during his term of service. In 1954, former Secretary of the Army Stevens stated:
'The traditional policy of the Army has been that the discharge given should reflect the service rendered. In other words, a man whose conduct has been faithful and honest during the time in service would be entitled to separation under honorable conditions, notwithstanding what his conduct may have been prior to entering the service.' Hearings, Senate Armed Services Committees on S. 3096, 83d Cong.2d Sess., March 18, 1954, at p. 75.
Support for the proposition that a discharge certificate was intended to be an unlimited military appraisal of the lifelong conduct of an individual rather than a reflection of the quality of service rendered does not readily appear.
While the discharge certificate is issued by the military, it has tangible and practical consequences in civilian life. To an honorable discharge accrue property rights, civil rights, and community respect and honor. United States ex rel. Roberson v. Keating, D.C.Ill.1949, 121 F.Supp. 477. Conversely, one receiving an adverse discharge certificate must expect to encounter substantial prejudice in civilian life. See, for example, form letter issued by the Army under SR 600-220-1 effective June 18, 1954. Congress has been informed that discharges are made on the basis of actual military service rendered and not on matters extraneous to such service.
If, in practice, this is not the case, Congress should be so informed.
At the same time, if we have too narrowly construed the scope of judicial review under the present statute, it might be well to have a more definitive judicial determination as to the status of military service, the nature and import of a discharge certificate, and the scope of judicial review.
The Supreme Court has recently held that a soldier, once discharged, cannot be tried by the military for a crime alleged to have been committed while he was in the service.
We assume without question that the military cannot try a man for alleged criminal conduct committed prior to his entry into service. Does it not equally offend our traditional concept of justice that a man who serves the military with a rating of excellent can be dismissed by it, without being found disloyal, for non-criminal conduct which occurred primarily, if not exclusively, prior to induction, and can be furnished a discharge certificate which, by reflecting more than a record of military service, brings reproach and dishonor, in civilian life?
As the law now stands, we lack jurisdiction to review or grant relief and are constrained to hold that summary judgment be granted to defendant.
Defendant will prepare an order consistent with this finding.