Texas law enforcement licensing eligibility based on military discharge status

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) regulates law enforcement personnel, corrections officers, and public security officers in Texas. TCOLE rules are found in the Texas Administrative Code. TCOLE shall issue a license to applicants who meet the statutory standards.

Licensing Eligibility Based on Military Discharge Status for Texas Law Enforcement Officers

One of the standards for licensure by the Commission relates to the military discharge of an applicant. An individual may only be licensed if he or she “has never received a dishonorable or other discharge based on misconduct which bars future military service.” TCOLE Rule § 217.1(b)(13).
This Rule creates a two-part test to determine eligibility under this section:

  1. The discharge must be based on misconduct.
    • As stated in the Commission’s published Technical Assistance Bulletin regarding licensing eligibility based on military discharge status, “Misconduct indicates that the military had some type of hearing/trial/court martial/Captain’s Mast, etc., with a finding of guilty/founded/true, etc.”
    • People found to be unsuitable for military service based on other factors, such as being found physically or psychologically unfit, may be discharged without a finding of misconduct.
  2. The applicant must be barred from re-enlistment.
    • The Technical Assistance Bulletin states, “If a person is able to enlist in any military branch of the Federal Government, even if a waiver is required first, the person is NOT barred from re-enlistment.”

A military discharge based on something other than misconduct, and when an applicant is not barred from re-enlistment, does not preclude a person from obtaining or maintaining a license from TCOLE.
Discharge Status and Discharge Codes can be found on a person’s discharge document. A DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty is issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some branches of the military, such as the Reserves or National Guard, have different types of discharges documents. If you are concerned about your eligibility for TCOLE licensure, the status or code on your discharge document may help determine if you are eligible for TCOLE licensure.
Military discharge that precludes TCOLE licensure that occurs after initial licensure is grounds for that license to be revoked. “The license of a person who has received a dishonorable or other discharge based on misconduct which bars future military service shall be revoked.” TCOLE Rule § 223.19(e). Licensees are required to report a dishonorable discharge or other discharge based on misconduct barring future military service to the Commission within 30 days. TCOLE Rule § 211.27(a)(6).

Experienced Attorneys Defending Licensed Texas Law Enforcement Officers

If your law enforcement license is threatened by failure to comply with legislative mandates or a complaint lodged against you, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your license. You need an experienced professional license defense lawyer who can defend your rights, license, and livelihood. Our attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge needed to help law enforcement officers take aggressive action to protect their licenses. The Austin, Houston, and San Antonio law enforcement license defense attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP are proud to serve those who serve and protect Texans. We are standing by to help Texan law enforcement officers. Thank you for your service to our state. Contact us or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.

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