’ve known a few soldiers who went AWOL early in their careers and they went on to do the full 22 and leave as SNCO’s. (With a bit of time added on that they owed)

Everyone makes mistakes. Good luck fella. Let us know how you get on.

Isn't this your second crack at the army, you having jacked the first time?

Now you've gone Awol during Phase 2/3 training. I bet people are queuing up to give you another chance.

If I was your boss and you rang up bleating, I'd tell you you weren't getting nick or discharge. Then when you tipped up back at camp, you'd be straight into pokey until we kicked you out, with no more than a TA recruitment brochure to read on the way home.
You might drop Porridge Gun a PM on the debt/IVA issue, he's all over that stuff, seriously.

Get back to camp pronto and the very best of luck to you.
Either way, you need to get back to camp, explain your side of the story and accept what's coming to you. Quick march, soldier!
Yeah it is my second time in, im not going to argue, i have been very stupid regardless for what i have done, but i do love my job and will face anything if it means i get to keep my job, thanks everyone though, some really good replies :)


I'm a little worried you're asking for advice on here - after all, the 'internet warriors' as you adequately put, can be quite uncompassionate in their responses, especially as they don't know you from Adam and might think it's funny getting you to shit yourself by saying things like "I hear Colly do good bread and water buddy". And with you clearly being of a fragile state of mind - I'm not sure you're the 'water off a duck's back' type.

The other problem to consider is with the Armed Forces fully manned, and the government looking to cut back here there and everywhere, I'm not entirely convinced you'll be shown the same level of benevolence as you would have say, 10 years ago. There are many soldiers who have huge debts, family issues, all kinds of circumstances outside of the wire that could impact on service life. Those that prioritise efficiently and not let it impact upon them, demonstrate the ability to deal with pressure in high tempo situations. Those that let circumstances rule their lives however, don't.

Put yourself in your commander's place - who would you rather employ? You may be good at your job, but you are expected to be. Given your history what good is that though, if your lottery numbers don't come up one night and you decide to leave the country?

My advice would be to echo the Iron's words - grit your teeth and face it head on, but be prepared for the worst. If all else fails and you end up at MCTC - at least you'll have proved you have the moral courage and (provided your stay is in A Coy and not D Coy) a better career once you've done your stint.
Everyone has covered the advice, get back and do it voluntarily, this will be in your favour when it comes to sentencing. If you are serving with a Bn in the NE of England and being a little economical with your dates (ie; may not Jun) stay away, i've enough case work already!!

You asked about sentence, admit to it (no defence for AWOL anyway) and you will gain credit, make sure you get a good Assisting Officer who can help you articulate yor plea of mitigation well. All this is taken into account at the hearing. you will go infront of the CO for 2 months AWOL (unless he goes for Court martial). Least you could get ROPs (up to 14 days) and / or fine (28 days). Or something called an SSPO (30,60 or 90 days, complicated!! but basically a supervision order with a reducing scale of restriction over time) Worst, detention, if the CO requests extended powers 90 days, if not 28 days.

My CO is brilliant at these cases, he can spot a bull story a mile away, but also if a genuinely serious mitigation he is compassionate but firm and fair
Thanks smoggy, best and most helpful reply yet.

Hopefully as my CO is a good, laid back bloke, he won't go for the court martial (cross fingers)

And I only hope I only get the 14 days ROP's with the fine, but I will have to find out on monday when i turn myself in (gulp)

Oh well, as they always say, man up and crack on haha

Thanks guys :)


Also make sure you get back and see the MO when you return, if you feel you still need to see a CPN and you're left waiting an obscene amount of time and things start to get worse speak to someone whether it's the MO again some one in your chain of command or the padre.

Be aware that in my experience DCMHs can be very very busy depending on what units they're responsible for and how many staff they have. I once had to wait 6 weeks for an initial assesment from a CPN. There are also other factors involved I've been told about but I won't go into that here in case I give out duff advice/information.
Get yourself handed in before you get picked up. All it takes if for one copper to PNC you and you'll be nicked and handover after a magistrates apperance.

In my experiance (not that i've gone awol myself) is that a soldier who hands themselves in gets a hell of a lot of leeway when it comes to sentancing on CO's orders!!

If you dont have the funds to get back to your unit, hand yourself in at the local plod/military establishment or even phone your 2I/C or SSM as advised above and you'll get a rail warrent to return/transport back.

Man up, hand yourself in and crack on with the next 22 years of your career!

If you are in debt, crack out your training, get to your unit and get on a tour. I know the AAC only do pansy tours but you could volunteer for a tour of the correct length, and rake in a fair bit of cash. Pay off your debt and enjoy the rest of your life....

If you are at DST I assume you are getting your HGV or similar, so you could possibly sign up for a driving firm in civvie street (in UK) for extra cash. I've seen it done before.

Just a thought.

Now, I am no trick cyclist but. If you can't get home or go on the lash at weekends due to you monetary woes. Why not take up phys? Take yourself out for a good run at the weekends. The endorphins in your brain will make you feel good, and you'll start to feel better about yourself as you overtake others on PT, etc.

Just a thought. Better than sitting on the end of your bed thinking woe is you. I am not saying that a good run will sort you out, but you need to do constructive things with your time, and going home is not the be all and end all. In fact you'd be surprised how little cash you need for a good life.

What about the well known squaddie solution to debt? Doing others' (weekend) guards for them?
The mental health issue is an interesting one. We had a lad turn up who had been absent for 18 months. He had a cracking attitude and was desperate to soldier on but was aware of the likely outcome at Court Martial. It turns out he had gone absent from an E2 post after having mental health issues and trying to top himself, the Army failed to provide him with the appropriate support. At Court Martial he was cleared and awarded 18 months backpay, it turns out he should never have been registered as AWOL, he was clearly Sick At Home and the Army failed to follow it up appropriatly. Get yourself a good Accused advisor, I would suggest a subbie who knows the system but isn't quite senior enough that he'll sell you out to make your CO's life easier.

Or you could just be a chancing waste of rations like many of the young men I've stuck my neck out for.
Yes, I had aquired all my licences at DST, and only had a couple of days left of FAMs and combats, that was the student focuses excuse for not granting me any compassionate leave, albeit the fact that i had been reffered to the CPN by then, but they didnt even prescribe me happy pills or nothing, just a matter of crack on, fair enough I know in the army we should be mentally ready for anything, and I always have been that way, but the thing they failed to understand is nearly everyone is going to go through a phase where they just need somebody else to talk to about it (we are all human!), i was sick of bottling it up, and if i ever tried to be open to the CO of SF he just put me down even more the way he talked about me (as if i was worthless, and pathetic in what i was saying and feeling) and all he gave a toss about (by implication) was to get me through GS, FAMs and COMBATs because he didnt want the army to be out of pocket for letting me go see my family, yet some female, from my unit, also at DST, got 2 weeks RTU to give her the chance to take some leave to sort her head out, she went through a stint of depression aswell, sexism or just plain ignorance, i don't know?...

Money isn't really an issue for getting down there, im going to be getting a train down next week, with my fiance and step daughter, she is moving down near my unit until we get married, kind of risky but i just hope i will be spending my punishment at camp and not colly, otherwise our plans are screwed and shes wasted loads of money to move out and relocate, however we havent got much of an option because i don't have a clue whats coming to me...
You should log everything down.

Dates,names etc...... dont be afraid to refer to your notes so that you give your version of events as clearly as possible.
however dont do it retrospectively now, I always say keep a diary but you can only do it as of the day you start it, you trying to think back to what was said a couple of months ago as your mind will replay things as you want it to be rather than how it was and if witnesses to the event disagree with what youve stated then it will cast doubt on everything else that you say.

I hope you can sort your head out and get this episode out of the way as soon as possible, otherwise youll be a liability especially on ops!
Well, If oyur not sure whats going to happen I'd forget about your missus re-locating only to end up in a strange area and you either get time in Colly or even the boot. Noting stopping her coming down at the weekends though is there?

PS learn to march with your laces out :)

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